Procedure : 2020/0275(NLE)
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Document selected : A9-0243/2020

Texts tabled :

A9-0243/2020

Debates :

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2020)0343

<Date>{07/12/2020}7.12.2020</Date>
<NoDocSe>A9-0243/2020</NoDocSe>
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<TitreType>RECOMMENDATION</TitreType>     <RefProcLect>***</RefProcLect>

<Titre>on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands concerning an extension of the Protocol on the implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands</Titre>

<DocRef>(11262/20 – C9‑0368/2020 – 2020/0275(NLE))</DocRef>


<Commission>{PECH}Committee on Fisheries</Commission>

Rapporteur: <Depute>François‑Xavier Bellamy</Depute>

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 SHORT JUSTIFICATION
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETS
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands concerning an extension of the Protocol on the implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands

(11262/20 – C9‑0368/2020 – 2020/0275(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the draft Council decision (11262/20),

 having regard to the draft agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands concerning an extension of the Protocol on the implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands (11271/20),

 having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 43 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), and Article 218(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C9-0368/2020),

 having regard to Rule 105(1) and (4) and Rule 114(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Budgets,

 having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Fisheries (A9-0243/2020),

1. Gives its consent to the 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 Cook Islands.


SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Cook Islands, an archipelago of 15 Pacific islands divided into two groups, have a population of about 15 000 (2011 figures). They have a special relationship with New Zealand whereby they share New Zealand’s currency and all Cook Islanders are entitled to New Zealand nationality. The fisheries sector accounts for less than 3% of the Cook Islands’ GDP. In value terms, its share has remained stable against a backdrop of GDP growth of 34%, meaning that its relative weight in the local economy has declined.

Domestic tuna catches are, for the most part, landed outside the Cook Islands. Those landed at the port of Avatiu on Rarotonga cover domestic consumption and exports to New Zealand and Japan.

The Cook Islands exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which borders Kiribati, Tokelau, French Polynesia, American Samoa, Niue, and high seas areas, extends over 1.98 million km2, which adds to the economic potential of the fisheries sector, but also entails problems as regards monitoring and control, since illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing is difficult to tackle over so vast an area in which resources are scattered so widely.

The Cook Islands have traditionally allowed vessels from other countries to have access to their EEZ. The agreements in question, however, were concluded on a private basis for purely commercial purposes and thus make it harder to build relations based on stock sustainability criteria. This has had a serious impact on the living conditions of coastal communities. Some tuna species have also been affected. 

Most of the purse seiners fishing in the Cook Islands fly the US flag. The reopening of a canning plant in American Samoa has brought new economic opportunities to the region. Longline fishing licences are held mainly by vessels from China and Vanuatu.

The European fleet operating in the region consists of purse seiners. Given that EU longliner catches have tended to be located in the warmer waters to the south of the Cook Islands and bearing in mind the requirements of the Cook Islands’ shark conservation regulations, there will be little interest in the future for EU longliners to fish in the Cook Islands EEZ.

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Cook Islands entered into force on 10 May 2017. The Agreement’s four-year implementing protocol has applied since 14 October 2016 and expires on 13 October 2020.

On 7 July 2020, the Council authorised the Commission to open negotiations with the Government of the Cook Islands for the conclusion of a new implementing protocol. As the negotiations have been delayed owing to the COVID-19 crisis, the Commission, in line with its mandate, negotiated, on behalf of the Union, an Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands concerning an extension of the Protocol on the implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands for a maximum period of one year. The negotiations were concluded successfully and the exchange of letters was initialled on 29 July 2020.

The aim of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters is to enable the Union and the Government of the Cook Islands to continue working together to promote a sustainable fisheries policy and the sound exploitation of fisheries resources in the waters of the Cook Islands, and to allow Union vessels to carry out their fishing activities in those waters.

To ensure the continuity of fishing activity by Union vessels in the waters of the Cook Islands, the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters should be applied on a provisional basis, pending completion of the procedures necessary for its entry into force.

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement is a strategic choice for the EU and the Cook Islands that will provide fishing opportunities for vessels flying the flags of Member States on the basis of the best scientific advice available, in compliance with the conservation and management measures laid down by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) within the limits of the available surplus.  The decision to opt for an agreement in this context is supported by the above-mentioned ex ante assessment carried out by external experts in June 2013. The assessment concluded that drawing up a protocol would be a better solution in the long term – for the sustainability of fish stocks, respect for workers’ rights, and the development of the two parties’ fisheries sectors – than direct negotiation between vessels and the authorities of the Cook Islands.

