Procedure : 2008/0093(CNS)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0278/2008

Texts tabled :

A6-0278/2008

Debates :

PV 09/07/2008 - 21
CRE 09/07/2008 - 21

Votes :

PV 10/07/2008 - 5.2
CRE 10/07/2008 - 5.2
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2008)0359

REPORT     *
PDF 206kWORD 324k
27.6.2008
PE 407.622v03-00 A6-00278/2008

on the proposal for a Council regulation on the conclusion of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for the period 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2012

(COM(2008)0243 – C6‑0199/2008 – 2008/0093(CNS))

Committee on Fisheries

Rapporteur: Carmen Fraga Estévez

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a Council regulation on the conclusion of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for the period 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2012

(COM(2008)0243 – C6‑0199/2008 – 2008/0093(CNS))

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council regulation (COM(2008)0243),

–   having regard to Articles 37 and 300(2), first subparagraph of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6‑0199/2008),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries and the opinions of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Budgets (A6‑0278/2008),

1.  Approves the proposal for a Council regulation as amended and approves conclusion of the agreement;

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

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2a) The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon will impose closer interinstitutional cooperation which, among other aspects, should lead to the European Parliament having greater and better access to all information relating to fisheries agreements, including during the negotiations on protocols.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 1a

A member of the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries shall attend the meetings and proceedings of the joint committee provided for in Article 10 of the Agreement as an observer. Representatives of the fisheries sector fishing within the framework of the Agreement may also attend these meetings.

Justification

Parliament has traditionally called for members of the Committee on Fisheries to attend the joint committees. With a view to the possible approval of the Treaty of Lisbon, under which Parliament will have to give its assent, reference should also be made to the possibility of obtaining more and better information as soon as the new protocol enters into force.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 4a

The Commission shall forward the conclusions of the meetings of the joint committee provided for in Article 10 of the Agreement to the European Parliament. During the final year of the Protocol's validity and before another agreement is concluded on its renewal, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report on its application.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 4b

 

In accordance with Article 30(3) of the Financial Regulation1, and in the spirit of the European Parliament's resolution of 19 February 2008 on transparency in financial matters2, the Commission shall publish annually on its website the list of individual end-beneficiaries of the EU financial contribution.

 

1 Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1). Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1525/2007 (OJ L 343, 27.12.2007, p. 9).

2. P6 TA-PROV(2008)0051.

Justification

This amendment includes more specific requirements for detailed reporting on end-beneficiaries of the financial compensation paid by the EU.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

1.        Introduction

The fisheries partnership agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania entered into force in 2006 for a period of six years. The fisheries protocol contained in that agreement applies from 1 August 2006 to 31 July 2008(1).

On 14 December 2007 the Commission proposed to the Council that the protocol be terminated(2), since the fishing opportunities were not being fully used, particularly those relating to category 9 for small pelagic species.

In February 2008 the EU fisheries ministers rejected the option of repealing the protocol, preferring to re-negotiate it. Parliament had also declared itself against repealing the protocol since this would pose a risk to the continuity of the agreement, and in its view the low take-up of some fishing opportunities was partly due to the fact that the current protocol had been inadequately negotiated.

2.        Proposal for a new fisheries protocol

The Commission then re-negotiated a fresh protocol that was initialled on 13 March 2008. Under this protocol, the duration has been increased from two to four years (1 August 2008 – 31 July 2012), whilst fishing opportunities have been cut considerably, by 25% for category 5 (cephalopods), by between 10% and 50% for demersal fishing and by 43% for category 9 (pelagics). In the latter case, fishing opportunities are dropping from 440 000 tonnes/year to 250 000 tonnes/year, whilst the cephalopod category will see a cut of 55% if the two previous years are taken into account and the reduction already applied in May 2006 is also included.

The financial contribution provided for in Article 2 of the protocol has been set at EUR 86 million for the first year, the same as under the previous protocol, EUR 76 million in the second year, EUR 73 million in the third year and EUR 70 million in the last year. Of these amounts, EUR 11 million will be allocated to development cooperation for the Mauritanian fisheries sector in the first year, and EUR 16 million, EUR 18 million and EUR 20 million in each of the following years. Even though it is not included in the articles of the protocol, an explanatory note in the text of the Commission proposal indicates that the difference by comparison with the sum that Mauritania would have received if the same financial compensation as in the current protocol had been maintained over the coming five years may, if conditions allow, be offset with a contribution from the European Development Fund (EDF) of EUR 40 million over the three years from 2009.

