Procedure : 2020/0274(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0244/2020

Texts tabled :

A9-0244/2020

Debates :

Votes :

PV 15/12/2020 - 2

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2020)0342

<Date>{07/12/2020}7.12.2020</Date>
<NoDocSe>A9-0244/2020</NoDocSe>
PDF 200kWORD 59k

<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 Islamic Republic of Mauritania on an extension to 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, expiring on 15 November 2020</Titre>

<DocRef>(11260/2020 – C9‑0372/2020 – 2020/0274(NLE))</DocRef>


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

Rapporteur: <Depute>Annie Schreijer‑Pierik</Depute>

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 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 Islamic Republic of Mauritania on an extension to 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, expiring on 15 November 2020

(11260/2020 – C9‑0372/2020 – 2020/0274(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the draft Council decision (11260/2020),

 having regard to the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania on an extension to 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, expiring on 15 November 2020 (11315/2020),

 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) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C9‑0372/2020),

 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 (A9-0244/2020),

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 Islamic Republic of Mauritania.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Background:

 

The Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with Mauritania provides significant fishing opportunities targeting demersal and pelagic species as well as tuna and highly migratory species for the EU fleet. It is the most important of the EU's current mixed fisheries agreements with third countries and it currently permits a maximum of 58 vessels to fish, from Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. It is part of a network of bilateral Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) that the EU has put in place in the Atlantic Ocean facing West Africa, namely with Morocco, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Ivory Coast.

 

In 2018-2019 the Commission carried out an ex-ante evaluation of a possible renewal of the protocol, which concluded that the EU fishing sector was firmly interested in fishing in Mauritania and that a renewal of the protocol would help strengthen monitoring, control and surveillance and contribute to improved governance of fisheries in the region. For the EU, it is important to maintain an instrument allowing a deep sectoral cooperation with a major player in ocean governance at the sub-regional level because of the size of the fishing area under its jurisdiction.

 

The protocol allows for fishing opportunities in the following categories:

 

* Vessels fishing for crustaceans other than spiny lobster and crab: 5 000 tonnes and 25 vessels;

* Black hake (non-freezer) trawlers and bottom longliners: 6 000 tonnes and 6 vessels;

- Black hake (freezer) trawlers: (black hake: 3 500 tonnes, squid: 1 450 tonnes, cuttlefish: 600 tonnes);

* Vessels fishing for demersal species other than black hake with gear other than trawls: 3 000 tonnes and 6 vessels;

* Tuna seiners: 12 500 tonnes (reference tonnage) and 25 vessels;

* Pole-and-line tuna vessels and longliners: 7 500 tonnes (reference tonnage) and 15 vessels;

* Pelagic freezer trawlers: 225 000 tonnes (may be exceeded by a maximum of 10%) and 19 vessels;

* Non-freezer pelagic vessels: 15 000 tonnes (deducted from volume under category 6 if  used) and 2 vessels.

 

 

Negotiations for a New FPA and Extension of the Current Protocol in 2019

 

In July 2019, the Council adopted a mandate authorising the European Commission to open negotiations to draw up a new FPA and protocol between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. At the same time, the mandate allowed the Commission to negotiate a limited one-year extension to the protocol implementing that agreement which set out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution, as it was due to expire in November 2019. The objective was to prevent an interruption in fishing activities if negotiations for the new FPA took longer than expected.

 

In November 2019, the EU and Mauritania therefore extended the protocol for one year, until 15 November 2020. The European Parliament (EP) subsequently granted its consent to this one-year extension, on the basis of a recommendation drawn up by Ms Aguilera (procedure number 2019/0210(NLE)), which was adopted in plenary on 13 May 2020.

 

Second Extension, Negotiations on New FPA and COVID-19 Pandemic

 

The EU and Mauritania held four rounds of negotiations on the new FPA between September 2019 and February 2020. However, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the rhythm of the negotiations from March 2020 onwards. Therefore, on June 26 2020, the Council authorised the Commission to negotiate a second extension to the protocol, for a maximum duration of one year. The two parties agreed such an extension on 7 July 2020. As was the case in 2019, the purpose of this extension is to prevent an interruption of fishing activities by the EU fleet, given that the current Protocol expires on 15 November 2020.

 

The EP is now called upon to consider granting its consent to this second one-year extension. This extension leaves both the current fishing opportunities, as detailed above, and the EU’s financial contribution unchanged. The EU’s financial contribution is EUR 61 625 000 for one year, divided up as follows:

 

 An annual amount for access to fisheries resources fixed at EUR 57 500 000.