 

The Protocol provides for fishing opportunities for four tuna seiners. Taking into account the requirements under the agreements applying to the Western and Central Pacific (Kiribati and the Solomon Islands), the Protocol will enable Member States’ fleets to remain in their present operating environment and help to create a network of fishing opportunities that could bring benefits in the long run.

The annual financial contribution under the agreement is to be EUR 735 000 for the first and second years and EUR 700 000 for the third and fourth years, this being based on:

(a) a reference tonnage of 7 000 tonnes, for which the access-related amounts have been set at EUR 385 000 for the first and the second years and EUR 350 000 for the third and fourth years;  and

(b) support for the development of the Cook Islands’ sectoral fisheries policy, amounting to EUR 350 000 for the first, second, third, and fourth years.  This is in line with the aims of national fisheries policy, not least the Cook Islands’ needs both as regards support for scientific research and small-scale fisheries and as regards monitoring, control, surveillance, and measures to combat illegal fishing.

 

One point which the rapporteur would like to stress is that the contributions intended to support the development of the Cook Islands’ sectoral fisheries policy range between 47.6% and 50% of the total to be transferred, which, in percentage terms, amounts to a major contribution.

The rapporteur recommends that Parliament approve the extension of the Protocol, given its importance both to the Cook Islands and to the EU fleets operating in their waters.

Finally, the rapporteur stresses that Parliament must, at every stage, be kept fully informed without delay about procedures related to the Protocol or its renewal. 


 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETS (17.11.2020)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on Fisheries</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands concerning an extension of the Protocol on the implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands</Titre>

<DocRef>(COM(2020)0589 – C9-0368/2020 – 2020/0275(NLE))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion: <Depute>Valérie Hayer</Depute>

 

 

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The first and current Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Government of the Cook Islands (hereinafter ‘the Partnership Agreement’) was signed on 14 October 2016[1] for a period of eight years. 

The latest Protocol[2] setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Partnership Agreement was also signed on 14 October 2016 and expired on 13 October 2020.

 

The aim of the Protocol is to grant fishing opportunities to European Union vessels in the Cook Islands waters in accordance with scientific advice and the recommendations of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), within the limits of the available surplus. The aim is also to strengthen cooperation between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands, thereby creating a partnership framework within which to develop a sustainable fisheries policy and sound exploitation of fishery resources in the fishing zone of the Cook Islands, in the interests of both parties.

 

Pending completion of the negotiations on the renewal of the Partnership Agreement and its Protocol, the Commission, on the basis of an authorisation from the Council, has negotiated, on behalf of the European Union, with the Government of the Cook Islands an Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters extending for a maximum period of one year the current Protocol. The Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters was initialled on 29 July 2020.

The objective of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters is to enable the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands to continue to work together on promoting a sustainable fisheries policy and the sound exploitation of fisheries resources in the Cook Islands waters and to allow Union vessels to carry out their fishing activities in those waters.

The Union is deeply committed to ensuring sufficient economic opportunities for its fishermen worldwide, hereby extending the sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement with the Cook Islands.

 

The arrangements in force during the final year of the Protocol will be renewed under the same conditions for a maximum of one year.

The annual financial contribution from the European Union is EUR 700 000, based on:

(a) an annual amount for access to fishery resources for the categories provided for in the Protocol, set at EUR 350 000 for the duration of the extension to the Protocol;

(b)  support for the development of the Cook Islands’ sectoral fisheries policy amounting to EUR 350 000 annually for the duration of the extension to the Protocol. This support is intended to meet the objectives of the Cook Islands’ national fisheries policy under programmes for the sustainable management of their maritime fishery resources, including the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and the support for the artisanal fisheries sector, for the entire duration of the Protocol.

The annual amount for commitment and payment appropriations is established during the annual budgetary procedure, including for the reserve line for protocols not yet having entered into force at the beginning of the year.

The exchange of letters relating to the extension also lays down a pro-rata reduction clause in the event that the negotiations to renew the Protocol result in these being signed and subsequently entering into force prior to the expiry of the annual extension to which the exchange of letters applies.

 

******

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to recommend approval of the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands concerning an extension of the Protocol on the implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands.