It is calculated that shipowners' contribution in the form of licences will stand at EUR 15 million per year, i.e. EUR 60 million during the period covered by the new protocol.

Furthermore, if the 250 000 tonnes/year fixed for category 9 (small pelagics) is exceeded, provision is made for an additional contribution of EUR 40 per tonne fished by comparison with EUR 15 per tonne under the current protocol.

The following table provides a comparison between the main features of the current protocol and the protocol that is to enter into force on 1 August 2008.

Fishing category

Average use of fishing opportunities 2006/2008

GT or maximum number of licences per licence period

Member State

GT, licences or annual catch ceiling by Member State

Category 1: Vessels fishing for crustaceans other than spiny lobster and crab

92.8%

9 440/9 570 GT

Spain

7 183/7 313 GT

Italy

1 .371/1 371 GT

Portugal

886/886 GT

Category 2: Black hake trawlers and bottom longliners

73%

3 600/3 240 GT

Spain

3 600/3 240 GT

Category 3: Vessels fishing for demersal species other than black hake with gear other than trawls

27.2%

2 324/1 162 GT

Spain

1 500/1 162 GT

United Kingdom

800/0 GT

Malta

24/0 GT

Category 4: Freezer trawlers fishing for demersal species

0%

750/375 GT

Greece

750/375 GT

Category 5: Cephalopods

64.3%

18 600/13 950 GT

43/32 licences

Spain

39/24 licences

Italy

4/4 licences

Portugal

0/1 licence

Greece

0/3 licences

Category 6: spiny lobster

63.9%

300 GT

Portugal

300/300 GT

Category 7: Freezer tuna seiners

22.6%

36/22 licences

Spain

17/17 licences

France

20/5 licences

Malta

1/0 licence

Category 8: Pole-and-line tuna vessels and surface longliners

44.8%

31/22 licences

Spain

23/18 licences

France

5/4 licences

Portugal

3/0 licences

Category 9: Pelagic freezer trawlers

35%

22/17 licences for a reference tonnage of

440 000/250 000 tonnes

Netherlands

194 000 tonnes

Lithuania

128 000 tonnes

Latvia

77 000 tonnes

Germany

15 000 tonnes

United Kingdom

8 000 tonnes

Portugal

6 000 tonnes

France

6 000 tonnes

Poland

6 000 tonnes

Category 10: Crab fishing

65.5%

300/300 GT

Spain

300/300 GT

Category 11: Non-freezer pelagic vessels

0%

15 000/15 000 GT per month, averaged over the year

 

 

3.        Analysis of the proposal

The rapporteur finds it hard to understand why, if the Commission was so critical of the previous protocol, to the extent that it proposed repealing it because the fishing opportunities that were being paid for were not being fully used, it has now negotiated another protocol in which drastic cuts have been made to fishing opportunities in practically all categories, even those that were fully used, and which imposes a number of other serious restrictions, such as a new two-month biological recovery period, whilst the financial contribution has been kept at the same level in the first year with a maximum 19% reduction in the final year of application.

The rapporteur would also like to echo the complaints received concerning the lack of dialogue between the Commission, the industry and the Member States in the final stages of negotiations. A good illustration is the criticism voiced by Europêche, which has pointed out that any protocol must not only as far as possible meet the needs of Community fleets as regards fishing opportunities, but must also contain technical measures that make it possible to take advantage of those opportunities.

With regard to the new biological recovery period in May and June that is added to the existing recovery period in September and October for virtually all fishing categories, it should be pointed out that this was a last-minute request on the Mauritanian side in the margins of the Joint Scientific Committee, which is the body responsible for settling such matters. The new recovery period was accepted by the Commission without first consulting either the industry or the Member States. The Mauritanian side provided a minimum of evidence in the form of its own scientific report, drawn up in just a few days (it is dated 5 March 2008) and containing an analysis of cephalopods only, even though the recovery period applies to virtually all categories.

The lack of rigour in the procedure might be considered acceptable in order to resolve a short-term problem, but the new recovery period is permanent and therefore places an additional burden on the fleets with very few arguments to back it up.