 An annual amount for support for the development of Mauritania's sectoral fisheries policy of EUR 4 125 000, to help it meet the objectives of its national policy for the sustainable management of continental and marine fisheries resources.

 

Position of the Rapporteur

 

The fisheries agreement with Mauritania is of vital importance for the annual fishing plans of the pelagic fleets of EU Member States. The rapporteur recognises that extending the current protocol would be desirable. However, while recognising that this would be an advisable course of action, she warns both parties that extending the protocol a second time should not be used as a ‘wild card’ to make negotiations drag on longer than necessary and underlines the importance of finalising the agreement. She calls on the European Commission to continue the negotiations as soon as possible in order to be able to present a new FPA and protocol in the spring of 2021.

 

The rapporteur welcomes the progress made in drawing up a new FPA, in particular in governance-related issues. She asks the Commission to help Mauritania improve oversight of the private agreements it maintains, particularly those that may: allow vessels to enter forbidden fishing zones creating unfair competition, possible overexploitation of resources, violate the rights of Mauritanian workers or tolerate illegal, unregulated and undeclared fishing, as NGOs operating in these fisheries have reported. The rapporteur strongly supports the inclusion of a transparency clause in the future protocol, which would oblige Mauritania to disclose any agreement allowing foreign vessels access to its territorial waters. The country’s capacity to negotiate such agreements must be developed, in order to ensure a level playing field regarding compliance. There is a need for equal monitoring and enforcement of all pelagic vessels active in Mauritanian waters by the control authorities to make sure that the same conditions apply as to EU and other foreign vessels and that all resource exploitation is genuinely sustainable.

 

The rapporteur also asks the Commission to help the Mauritanian authorities in setting up effective monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) on the fishmeal industry, and with collecting scientific data on all pelagic fisheries and landing points, including the fishmeal plants. The absence of scientific data collection, of sound stock assessment and of effective fisheries management has resulted in overexploitation of most of the pelagic stocks in the area, with the exception of sardines.

 

Mauritania's small-scale fishing fleet must continue to enjoy preferential access to its resources, in keeping with the objective of ensuring food security in the area. The rapporteur urges the Commission to increase support for the local Mauritanian fishing sector as proof of the EU’s resolve to help develop fishing fleets in countries with which it has signed agreements, and its desire to export the model of environmental, economic and social sustainability that it advocates in its fisheries policy.

 

The rapporteur also urges the Commission to ensure that the protocol under negotiation provides for the possibility of unloading in ports outside Mauritania, therefore putting an end to unnecessary suffering of EU ship owners due to road transport blockades at the border with Morocco.

 

The rapporteur calls on the Commission to ensure that the improvements included in the current protocol, such as the removal of restrictions imposed on the Community fleet, are maintained. The provisions setting out and adapting fishing zones for the shellfish fleet and for small pelagic trawlers need to be stressed, and we need to ascertain whether fishing opportunities for black hake trawlers and bottom longliners can be improved in a manner compatible with the best available scientific advice.

 

It should be noted that the provision on the calculation of the number of Mauritanian crew that must be taken on board European vessels has been left unchanged. The rapporteur asks the Commission to maintain the ratio of 60%, and for crew involved in operating machinery to continue to be excluded from the calculation, thereby resolving issues associated with the dearth of suitably qualified Mauritanian seamen.

 

The current protocol also makes improvements for the fleet targeting highly migratory species, laying down conditions similar to those applied by other third countries, since monitoring and access arrangements have been harmonised with those laid down in the remaining tuna agreements. The rapporteur urges the Commission to maintain this improvement in the new protocol.

 

She also wishes to stress the importance of the rule requiring European vessels to donate 2% of their pelagic catches to the needy. These donations should continue under the future protocol with Mauritania. However, the Mauritanian authorities should not abuse it by selecting the most valuable species.

 

The rapporteur stresses that the provisions of the current protocol need to be improved, chiefly Article 1, designed to strengthen mutual trust and non-discrimination for the EU fleet by comparison with other foreign fleets, forcing the latter to comply with the same conservation requirements as those imposed on Community vessels. In order to guarantee greater transparency, Mauritania must continue to undertake to disclose all public and private agreements with third countries and to grant the European fleet priority access to available surpluses.

 

As for fishing areas, the rapporteur urges the Commission to manage small pelagics at a regional level, given that Mauritania shares these stocks with Morocco, Gambia and Senegal. Cooperation to work towards establishing a TAC, a sharing agreement and effective fisheries management measures is recommended. Joint research programmes need to be established whilst ensuring that efforts are made to implement them.

