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Irish Fisheries Minister pushing hard for political agreement in difficult but decisive negotiations on CFP

10.05.2013, 16:25 GMT


Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, will present a revised 200 page text to EU Fisheries Ministers at a Council meeting on Tuesday seeking a new mandate to re-enter final negotiations with European Parliament on a reformed CFP.

Minister Coveney will use the revised compromise 200 page legal text resulting from formal negotiations with the European Parliament as the basis of negotiations with EU Fisheries Ministers on Tuesday. The objective is to get political agreement on a final compromise package to enable the conclusion of negotiations with the Parliament and the Commission on CFP Reform during the Irish Presidency.

Minister Coveney – “The Irish Presidency has made good progress in negotiations with the Parliament and has put an ambitious compromise package to Ministers for discussion and agreement in Council.”

Minister Coveney said:

“We need to remain aware of the considerable benefits which a reformed Common Fisheries Policy will bring, long term sustainability of our fish stocks and prosperity for our fishing industry and coastal communities”. The importance of delivering a reformed CFP is simply too important to fail. We must now redouble our efforts during the coming days in Council and final weeks of our Presidency to ensure that our early success in brokering agreement leads to an agreed substantial Reform of EU Fisheries Policy.”

The agreement of Council of Ministers to a package of compromises on these key political issues is crucial and while Minister Coveney believes Ministers are committed to ambitious reforms they are also conscious of the practical challenges fishermen may face in implementing the Reforms and the potential socio economic impacts in coastal communities if the Reform package is not well structured.   

Minister Coveney said that these decisive negotiations for agreeing a comprehensive reform of the EU’s CFP at the Council are likely to be very difficult given the significance for the next decade of what may be decided at the meeting.

The Minister said:

“The discussions in the Council in the coming days will be extremely difficult. I am asking Ministers to go beyond the very hard won agreement that was hammered out and supported by 26 Member States in Council in February. The Irish Presidency has made good progress in negotiations with the Parliament and has put an ambitious compromise package to Ministers for discussion and agreement in Council. We are under no illusions on how difficult it will be to get Council agreement to this ambitious package. I will endeavour in Council to keep the Council as united as possible in support of a Reform package which, if then agreed with Parliament, can bring about radical and substantial change to EU Fisheries Policy.”

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