Furthermore, as far as cephalopod vessels are concerned, the recovery period does not apply equally to the Community and the Mauritanian fleets, since non-industrial Mauritanian vessels have a 15-day derogation, thus breaking the general rule that biological recovery periods apply to all fleets targeting the same resource, which is the best guarantee that the desired results will be achieved. Since the rapporteur believes that scientific matters must be handled with the necessary transparency and must be resolved by the appropriate bodies, she must express her disagreement with the lack of rigour in the procedure carried out.

Another serious problem affecting Community fleets in this fishing ground concerns boardings. Community fleets carrying out fishing activities have recently suffered harassment by the Mauritanian authorities. The increase in such incidents led the Commission to raise the matter in recent joint committees, on the basis that the Mauritanian authorities were not complying with the minimum requirements laid down in Chapter VII of the protocol, for example as regards the inspection report that the authorities are obliged to give to the skipper of the vessel.

This situation leaves the Community fleet very vulnerable, and the lack of guarantees in the Mauritanian justice system is forcing ship owners to settle boardings by paying fines so that vessels may resume fishing or the fish already caught can be salvaged.

Finally, the Commission and the Mauritanian side have agreed to set up a working party which will monitor all boarding procedures involving Community vessels for a six-month period. The rapporteur welcomes this initiative and hopes that from now on it will be possible to resolve these procedures in full compliance with the law.

A further aspect highlighted by the industry concerns the problems posed when technical measures are not clearly reflected in the protocols, since the fishing opportunities that have been negotiated are of no use if poorly defined technical measures make it impossible to fish. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the problem has arisen - and this is not the only fisheries protocol affected - and the rapporteur considers that, in future, the Commission should ensure that all the technical aspects are cleared up before initialling protocols.

In this case, one of the main problems concerns the dredging device known as ‘quisquillera’ or ‘rastrilladora’, which has been banned under Mauritanian legislation for only a few years. This ban is somewhat surprising, since the device concerned is not only widely accepted in international fisheries fora but is in general use by research bodies such as the Spanish Institute for Oceanography (IEO) in its scientific campaigns to assess crustaceans, since otherwise it is virtually impossible to catch them.

In response to this problem, the Joint Scientific Committee has agreed to carry out a scientific assessment and postpone its final decision until 1 November, until which date the Community fleet may continue to use this device.

More favourably for the crustacean fleet, the fishing datasheet for category 1 now includes, from 1 August onwards, the use of protective aprons, which are authorised under Article 24 of the Mauritanian Fisheries Code but which were prohibited for the Community fleet.

Reference should also be made to category 5 concerning the cephalopod fleet, for which the agreement with Mauritania has been the most important agreement since it was obliged to withdraw from Morocco’s fishing grounds. This fleet is also of great importance for Mauritania, since it pays the highest fees for fishing licences.

This fleet has been highly critical of the negotiations on recent protocols for some time, arguing that countless technical problems are severely hampering profitability and the take-up of fishing opportunities, to the extent that the cephalopod fleet has been gradually disappearing from the fishing grounds during the 18 months that the current protocol has applied, until on 31 December 2007 the decision was taken to tie up all the fleet that still remained, comprising 20 Spanish and four Italian vessels.

The basic problem stems from the minimum size of 500 grams laid down for octopus, which is the highest in the whole region: 350 grams in Senegal and 400 grams in Morocco. The Commission has rejected any possibility of making this measure more flexible, including the option of providing a tolerance of between 10% and 15% of catches between 300 and 500 grams. The Commission argues that it is awaiting a study that is to be carried out following the decision taken at the last meeting of the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF) on the desirability of setting a common minimum size for the whole region.

For its part, the scientific report drawn up by IMROP (Mauritanian Institute for Oceanographic and Fisheries Research) to support the introduction of the new biological recovery period, which focuses on an analysis of octopus, recognised that for industrial fishing size 8 (between 300 and 500 grams) may comprise up to 50% of the total catch in November, demonstrating the good levels of recruitment in recent years. It might also be pointed out that octopus is a typically opportunist species with a short life span of around one year, which means that good levels of recruitment are possible even if the spawning biomass is small in size.

It is therefore urgent to analyse and take account of the real situation for this species and the fishery and reach a reasonable solution within the Joint Scientific Committee in line with the direction set by the CECAF as soon as possible.

