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News :: Ireland presents its priorities for Council presidency

Ireland presents its priorities for Council presidency

(28/01/2013) On 1 January 2013, the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union passed from Cyprus to Ireland. Among other tasks, the Irish government is now coordinating the work of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council and will set the agenda regarding reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Ireland enters the scene at a crucial moment in the CFP reform process. The three regulation proposals which comprise the reform will soon enter the phase, in which Council and Parliament, with the help of the Commission, will try to reach agreement. Both the Council and the Parliament have made amendments in line with their respective positions and will soon have a clear position on all the proposals. Therefore representatives of the Parliament's Committee on Fisheries, of the Council's presidency and of the European Commission will begin tri-party discussions (so called 'trilogues') aimed at reaching a compromise.

At the beginning of the year, Ireland presented its political priorities and its working agenda. The main objective is to reach a political agreement in the Council on all items of the reform by the end of the presidency in June. The following steps will be taken on key issues:

  • Common Organisation of the Markets (COM) Regulation: the adoption of the Council’s negotiating mandate is expected in January, the start of trilogues in March; and the completion of negotiations and political agreement from Council in April.
  • Basic CFP Regulation: adoption of the Council’s final position (general approach) and the negotiating mandate are planned for February; the start of trilogues in March; and the completion of negotiations and political agreement from Council in June.
  • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Regulation: the adoption of the Council's final position (general approach) is scheduled for April; the development of the Council's negotiating mandate and the start of trilogues in May, (assuming the Parliament's adoption of its position), with the aim to complete negotiations and political agreement between Parliament and Council at the June Council.

For more information on the objectives and main features of the reforms and to better understand the challenges facing the new presidency, please refer to our press pack.