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Parliamentary questions
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4 February 2019
Question for written answer P-000675-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Annie Schreijer-Pierik (PPE)

 Subject:  Licences for pulse fishing
 Answer in writing 

In a letter(1) leaked to an anti-fishing action group from Paris which disseminates fake news and intimidates parliamentarians, an official at the Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries writes that that DG intends to propose to the College of Commissioners initiating formal infringement proceedings against the Netherlands on account of the licences it has granted.

1. Is the Commission unaware that the pulse trawl licences were notified and were granted solely on the basis of existing European legislation(2) approved by the Commission itself, the Member States and Parliament?

2. Is it customary practice for an official from a Directorate-General to inform an action group about proposed infringement proceedings before the College of Commissioners has decided on the matter and before the relevant Member State or Parliament has been informed?

3. By announcing the launching of infringement proceedings against the Netherlands, has not the Directorate-General contradicted its own proposal(3) to allow unrestricted pulse fishing in ICES divisions IVb and IVc due to its environmental, marine and climate benefits, as well as the positive opinion(4) delivered by ICES, and in doing so, is not the Commission itself arbitrarily prejudicing any further implementation of existing European legislation serving as the basis for these licences, as well as contradicting the Commission’s own answer to a previous parliamentary question(5)?

(1)ARES (2019)601382.
(2)Articles 31a and 43 of Regulation 850/1998 and Article 4 of Regulation 1380/2013, the last of which does not lay down any maximum size or scale for these pilot projects, as emphasised by Commissioner Damanaki on 22 May 2014 in an answer to a parliamentary written question (P-004225/2014).
(4)Of 30 May 2018. https://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2018/Special_requests/nl.2018.08.pdf
(5)By Commissioner Damanaki, responsible for fisheries, on 22 May 2014 in a reply to a parliamentary written question (P-004225/2014).

Original language of question: NL 
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