Finally, with regard to the distribution of fishing opportunities, it must be noted that the distribution keys arising from relative stability have not been adhered to in this category, since the Commission has decided to include two new fleets. The Commission’s argument is that these fleets had already obtained fishing opportunities under the protocol in force as a result of under-use by the Spanish fleet. Nevertheless, there do not appear to be any grounds for the Commission to assume that they will be under-used again before the process of applying for licences has even begun, and moreover, according to data provided by the Commission itself, these Member States have not used the new opportunities made available to them either.

To sum up, the rapporteur welcomes the fact that we will still have a fisheries protocol with Mauritania but questions the work done during the negotiations, when neither the industry nor the Member States were sufficiently consulted, resulting in a protocol under which fishing opportunities have fallen considerably while financial compensation is held at virtually the same level; key technical aspects affecting the main fleets have not been resolved and on the contrary, new restrictions such as an additional biological recovery period have been imposed in the margins of the Joint Scientific Committee; and relative stability has not been respected.

The rapporteur hopes that the four years in which the new protocol will be in force will offer a better framework for dialogue that will make it possible to resolve these irregularities so that future protocols will not suffer from the same shortcomings.

(1)

Regulation (EC) No 1801/2006 of 30 November 2006, OJ L 343, 8.12.2006.

(2)

COM(2007) 782.


OPINION of the Committee on Development (24.6.2008)

for the Committee on Fisheries

on the proposal for a Council regulation on the conclusion of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for the period 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2012

(COM(2008)0243 – C6‑0199-2008 – 2008/0093(CNS))

Draftsman: Josep Borrell Fontelles

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The European Union’s development co-operation policy and the common fisheries policy (CFP) must be consistent, complementary and co-ordinated, contributing, as a whole, to poverty reduction and the sustainable development of the countries concerned.

The EU has committed itself to ensuring the sustainability of fisheries worldwide, as defined at the United Nations 2002 summit in Johannesburg, maintaining or restoring stock levels with a view to producing the maximum sustainable yield.

The EU has accepted the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization’s "Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries", to promote long-term sustainable fisheries and to affirm that the right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resources.

The EU’s presence in distant fishing grounds is a legitimate objective, but it must be recalled that the interest of European Union's fisheries ought to be protected alongside the interest in developing the nations with which fisheries agreements are signed.

The European Parliament’s Development Committee welcomes the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly resolution of 22 June 2006 on “Fisheries and their social and environmental aspects in developing countries", in particular in so far as it considers that the protection of EU and ACP fishing interests must be coordinated with the sustainable management of fishery resources in economic, social and environmental terms on the one hand, and with the livelihoods of coastal communities dependent on fisheries on the other.

The European Parliament’s Development Committee further stresses the reference made in the ACP-EU Fisheries Partnership Agreement to the observation of the Cotonou Agreement; insists that full account must be taken of Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement on human rights, democratic principles, good governance and the rule of law, and welcomes the guarantees given by the Commission services to the effect that they shall take into consideration the content of Article 9 when negotiating agreements with developing countries, including non-ACP developing countries.

The proposed agreement will repeal and replace the Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania which entered into force on 1 August 2006.

The Protocol and the Annex have been concluded for a period of four years from the date on which the appropriate adoption procedures are completed. It shall be tacitly renewed for a further four years period, until 31 July 2012.

The fishing opportunities provided for in the Agreement have been laid down to cover eleven different categories allocated among Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and France.

For categories 1 to 4, 6, 10 and 11 the total maximum authorized capacity is fixed at 29 947 GT (gross tonnage).

For categories 5, 7, 8 and 9 the total of authorized licences amounts to 93.

The financial contribution under the Protocol is set at EUR 86 million, EUR 76 million, EUR 73 million and EUR 70 million for the first, second, third and fourth years respectively. Of this financial contribution, an amount of EUR 11 million, EUR 16 million, EUR 18 million and EUR 20 million for the first, second, third and fourth years respectively will be allocated to financial support for the implementation of the national fisheries policy and will include EUR 1 million per year as support for the Banc d'Arguin National Park.

The European Parliament’s Development Committee welcomes the referred link to national fisheries initiatives and hope that they may include the financing to local infrastructure projects of processing and marketing of the fish, thus allowing local populations to go beyond subsistence fisheries.

The European Parliament’s Development Committee also welcomes the fact that the agreement is partly based on an evaluation of local fisheries and that it fosters scientific and technical cooperation with local authorities. The above mentioned ACP-EU resolution considers that scientific resource assessment must be a precondition for access to fishing, and that an annual evaluation of resources must be a condition for obtaining further fishing permits.

