The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, in his role as President of the Council of Fisheries Ministers today addressed the plenary session of the European Parliament seeking support for his objectives and work programme aimed at delivering an agreed reform package for the Common Fisheries Policy by the end of the Irish Presidency in June.
At today’s plenary session of European Parliamentarians Minister Coveney expressed his view that there was now momentum gathering behind the drive to deliver a reformed Common Fisheries Policy package by the end of June.
The Minister acknowledged that he had set out an ambitious work programme for his Presidency, he also accepted that there were differences between the Council and the Parliament, particularly on the question of Multi Annual Plans fisheries. It was however, his considered opinion that there were also significant areas of common ground between both institutions on most issues. In his address the minister stated: “Ireland has set out an ambitious work programme aimed at delivering an agreed reform package for the CFP by the end of June. This objective can only be realised if there are good working relationships between the Parliament, Council and the Commission”.
Putting his views to the Members of the European Parliament, the Minister stressed that it was only in a framework, of cooperation and flexibility could the jointly held objective of a reformed CFP that places sustainability at its core be delivered in the lifetime of the current Parliament and Commission. “As politicians and legislators, we all have a responsibility to deliver a reformed CFP which builds and protects the fish stocks around our shores, ensures a sustainable supply of fish for future generations, and provides for a viable livelihood for our fishers and all those who depend on this valuable natural resource for their economic and social wellbeing”.
“The Parliament, Council and Commission are all strongly supportive of a new CFP that places sustainability at the core of the policy. I am of the opinion that in order to deliver a reformed CFP all three institutions will have to work innovatively to deliver the reform during the lifetime of this Parliament and the current Commission.”
The Minister acknowledged the challenges ahead and emphasised the importance of the EU Parliament, Council and Commission working together on all the issues including delivering on maximum sustainability yield, the elimination of discards and regionalisation.
Following an exchange of views the Minister sought support for his objective of achieving political agreement by the end of June in addition to acceptance of the need for a different and more effective way of working to deliver on what is a commonly held objective. He himself committed to working constructively with the Parliament on all outstanding issues.
Minister Coveney's address is also available for download: 130205 Minister Coveney Remarks to EP (CFP)