 

The rapporteur is pleased to hear that the new government of Mauritania has shown political will to reverse the current absence of effective, science-based management of all pelagic fisheries in Mauritanian waters. However, she also urges the Commission to offer EU support to realise this and to ensure that the new protocol maintains the balance achieved between fishing opportunities and the financial contribution. The cost-benefit ratio of the agreement with Mauritania, which have also helped improve the changes made to the technical measures, also needs to remain unchanged.


 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETS (28.10.2020)

<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 Islamic Republic of Mauritania on an extension to 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, expiring on 15 November 2020</Titre>

<DocRef>(COM(2020)0588 – C9-0372/2020 – 2020/0274(NLE))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion: <Depute>Bogdan Rzońca</Depute> 

 

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The current Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (hereinafter ‘the Partnership Agreement’) was adopted on 30 November 2006[1].

The aim of the Protocol is to grant fishing opportunities to European Union vessels in Mauritanian waters taking into account available scientific assessments, in particular those of the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF), and in accordance with scientific advice and the recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), within the limits of the available surplus. The aim is also to enhance cooperation between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, 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 Islamic Republic of Mauritania, in the interests of both parties.

 

The latest Protocol[2], amended twice (by the Commission Decision (EU) No 2017/451[3] and by the Commission Decision (EU) No 2017/1373[4]), setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Partnership Agreement entered into application on 16 November 2015 and expired on 15 November 2019.

 

Pending completion of the negotiations on the renewal of the Partnership Agreement and its Protocol, on 8 November 2019, the Protocol was extended for one year, until 15 November 2020, by an agreement in the form of an exchange of letters[5]. Negotiations continued in 2020 but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they would not be concluded on time in order to prevent an interruption of fishing activity for the European fleet operating in Mauritanian waters.

 

Therefore, the Commission, on the basis of an authorisation from the Council, has negotiated, on behalf of the European Union, with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania an Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters extending by another year the Protocol to the Partnership Agreement. The Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters was initialled on 7 July 2020.

 

The aim of the Exchange of Letters is to enable the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to continue working together to promote a sustainable fisheries policy, the sound exploitation of fisheries resources in Mauritanian waters and to allow EU vessels to fish in those waters.

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 61 625 000, based on:

a) an annual amount for access to fishery resources for the categories provided for in the Protocol, set at EUR 57 500 000 for the duration of the extension to the Protocol;

b) support for the development of Mauritania’s sectoral fisheries policy amounting to EUR 4 125 000 per year for the duration of the extension to the Protocol. This support meets the objectives of Mauritania’s national policy on the sustainable management of its continental and maritime fishery resources 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 having entered into force at the beginning of the year.

The exchange of letters regarding the extension also sets out a pro rata reduction in case the negotiations for the renewal of the Partnership Agreement and its Protocol result in their signature, leading to their application, before the annual extension covered by the exchange of letters expires.

******

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 Islamic Republic of Mauritania on an extension to 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, expiring on 15 November 2020.


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Title

Conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania on the extension 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 expiring on 15 November 2020

References

11260/2020 - C9-0372/2020 - 2020/0274(NLE)

Committee responsible

 

PECH

 

 

 

 

Rapporteur

 Date appointed

Bogdan Rzońca

23.10.2020

Discussed in committee

10.11.2020

 

 

 

Date adopted

16.11.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

36

2

2

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

 

2

-

ID

Hélène Laporte

GUE/NGL

Silvia Modig

 

2

0

ID

Joachim Kuhs,

NI

Mislav Kolakušić

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania on the extension 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 expiring on 15 November 2020

References

11260/2020 – C9-0372/2020 – 2020/0274(NLE)

Date of consultation / request for consent

19.11.2020

 

 

 

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

Annie Schreijer-Pierik

20.10.2020

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

12.10.2020

2.12.2020

 

 

Date adopted

3.12.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

2

2

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

 

 

23

+

ECR

Bert-Jan Ruissen

GUE/NGL

João Ferreira

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

 

2

0

ID

Massimo Casanova, Rosanna Conte

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

[1] OJ L 343 of 8.12.2006, p.1.

[2] OJ L 315 of 01.12.2015, p.3.

[3] OJ L 69 of 15.03.2017, p. 34.

[4] OJ L 193 of 25.07.2017, p. 4.

[5]  OJ L 297 I, 18.11.2019, p. 1.

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