The European Parliament’s Development Committee do not endorse the procedure adopted for this agreement because the European Parliament should have played a part in the negotiation mandate, which the Council would have given to the Commission, and should be informed of the development of the negotiations.

Parliament has been consulted about the proposed agreement only in May 2008, two months after the agreement was initialled, with the aim of coming into effect on 1 August 2008. Parliament should object and should assert that this procedure is not acceptable.

The Commission and the Council must reach an agreement on the conditions that would give the Parliament a real opportunity to be consulted. In the absence of such circumstance, the Committee on Fisheries should lead Parliament’s reaction to the present status quo, including the option of voting against fisheries agreements submitted under present procedure.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendment in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2a) The Community's financial contribution should be used for the development of coastal populations living on fisheries and the creation of small local fish freezing and processing industries;

PROCEDURE

Title

The fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EC and Mauritania

References

COM(2008)0243 – C6-0199/2008 – 2008/0093(CNS)

Committee responsible

PECH

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

DEVE

22.5.2008

 

 

 

Drafts(wo)man

       Date appointed

Josep Borrell Fontelles

27.5.2008

 

 

Date adopted

24.6.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Josep Borrell Fontelles, Danutė Budreikaitė, Marie-Arlette Carlotti, Corina Creţu, Nirj Deva, Fernando Fernández Martín, Alain Hutchinson, Filip Kaczmarek, Glenys Kinnock, Maria Martens, Gay Mitchell, José Javier Pomés Ruiz, Horst Posdorf, José Ribeiro e Castro, Frithjof Schmidt, Feleknas Uca, Johan Van Hecke, Jan Zahradil, Mauro Zani

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Manolis Mavrommatis, Mihaela Popa, Renate Weber


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (18.6.2008)

for the Committee on Fisheries

on the proposal for a Council regulation on the conclusion of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for the period 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2012

(COM(2008)0243 – C6‑0199/2008 – 2008/0093(CNS))

Draftswoman: Helga Trüpel

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The current fisheries partnership agreement with Mauritania was negotiated and entered into force in 2006. The accompanying protocol was for the two years from 1 August 2006 to 31 July 2008 and was to be renewed twice for periods of two years. Both the EU and Mauritania welcomed this important agreement, not least given the needs of the Mauritanian Government during the period of the return to democracy after military rule.

In December 2007, the Commission presented a draft decision to the Council for the denunciation of the protocol, given that the use by the EU fleets of the fishing possibilities was "non-optimal". Apparently there were certain segments of the EU fleets which, for various reasons, were not as interested in the agreement as they had been in 2006. The Commission also noted concerns over the biological status of some of the stocks being exploited.

The Commission insisted that, since the fishing possibilities were being significantly under-utilized, it had no choice but to denounce the protocol in the interests of financial responsibility, while trying to renegotiate a new protocol with Mauritania to allow fishing to continue.

This was a severe shock for Mauritania, coming less than 18 months after the protocol began.

The current proposal is the result and is intended to replace the existing Protocol. It should enter into force for two years on 1 August 2008 and, unless one of the parties decides to alter it again, be tacitly renewable until 31 July 2012.

As can be seen from the table, there are significant decreases in fishing opportunities for seven of the eleven categories of fishing; for the others, there is no change or, in one case, a 1% increase.

Fishing category

FISHING POSSIBILITIES Under existing Protocol

2006-2008

FISHING POSSIBILITIES Under proposed Protocol

2008-2012

Percent change

Category 1: Vessels fishing for crustaceans other than spiny lobster and crab

9 440 gt

9 570 GT

1% increase

Category 2: Black hake trawlers and bottom longliners

3 600 gt

3 240 GT

10% decrease

Category 3: Vessels fishing for demersal species other than black hake with gear other than trawls

2 324 gt

1 162 GT

50% decrease

Category 4: Freezer trawlers fishing for demersal species

750 gt

375 GT

50% decrease

Category 5: Cephalopods

18 600 gt

43 licences

13 950 GT

32 licences

25% decrease

Category 6: Spiny lobster

300 gt

300 GT

no change

Category 7: Freezer tuna seiners

36 licences

22 licences

38% decrease

Category 8: Pole-and-line tuna vessels and surface longliners

31 licences

22 licences

29% decrease

Category 9: Pelagic freezer trawlers

22 licences for a reference tonnage of 440 000 tonnes

17 licences for a reference tonnage of 250 000 tonnes

23% decrease in licences,

43% decrease in reference tonnage

Category 10: Crab fishing

300 gt

300 GT

no change

Category 11: Non-freezer pelagic vessels

15 000 GT per month, averaged over the year

15 000 GT per month, averaged over the year

no change

The financial contribution is set as follows:

