Procedure : 2016/0192(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0321/2016

Texts tabled :

A8-0321/2016

Debates :

Votes :

PV 14/12/2016 - 9.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0492

RECOMMENDATION     ***
PDF 346kWORD 47k
10.11.2016
PE 587.521v02-00 A8-0321/2016

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway on reciprocal access to fishing in the Skagerrak for vessels flying the flag of Denmark, Norway and Sweden

(10711/2016 – C8‑0332/2016 – 2016/0192(NLE))

Committee on Fisheries

Rapporteur: Jørn Dohrmann

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 SHORT JUSTIFICATION
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway on reciprocal access to fishing in the Skagerrak for vessels flying the flag of Denmark, Norway and Sweden

(10711/2016 – C8‑0332/2016 – 2016/0192(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (10711/2016),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway on reciprocal access to fishing in the Skagerrak for vessels flying the flag of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (11692/2014),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 43(2) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a) (v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0332/2016),

–  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 its non-legislative resolution of [......] on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway on reciprocal access to fishing in the Skagerrak for vessels flying the flag of Denmark, Norway and Sweden,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Fisheries (A8-0321/2016),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the Agreement;

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 Kingdom of Norway.


SHORT JUSTIFICATION

An agreement on reciprocal access to fishing in the Skagerrak and Kattegat between Denmark, Norway and Sweden of 1966 entered into force on 7 August 1967. This agreement, which was supplemented by the 1980 bilateral fisheries agreement between the European Union and Norway, allowed for reciprocal access between the three countries to fish up to four nautical miles from their respective baselines in the Skagerrak and Kattegat. In addition, the Agreement established that, for the purposes of such fishing, the area in question was deemed as high seas. Thus the agreement regulated the relationship between the states both as flag States and Coastal States.

The 1966 agreement took into account the particular geography of Skagerrak and Kattegat in respect of fisheries and recognised that the historical rights to fish in this small area of seas of fishermen of the three countries concerned. For that reason, the 1966 agreement consisted of only three articles, the first of which defined the area concerned and the second defining the rights of access and the desire to harmonise technical regulations.

With the accession of Denmark and Sweden to the EU in 1973 and 1995 respectively, the Commission became responsible for the management of this Agreement on behalf of those two Member States. Consultations on the arrangements resulting from the agreement have been held in parallel with the consultations under the 1980 bilateral fisheries agreement.

The 1966 agreement remained in force for an initial period of 35 years until 2002 and was subsequently extended for two five-year periods until 2012.

In view of more recent developments in international fisheries law and, in particular, with the introduction of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement of 1995, Norway considered that the existing agreement was not in conformity with the current provisions of the Law of the Sea. Norway was particularly concerned with regard to the provisions on control. Moreover, they considered that the Agreement was not in harmony with the principles of normal Coastal State jurisdiction pursuant to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and did not correspond with modern conservation and management principles.

On 29 July 2009, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry formally informed the Danish authorities, the Depositary Government of the agreement, that they wished to terminate the agreement with a formal denunciation in accordance with Article 3(3) of the agreement. Consequently, the 1966 agreement expired on 7 August 2012.

Subsequently, Norway entered into formal negotiations with the Commission, on behalf of the European Union, with the aim of establishing a replacement agreement on reciprocal access to fishing in the Skagerrak and Kattegat area. This new Agreement was initialled on 24 October 2013 and signed on 15 January 2015. It is in conformity with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as subsequent related provisions in other agreements.

The new Agreement maintains the exclusive access granted to vessels from Denmark, Norway and Sweden to each other's waters outside four nautical miles from the baselines. It ensures continued reciprocal access for the two Member States and Norway to the respective waters of the other Parties in the Skagerrak and Kattegat area, whilst at the same time, ensuring sound conservation and management measures for fisheries in the area. Furthermore, it allows for control measures in harmony with the principles of normal Coastal State jurisdiction, as is already the case for fisheries in the North Sea.

Position of the Rapporteur

Traditionally, fishermen do not fish in certain waters: they fish certain stocks or for certain species and fish in the waters where those stocks or species are found and follow migrating species. This tradition predates the creation of states and the recognition of territorial waters and, much later, of exclusive economic zones.

The Kattegat and Skagerrak are typical examples of this. Swedish, Danish and Norwegian fishermen have fished jointly in these waters since at least medieval times for the same stocks. The fact that two of the countries have become Member States has not changed the principle that fishermen from the three countries should enjoy the historical rights to fish in the Skagerrak and Kattegat. It is of utmost importance that these historical fishing rights are respected.

The Common Fisheries Policy of the EU provides for a system for management of fish stocks in waters covered by it and is in this way supportive of the historical rights of fishermen. The Agreement adds to the support of the historical fishing rights in this area and will also be beneficial for the implementation of the reformed CFP in the Kattegat and Skagerrak.

The European Parliament should give its consent to the Agreement.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

9.11.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Marco Affronte, Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Renata Briano, Alain Cadec, Richard Corbett, Diane Dodds, Linnéa Engström, Ian Hudghton, Carlos Iturgaiz, Werner Kuhn, António Marinho e Pinto, Gabriel Mato, Norica Nicolai, Liadh Ní Riada, Ulrike Rodust, Ruža Tomašić, Peter van Dalen, Jarosław Wałęsa

Substitutes present for the final vote

Ole Christensen, Jørn Dohrmann, Francisco José Millán Mon

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