Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy: exchange of views with representatives of national Parliaments
Today, Commissioner Damanaki heard the views of representatives of national parliaments of EU Member States, gathered in Brussels to discuss the Commission's proposals for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The Commissioner is going to maintain regular contacts with national parliaments, which gain notable weight in the EU decision-making process thanks to the Treaty of Lisbon.
After presenting the salient points of the reform proposals, the Commissioner listened to the Members of Parliament who addressed issues such as environmental, economic and social sustainability, the objective of reaching maximum sustainable yield (MSY) by 2015, regionalization, discards ban and transferable fishing concessions.
Commissioner Damanaki expressed her wish to modernise the ways in which decisions are taken, with the European Parliament and the Council that would remain in charge for taking leading decisions and the fishing industry working hand in hand with the national administrations to set more detailed rules, with the involvement of the Regional Advisory Councils. On MSY, she presented examples showing that reaching MSY can be done: "This is the way to increase fishermen's income in a sustainable way - said Commissioner Damanaki - This is the way to keep jobs in the fishing industry and this is the way to keep jobs in the ports and in processing." On discards, she explained that "I propose to phase out discards gradually in all fisheries in a step by step approach. We will accompany this with better gear selectivity and with proper support for the industry to implement it."
A number of interventions focussed on the need to balance environmental sustainability with social and economic sustainability and Commissioner Damanaki presented concrete examples of how she intends to finance the transition towards the objectives of the reform and confirmed her intention to abandon scrapping subsidies.