Procedure : 2014/0319(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0196/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0196/2015

Debates :

PV 08/09/2015 - 15
CRE 08/09/2015 - 15

Votes :

PV 09/09/2015 - 8.6

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0302

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19 June 2015
PE 544.100v02-00 A8-0196/2015

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Madagascar and the European Community

(15225/2014 – C8–0002/2015 – 2014/0319(NLE))

Committee on Fisheries

Rapporteur: Ricardo Serrão Santos

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 SHORT JUSTIFICATION
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Madagascar and the European Community

(15225/2014 – C8–0002/20152014/0319(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the draft Council decision (15225/2014),

–       having regard to the draft Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Madagascar and the European Community (15226/2014),

–       having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 43 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), and Article 218(7), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8–0002/2015),

–       having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Fisheries and the opinions of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Budgets (A8-0196/2015),

1.      Gives its consent to the conclusion of the Protocol;

2.      Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Madagascar.


SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Context

Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the south-east coast of Africa. The country comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth largest island in the world), and several smaller islands. Madagascar's geological history has made it a vital repository of biodiversity, with 90% of its species being endemic.

The economy of Madagascar is based mainly on agriculture, livestock farming and fisheries. Its fishing resources are used for local consumption and are the basis of international agreements, of which this Fisheries Partnership Agreement forms part.

The Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Madagascar is based on the rules established under the management mandate of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and other internationally accepted rules.

The Fisheries Partnership Agreement proposed includes fishing opportunities for 94 vessels, of which 40 are seiners and 54 surface longliners of varying sizes. It sets a catch of 15 750 tons of hake in the waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Madagascar. In return for using this fishing area, the European Union will fund the fisheries sector in the Republic of Madagascar to around 700 000 euros annually and make another general contribution worth about 866 250 euros in the first two years of the agreement and 787 500 in the final two years. Overall, the agreement provides for a contribution of 6 107 500 euros from the European Union to the Republic of Madagascar over the four years of the current partnership agreement.

The vessel owners involved will make payments to contribute to the Madagascar fisheries observer programme and pay rates proportional to the fish caught. The contribution under the observer programme is 20 euros per observer day aboard.

The partnership agreement provides for the employment of seamen from the Republic of Madagascar or ACP countries. However, the agreement also allows vessel owners to pay a lump sum of 20 euros per embarking seaman.

This proposal arises from the interests of the European Union, the Government of the Republic of Madagascar and the vessel owners and is rooted in several working meetings between the partners involved and the data reported in several analysis documents requested by the European Union.

General opportunities for improving fisheries cooperation protocols

In formal terms this is a good partnership agreement for the fisheries sector. It specifies target species, the expected value of the fish, the amounts to be invested and the expected general return. The observation programme that should accompany the activity is also outlined and vulnerable and protected species are mentioned. The agreement sets out the broad lines for detailed scientific monitoring, including the possibility of carrying out experimental fishing campaigns.

Despite planned monitoring using an observer programme, which is positive, this involves only 10% of the European fleet. This is a low figure and it is important to make efforts to increase the coverage rate.

As opportunities for improvement, it is agreed that methods and technologies should be defined in Appendix 2 to safeguard vulnerable species, with particular emphasis on marine turtles, cetaceans and seabirds. The spirit that governs the activities of European fishermen operating in European seas, particularly with regard to the Regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, should be present in fisheries agreements with third countries.

In the same appendix reference is made to shark fishing, which must be discontinued if it exceeds the quota of 250 tons for these animals. This reference to shark fishing should be clarified.

At present, tropical fishing uses hundreds of fish aggregating devices per vessel in a completely uncontrolled way. Although they do not influence the total fish catch and allow faster capture of sustainably available quotas, these devices allow different tuna population age groups to be caught and influence fish migratory routes in ways that are not yet fully understood.

Several operational and adaptive management actions in this agreement are based on decisions by the Joint Committee, as provided in Appendix 2. However, the protocol does not refer to the composition of the Joint Committee, its mandate, the frequency of its meetings or the enabling legislation.

One of the biggest criticisms of the European Union fisheries partnership agreements is around the monitoring and evaluation of the benefits of specific investments in the sector. To counter this effect, fisheries partnership agreements should contain explicit and measurable targets and indicators to be evaluated at the end of them. Objectives such as increasing the autonomy of partner countries in the fisheries sector (e.g. increased numbers of local fishermen), a contribution to combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and the implementation of monitoring programmes (e.g. VMS or AIS) are issues that should figure more prominently within the partnership agreements.

Conclusions:

Although there are opportunities for improvement to be made in future fisheries partnerships, the rapporteur believes that this proposal should be approved. In terms of the monitoring of this Protocol by the European Parliament, it is proposed to the Commission that:

1.  it transmit relevant information to Parliament on the joint scientific meetings provided for in Article 7 of the Partnership Agreement and on the changes to fishing conditions provided for in Article 8 of the Partnership Agreement, other Joint Committee meetings, specifically the minutes and conclusions, the annual report on the effective application of the multi-annual support programme referred to in Article 6 of the Agreement, and other documents considered relevant;

2.  representatives of the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries, if considered relevant, may participate as observers at meetings of the Joint Committee to monitor this Agreement;

3.  it presents to Parliament and to the Council, during the last year of the Protocol's validity and before the opening of negotiations for its renewal, an ex-post evaluation report on its implementation, including an analysis of the extent to which fishing opportunities were used, a cost-benefit assessment of the Protocol and a report on possible constraints to fishing operations;

4.  check the fairness of the Protocol, including the sharing of benefits generated by European vessel owners.


