The EU’s Council of Ministers is slowly approaching the decisive phase for the future Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). After two orientation debates in March and in April, the May Fisheries Council will close this round with a last debate on environmental aspects before getting to a general approach to the CFP reform in June.
In a preparatory Council document, three questions for the next debate have been raised that shall be answered by ministers. These question concern:
- – The principle of “Maximum Sustainable Yield“
- – Mixed fisheries that does not target specific fish species
- – The relation between the CFP and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as well as Natura 2020
When I look into the provisional presidency calendar, I see that the next Agriculture and Fisheries Council is planned for 14-15 May 2012. I wonder why it is not foreseen to discuss this together with the environment ministers (no meeting foreseen at that time).
The issues covered in the questions, especially the last one, clearly fall under the co-responsibility of the Commissioner for the Environment, and so it would sound only natural to make this a joint meeting. Nevertheless, this will close the orientation debates in the Council and open the door for the stages of more serious negotiations.
In the Parliament, we are also approaching the next stages, with next week’s vote of the Environment Committee on the report regarding the future basic Common Fisheries Policy regulation. The draft report on the same topic from the Fisheries Committee (Rapporteur: Ulrike Rodust) is expected for 21 May with the votes in Committee probably in mid-July. Update (7 May): Rodust’s report is already available here.