Colleagues, this has been an inspiring and fruitful morning for all of us. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and views with us today.

I am very satisfied that so many of us [all of us] have signed up to a Ministerial Declaration on the sustainability of the Mediterranean fisheries.

We have agreed on a robust set of objectives and targets to safeguard the future of our fishermen and coastal communities.

And we have committed to a comprehensive plan of action that will allow us to achieve those joint objectives.  

Thank you for your support and your willingness to make history today.

Colleagues, by signing up to this Ministerial Declaration, we are throwing a lifeline to fishermen all around the Mediterranean Sea.

And we are setting our work plan for Mediterranean fisheries for the next 10 years.  

I am convinced that with this plan we can make sustainable development in the Mediterranean a reality.      

Who knows, in the years to come, this day may well be remembered as the turning point for a bright future in the Mediterranean fisheries. 

But we must  be clear in our understanding. Today marks a beginning, not an end. Our cooperation cannot stop here. We need to keep up our momentum in working together, both bilaterally and multilaterally, in the spirit of a true Mediterranean partnership. I would like to suggest reconvening our meeting to take stock of progress in two years time. I am particularly keen to see if any non-EU country partners would be interested in taking this invitation forward.

Only then will we turn the commitments we have taken today into action. Only then can we make the shift to sustainability happen. 

I count on all of you, on your good faith, your transparency and your solidarity, to fill this Declaration with life.

Thank you.

 

***

Check against delivery