The European Parliament has voted with landslide majority for an ambitious reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. I was really pleased with this result and the decision of the MEPs to choose the sustainable way forward.
Now, looking forward there are a few steps we need to take before we fully reach our goal. The Council, under the Irish Presidency, will finalize its general approach on the proposal: EU Ministers will have to agree on the details that are still under discussion and formalize their position.
Once both the legislators -the Parliament and the Council- have expressed their opinion, they will start negotiating – the so-called “trilogues”, together with the Commission – as from early March.
They will need to agree on ambitious and legally binding timelines to phase out discards to reach a sustainable level of exploitation of resources and promote regionalisation, provision of good scientific advice and effective control the implementation of our new policy. To achieve that we are already working for practical solutions to provide more selective gears to our fishermen, to solve the problems with the additional landings, to give incentives to the industry to cooperate.
The objective it to have an overall agreement for the reform by June.
I am fully committed to work with Parliament and Council to favor a smooth and swift decision.