 

Y 1

Y 2

Y 3

Y 4

Total

EU financial contribution

(EUR millions)

86

76

73

70

305

of which, for the implementation of the national fisheries policy

11

16

18

20

65

These figures compare to €86 million per year under the current protocol, of which €11 million was intended for the implementation of the Mauritanian national fisheries policy. Finally, EU shipowners' fees are estimated around €15 million per year if the possibilities were fully utilized.

Given the fragile status of some of the stocks being exploited (notably cephalopods and the small pelagic fish species) and although this does not lead systematically to a decrease in the level of catches, it is commendable that the levels of exploitation for several stocks is to be decreased, even if your rapporteur decries the brutal manner in which the Community forced Mauritania to the negotiating table.

There is a footnote in the protocol stating that budgetary support of €40 million could be made available for the three years from 2009 if the requisite conditions are met. Those conditions are not spelled out, nor is it clear whether this is additional money or already programmed.

If it is new money, then it is a positive step in the direction of decoupling the amount of money paid to a country and the amount of fishing allowed. Such a policy puts direct and serious pressure on the third country to allow over-exploitation of its marine resources.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 - paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. The Commission shall publish annually the list of vessels operating in each fishing category included in this Protocol.

Justification

To increase transparency of the expenditure of Community funds, the list of vessels operating under this agreement shall also be made public.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 4a

 

In accordance with Article 30(3) of the Financial Regulation1, and in the spirit of the European Parliament's resolution of 19 February 2008 on transparency in financial matters, the Commission shall publish annually on its website the list of individual end-beneficiaries of the EU financial contribution.

 

1 Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1). Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1525/2007 (OJ L 343, 27.12.2007, p. 9).

Justification

This amendment includes more specific requirements for detailed reporting on end-beneficiaries of the financial compensation paid by the EU.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 4b

 

Prior to expiry of the Protocol and before the beginning of negotiations for a possible renewal, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council an ex-post evaluation of the Protocol, including a cost-benefit analysis.

Justification

An evaluation of the current Protocol is necessary before negotiations begin in order to know what changes, if any, should be included in any possible renewal.

PROCEDURE

Title

The fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EC and Mauritania

References

COM(2008)0243 – C6-0199/2008 – 2008/0093(CNS)

Committee responsible

PECH

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

22.5.2008

 

 

 

Drafts(wo)man

       Date appointed

Helga Trüpel

20.9.2004

 

 

Discussed in committee

16.6.2008

 

 

 

Date adopted

16.6.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

18

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Reimer Böge, Herbert Bösch, Costas Botopoulos, Brigitte Douay, Vicente Miguel Garcés Ramón, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Ingeborg Gräßle, Louis Grech, Catherine Guy-Quint, Jutta Haug, Ville Itälä, Francesco Musotto, Cătălin-Ioan Nechifor, László Surján, Kyösti Virrankoski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Bárbara Dührkop Dührkop, Paul Rübig


PROCEDURE

Title

The fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EC and Mauritania

References

COM(2008)0243 – C6-0199/2008 – 2008/0093(CNS)

Date of consulting Parliament

21.5.2008

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

PECH

22.5.2008

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

DEVE

22.5.2008

BUDG

22.5.2008

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Carmen Fraga Estévez

5.5.2008

 

 

Date adopted

26.6.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

18

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Elspeth Attwooll, Marie-Hélène Aubert, Iles Braghetto, Niels Busk, Paulo Casaca, Zdzisław Kazimierz Chmielewski, Avril Doyle, Emanuel Jardim Fernandes, Carmen Fraga Estévez, Ioannis Gklavakis, Pedro Guerreiro, Ian Hudghton, Heinz Kindermann, Rosa Miguélez Ramos, Philippe Morillon, Seán Ó Neachtain, Struan Stevenson, Catherine Stihler, Margie Sudre, Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna, Cornelis Visser

Date tabled

27.6.2008

Legal notice - Privacy policy