Procedure : 2015/0289(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0374/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 11/12/2017 - 17
CRE 11/12/2017 - 17

Votes :

PV 12/12/2017 - 5.1

Texts adopted :


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24 November 2017
PE 607.934v02-00 A8-0374/2017

on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008

(11382/2/2017 – C8-0358/2017 – 2015/0289(COD))

Committee on Fisheries

Rapporteur: Linnéa Engström



on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008

(11382/2/2017 – C8-0358/2015 – 2015/0289(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council position at first reading (11382/2/2017 – C8-0358/2017),

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 25 May 2016(1),

–  having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0636),

–  having regard to Article 294(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Rule 67a of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Fisheries (A8-0374/2017),

1.  Approves the Council position at first reading;

2.  Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the Council position;

3.  Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council, in accordance with Article 297(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

4.  Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.


OJ C 303, 19.8.2016, p. 116.


Texts adopted of 2.2.2017, P8_TA(2017)0015.


Following the adoption of Parliament’s first reading position by the plenary on 2 February 2017, informal negotiations started with the Maltese Presidency with view to reaching an early second reading agreement. After three rounds of trilogue, Parliament’s and Council’s negotiating team reached agreement on the file on 20 June 2017. The text of the agreement was presented to the PECH Committee for a vote of approval on 12 July 2017, and approved by an overwhelming majority. On the basis of the Committee’s approval, the Chairman of the Committee engaged himself in a letter to the Chair of Coreper dated 13 July 2017 to recommend to the plenary to approve Council’s position at first reading without amendment. Following legal-linguistic verification, Council adopted its first reading position confirming the agreement on 17 October 2017.

As Council’s first reading position is in conformity with the agreement reached in the trilogues, your Rapporteur recommends to the Committee to accept it without further amendments. Your Rapporteur would like to highlight in particular the following elements of the compromise:

The European Parliament and the Council agreed on a new legislative framework for the sustainable management of the external fishing fleets. The new regime sets out strict, transparent and harmonised rules for issuing and managing fishing authorisations to EU vessels fishing outside Community waters and to foreign vessels operating in EU waters. The existing Regulation has been revised in order to adapt to the new objectives enshrined in the new Common Fisheries Policy. It aims to improve governance, increase transparency, better monitoring and enforcement of the rules especially in certain cases such as direct licenses, transhipments or reflagging

One of the largely debated issue by the co-legislators was the definition of fishing activities. The Parliament wished to keep the existing definition which includes the activities of transhipment and landing. The final compromise was to make reference to the fishing operations instead of fishing activities, including all activities in connection with searching for fish, the shooting, towing and hauling of active gears, setting, soaking, removing or resetting of passive gears and the removal of any catch from the gear, keep nets, or from a transport cage to fattening and farming cages. The Parliament obtained provisions regarding prior notification and reporting of transhipments under direct authorisations and on the high seas.

Regarding the provisions concerning reflagging operations, the vessels which, during the five-year period prior to the application for an authorisation, have left the EU register and been reflagged in a third country then subsequently returned to the EU register will only receive the authorisation by the flag Member State if it has verified the vessel did not engage in IUU activities nor operated in a non-cooperating country or a third country identified as allowing non-sustainable fishing. The vessel must furnish its complete flag history while it was off the EU register.

Concerning, the very important issue of Fishing authorisations, the co-legislators agreed that every EU vessel fishing beyond EU waters would be required to obtain an authorisation by its flag member state. Authorisation will be based on a set of common eligibility criteria which include: - administrative information on the vessel, its owner and the master; - the unique vessel identification number issued by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) where this is required by EU legislation; - valid fishing licence; - proof that the vessel is not included in an illegal fishing (IUU) vessel list.

Regarding the Commission’s power to intervene in the process of withdrawal of authorisations, the agreement limits it to cases of contravention of measures adopted by RFMOs or under SFPAs.

As regards direct authorisations, the European Parliament successes include, among the conditions for fishing authorization by the flag Member State, the provision obliging the operator to provide a scientific evaluation demonstrating the sustainability of the planned fishing operations, including consistency with the provisions of Article 62 of UNCLOS.

Concerning fishing on the high seas outside the responsibility of RFMOs (Regional Fisheries Management Organizations), a scientific assessment demonstrating the sustainability of the proposed fishing is required, as well as requirement for the flag Member State to inform the Commission on the date, the geographical position and the area where the transhipment took place.

As regards control and reporting rules, the agreement includes the obligation for EU vessels fishing in third country waters under an SFPA to provide declarations of catches and landings to the third country (if so requested in the relevant agreement). The non-respect of this obligation would be considered a serious infringement of the CFP rules. The flag state will be required regularly to monitor whether the conditions on the basis of which a fishing authorisation has been issued continue to be met during the period of validity of the authorisation.

Finally, the Commission will maintain an electronic fishing authorisations register, for information exchange with the Member States. Part of this register would be publicly accessible, providing for the first time open access to information on the name and flag of the vessel, IMO number, target species and fishing zone.



Sustainable management of external fishing fleets


11382/2/2017 – C8-0358/2017 – 2015/0289(COD)

Date of Parliament’s first reading – P number

2.2.2017                     T8-0015/2017

Commission proposal

COM(2015)0636 - C8-0393/2015

Receipt of Council position at first reading announced in plenary


Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary







       Date appointed

Linnéa Engström





Discussed in committee





Date adopted





Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

Marco Affronte, Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Renata Briano, Alain Cadec, David Coburn, Richard Corbett, Diane Dodds, Linnéa Engström, Mike Hookem, Ian Hudghton, Carlos Iturgaiz, Werner Kuhn, António Marinho e Pinto, Gabriel Mato, Norica Nicolai, Liadh Ní Riada, Ulrike Rodust, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Remo Sernagiotto, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Isabelle Thomas, Ruža Tomašić, Peter van Dalen, Jarosław Wałęsa

Substitutes present for the final vote

Anja Hazekamp, Yannick Jadot, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez

Date tabled





ALDE Group

António Marinho e Pinto, Norica Nicolai

ECR Group

Remo Sernagiotto, Ruža Tomašić, Peter van Dalen


Liadh Ní Riada, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez


Diane Dodds

PPE Group

Alain Cadec, Carlos Iturgaiz, Werner Kuhn, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Gabriel Mato, Francisco José Millán Mon, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Jarosław Wałęsa

S&D Group

Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Renata Briano, Richard Corbett, Ulrike Rodust, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Isabelle Thomas

Verts/ALE Group

Marco Affronte, Linnéa Engström



EFDD Group

David Coburn, Mike Hookem





Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 29 November 2017Legal notice