European Parliament: reform of the Common Fisheries Policy under the spotlight
Commissioner Maria Damanaki took part in the European Parliament plenary debate on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, on Tuesday 5 February. The vote on the report by Ms Rodust, which was approved by the European Parliament Fisheries Committee in December 2012, is scheduled on Wednesday 6 February. Debates and votes can be followed live.
Intervention by Commissioner Maria Damanaki:
"Dear President, Honorable Members of Parliament,
Let me first of all express my sincere thanks to the Members of this House for their dedicated work on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. I would like to congratulate the rapporteur, Ulrike Rodust and to her team for their efforts in bringing about a very good compromise on the Commission's proposal. Let me also thank the shadow rapporteurs for their work.
Tomorrow this House will vote on the report of Mrs. Rodust. It will be a historic day.
It will be a historic day, because it is the first time in history that you, the elected representatives of Europe's citizen's, can shape the future fisheries policy: its objectives, its principles, its standards and its instruments.
It is now within your power to help bring about an ambitious reform of this policy. Europe needs a new fisheries policy that delivers real change:
Change to end overfishing, to make fishing sustainable and at the same time to increase fish landings. In 2009 we had only 5 fish stocks that were managed sustainably, today we have 27, so you see it can be done.
Change to create the building blocks for a more profitable fishing industry where fishermen and their families earn a decent living.
Change to phase out the wasteful discarding of fish that consumers no longer accept and that we can no longer afford.
Change to ensure that decisions on how to manage fisheries are taken closer to and with the involvement of those really concerned. We are going to have a sea basin approach, not a unique fisheries policy.
Change to help unlock the potential of aquaculture businesses in Europe.
Change in our use of taxpayers' money, making European funds more fruitful and effective.
And change in how we contribute to the prosperity of fisheries-dependent coastal communities.
This is a real opportunity for Europe and a real opportunity for the European Parliament.
Last December the Fisheries Committee adopted a report that supports all the key elements of the change we need.
They agreed with the essence of the Commission’s proposal to end micro-management at the EU level and to open the road of regionalisation.
They endorsed the legal obligation to put an end to discards and bring stocks back to sustainability according to a binding calendar.
What are the results we can expect?
Your Fisheries Committee has put down the right foundation to increase by 2020 the fish in our seas by 15 million tons, and the fish landed by our fishermen by 500 000 tons. To increase by 2022 the income for our fishermen by 25% and to create 30% new jobs in the catching sector alone. We need this for our citizens.
It is with this in mind that I urge the Honorable Members to make a real step forward towards an ambitious reform by supporting the Fisheries committee report during tomorrow's vote.