OPINION of the Committee on Development (2.6.2015)

for the Committee on Fisheries

on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for by the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Madagascar and the European Community

(15225/2014 – C8-0002/2015 – 2014/0319(NLE))

Rapporteur: Louis Michel

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

This agreement and the protocol thereto must comply with the new regulation governing the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which places emphasis on sustainable fisheries and good governance. The importance of policy consistency between the CFP and the EU's development cooperation objectives is acknowledged.

The partnership arrangements under the agreement are intended to promote the responsible exploitation of Madagascar's fishery resources, providing an opportunity to boost economic growth, improve the human rights situation and conditions for workers (and for women in particular) and eradicate illegal child labour in this area.

The EU ought to encourage its vessel operators to hire local fishermen and land their catches in Madagascar for processing. In line with good-governance and transparency rules, vessels must comply with annual-declaration requirements. A joint EU-Madagascar fisheries committee ought to consider the impact of the partnership arrangements.

The rapporteur welcomes the fact that EUR 700 000 is to be allocated annually by way of sectoral fisheries policy support That amount ought to be used to support projects for scientific research, control and monitoring operations to combat illegal fishing, sustainable management of fish stocks and promotion of non-industrial fishing, which is essential for food security. Madagascar will need to step up efforts to ensure that the financial contribution is managed transparently.

The rapporteur regards the agreement as an opportunity for the EU to encourage Madagascar to abide by the Cotonou Agreement, and in particular Article 9 thereof on human rights, democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance.

******

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to recommend that Parliament give its consent to the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for by the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Madagascar and the European Community.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

1.6.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Ignazio Corrao, Charles Goerens, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Heidi Hautala, Maria Heubuch, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Norbert Neuser, Maurice Ponga, Cristian Dan Preda, Elly Schlein, Pedro Silva Pereira, Davor Ivo Stier, Paavo Väyrynen, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Anna Záborská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Bernd Lucke, Louis-Joseph Manscour, Paul Rübig, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Miguel Urbán Crespo, Dennis de Jong


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (7.5.2015)

for the Committee on Fisheries

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Madagascar and the European Community

(15225/2014 – C8-0002/2015 – 2014/0319(NLE))

Rapporteur: Jean-Paul Denanot

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

On the basis of the powers conferred on it by the Council, the European Commission has conducted negotiations with Madagascar with a view to renewing the Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and this country.

At the end of the negotiations a new draft protocol was initialled by the negotiators on 19 June 2014. The new Protocol covers a period of four years from the date of provisional application – i.e. from the date of its signature and 1 January 2015 at the earliest.

The primary objective of the Protocol to the Agreement is to grant fishing opportunities to EU vessels in the fishing zone of the Republic of Madagascar, in line with the management measures adopted by the relevant Regional Fisheries Management Organisation, namely the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and where relevant, in keeping within the limits of the available surplus.

The general objective is to enhance cooperation between the European Union and Madagascar, thereby creating a partnership framework within which to develop a sustainable fisheries policy and sound exploitation of fishery resources in the fishing zone of Madagascar, in the interests of both parties.

BUDGETARY IMPLICATION: the total financial envelope allocated to this Protocol amounts to EUR 6.602 million from 2015 to 2018, including administrative management costs and human resources.

The annual financial contribution:

EUR 1 566 250 for each of the first two years

EUR 1 487 500 for each of the following two years

Based on:

•a reference tonnage of 15 750 tonnes linked to access, for an annual amount of EUR 866 250 for each of the first two years of the Protocol and EUR 787 500 for each of the following two years;

•support for the development of the sectorial fisheries policy of Madagascar, amounting to EUR 700 000 per year. This support meets the objectives of the national fisheries policy and in particular the needs of the Republic of Madagascar in the fight against illegal fishing.

In the event of the annual amount of catches of the species referred to the Protocol exceeds the reference tonnage of 15 750 tonnes, the amount of the annual financial contribution shall be increased by EUR 55 during the first two years of the Protocol, and EUR 50 during the last two years for each additional tonne caught.

However, the annual amount paid by the European Union in respect of access to Madagascar’s fishing zone shall not be more than twice the amount of the tonnage reference for the corresponding year. If the amounts caught by European Union vessels in Madagascar’s fishing zone exceed a quantity corresponding to twice that total annual amount, the amount due in respect of the quantity exceeding that limit shall be paid the following year.

******

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to recommend that Parliament give its consent to the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Madagascar and the European Community.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.5.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

1

2

Members present for the final vote

Jean Arthuis, Lefteris Christoforou, Jean-Paul Denanot, Gérard Deprez, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Iris Hoffmann, Monika Hohlmeier, Carlos Iturgaiz, Bernd Kölmel, Vladimír Maňka, Ernest Maragall, Siegfried Mureșan, Victor Negrescu, Liadh Ní Riada, Jan Olbrycht, Paul Rübig, Patricija Šulin, Eleftherios Synadinos, Paul Tang, Indrek Tarand, Inese Vaidere, Marco Valli, Monika Vana, Daniele Viotti, Marco Zanni

Substitutes present for the final vote

Andrey Novakov, Claudia Tapardel, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Tomáš Zdechovský

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Emilian Pavel


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

17.6.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

17

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Renata Briano, Alain Cadec, Richard Corbett, Diane Dodds, Linnéa Engström, João Ferreira, Raymond Finch, Ian Hudghton, Carlos Iturgaiz, Werner Kuhn, António Marinho e Pinto, Gabriel Mato, Ulrike Rodust, Remo Sernagiotto, Peter van Dalen, Jarosław Wałęsa

Substitutes present for the final vote

José Blanco López, Marek Józef Gróbarczyk, Francisco José Millán Mon

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Tim Aker

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