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Title

Conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Cook Islands concerning an extension of the Protocol on the implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands

References

11262/2020 – C9-0368/2020 – 2020/0275(NLE)

Committee responsible

 

PECH

 

 

 

 

Rapporteur for opinion

 Date appointed

Valérie Hayer

8.10.2020

Discussed in committee

10.11.2020

 

 

 

Date adopted

16.11.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

36

1

3

Members present for the final vote

Rasmus Andresen, Robert Biedroń, Anna Bonfrisco, Olivier Chastel, Lefteris Christoforou, David Cormand, Paolo De Castro, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Alexandra Geese, Valentino Grant, Elisabetta Gualmini, Francisco Guerreiro, Valérie Hayer, Eero Heinäluoma, Niclas Herbst, Monika Hohlmeier, Mislav Kolakušić, Moritz Körner, Joachim Kuhs, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Hélène Laporte, Pierre Larrouturou, Janusz Lewandowski, Margarida Marques, Silvia Modig, Siegfried Mureşan, Victor Negrescu, Andrey Novakov, Jan Olbrycht, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Karlo Ressler, Bogdan Rzońca, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Nils Ušakovs, Johan Van Overtveldt, Rainer Wieland, Angelika Winzig

Substitutes present for the final vote

Mauri Pekkarinen

 

 


 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

36

+

ECR

Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Bogdan Rzońca, Johan Van Overtveld

PPE

Lefteris Christoforou, José Manuel Fernandes, Niclas Herbst, Monika Hohlmeier, Janusz Lewandowski, Siegfried Mureşan, Andrey Novakov, Jan Olbrycht, Karlo Ressler, Rainer Wieland, Angelika Winzig

RENEW

Olivier Chastel, Valerie Hayer, Moritz Körner, Mauri Pekkarinen, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds

ID

Anna Bonfrisco, Valentino Grant

S&D

Robert Biedroń, Paolo De Castro, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Elisabetta Gualmini, Eero Heinäluoma, Pierre Larrouturou, Margarida Marques, Victor Negrescu, Nils Ušakovs

GREENS/EFA

Rasmus Andresen, David Cormand, Alexandra Geese, Francisco Guerreiro

GUE/NGL

Dimitris Papadimoulis

 

1

-

GUE/NGL

Silvia Modig

 

3

0

ID

Joachim Kuhs, Hélène Laporte

NI

Mislav Kolakušić

 

Key:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstentions

 

 

 


 

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Cook Islands concerning an extension of the Protocol on the implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands

References

11262/2020 – C9-0368/2020 – 2020/0275(NLE)

Date of consultation / request for consent

17.11.2020

 

 

 

Committee responsible

 Date announced in plenary

PECH

23.11.2020

 

 

 

Committees asked for opinions

 Date announced in plenary

DEVE

23.11.2020

BUDG

23.11.2020

 

 

Not delivering opinions

 Date of decision

DEVE

29.6.2020

 

 

 

Rapporteurs

 Date appointed

François-Xavier Bellamy

20.10.2020

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

12.10.2020

2.12.2020

 

 

Date adopted

3.12.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Clara Aguilera, François-Xavier Bellamy, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Isabel Carvalhais, Massimo Casanova, Rosanna Conte, Rosa D’Amato, Giuseppe Ferrandino, João Ferreira, Søren Gade, Francisco Guerreiro, Anja Hazekamp, Niclas Herbst, France Jamet, Pierre Karleskind, Predrag Fred Matić, Francisco José Millán Mon, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Grace O’Sullivan, Manuel Pizarro, Caroline Roose, Bert-Jan Ruissen, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Peter van Dalen, Theodoros Zagorakis

Substitutes present for the final vote

Carmen Avram, Catherine Chabaud

Date tabled

7.12.2020

 

 

 


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

25

+

ECR

Bert-Jan Ruissen

GUE/NGL

João Ferreira

ID

Massimo Casanova, Rosanna Conte

NI

Rosa D’Amato

PPE

François-Xavier Bellamy, Peter Van Dalen, Niclas Herbst, Francisco José Millán Mon, Cláudia Monteiro De Aguiar, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Theodoros Zagorakis

RENEW

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Catherine Chabaud, Søren Gade, Pierre Karleskind

S&D

Clara Aguilera, Carmen Avram, Isabel Carvalhais, Giuseppe Ferrandino, Predrag Fred Matić, Manuel Pizarro

VERTS/ALE

Francisco Guerreiro, Grace O’Sullivan, Caroline Roose

 

2

-

ID

France Jamet

GUE/NGL

Anja Hazekamp

 

0

0

 

Key:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstentions

 

[1] OJ L 131, 20.5.2016, p. 3.

[2] OJ L 131, 20.5.2016, p. 8.

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