This morning, the European Parliament adopted its position on a new set of rules meant to revise the Union Fisheries Control System. In general terms, the Parliament position improves the proposal from the European Commission modernising control and enforcement measures without penalising or creating excessive bureaucracy to fishers. Particularly positive were the changes introducing more flexibility on the margin of tolerance for weight estimates done by fishers on board and the exemption of engine power monitoring devices for fisheries subject to catch limits. However, there is a huge elephant in the room, the mandatory installation of cameras to control a failed EU policy, the landing obligation. In this context, Europêche hopes that governments address this “big brother” issue within the Council in the following months.
Yesterday, the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries voted on more than a thousand amendments on a new set of rules meant to revise the Union Fisheries Control System. In general terms, the Parliament position improves the proposal from the European Commission modernising and simplifying the control and enforcement measures adopted back in 2009 without creating unnecessary economic and bureaucratic burdens to the fishing industry. The sector appreciates these efforts although still some remaining issues in the Commission’s proposal must be addressed. In this context, Europêche hopes that the agreement found in the Fisheries Committee stands in the upcoming Parliamentary Plenary session.
Following a marathon meeting last night, EU decision-makers agreed on the new European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) as part of the package of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The new fisheries fund will cover the budgetary period 2021-2027 with a financial envelope of €6.108 billion (in current prices). Europêche welcomes the timely consensus on the new regulation before the end of the year as well as the simplification and flexibility offered by the new fund. However, the sector regrets the budget decrease.