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EU-UK relations in fisheries

25-02-2021

The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union has brought significant uncertainty for the fisheries sector. Fisheries, and especially EU fishing rights in UK waters, played a prominent role in the recent negotiations on future EU-UK relations and ultimately became the final obstacle to reaching an agreement, being the very last point to be agreed. The new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, settled on 24 December 2020, marks an important milestone in the long history of fisheries relations ...

The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union has brought significant uncertainty for the fisheries sector. Fisheries, and especially EU fishing rights in UK waters, played a prominent role in the recent negotiations on future EU-UK relations and ultimately became the final obstacle to reaching an agreement, being the very last point to be agreed. The new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, settled on 24 December 2020, marks an important milestone in the long history of fisheries relations in the North-east Atlantic. The agreement maintains full access to waters until 30 June 2026, with part of the EU quota shares gradually transferred to the UK during this period. After 1 July 2026, access to waters will be decided by a process of annual consultations. The quota shares will remain stable at the 2025 level, and can only be changed with the mutual consent of both parties. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement ensures that fisheries and aquaculture products continue to be traded without tariffs, but non-tariff measures associated with the UK leaving the EU common market, such as certification requirements and customs controls, will involve slower and more expensive trade flows.

Support for fishermen affected by the eastern Baltic cod closure

22-02-2021

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Scientific advice published in May 2019 reinforced the concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, and estimated the stock to be below safe biological limits. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting from various environmental pressures, including a lack of ...

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Scientific advice published in May 2019 reinforced the concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, and estimated the stock to be below safe biological limits. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting from various environmental pressures, including a lack of salinity, little oxygen, pollution, high water temperatures and parasite infestation. In July 2019, as an emergency measure, the Commission imposed an immediate closure of the fishery, with the exception of a limited amount arising from by-catch. Subsequently, fishing opportunities for 2020 and 2021 were limited to by-catches. As recovery of the stock is not expected before 2024, the Commission issued a proposal in order to allow support for permanent cessation. After two trilogue meetings, the Council and Parliament reached provisional agreement on the proposal on 22 September 2020. The agreement extended the scope of the support to include fishermen targeting cod and herring in the western Baltic, due to the poor state of, and reduced fishing opportunities for, those stocks. The agreed text was adopted by the EP on 11 November 2020 and by the Council on 13 November 2020. It was published in the Official Journal on 30 November 2020. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: An analytical overview

02-02-2021

This EPRS publication seeks to provide an analytical overview of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), which was agreed between the two parties on 24 December and signed by them on 30 December 2020, and has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. The European Parliament is currently considering the Agreement with a view to voting on giving its consent to conclusion by the Council on behalf of the Union. The paper analyses many ...

This EPRS publication seeks to provide an analytical overview of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), which was agreed between the two parties on 24 December and signed by them on 30 December 2020, and has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. The European Parliament is currently considering the Agreement with a view to voting on giving its consent to conclusion by the Council on behalf of the Union. The paper analyses many of the areas covered in the agreement, including the institutional framework and arrangements for dispute settlement, trade in goods, services and investment, digital trade, energy, the level playing field, transport, social security coordination and visas for short-term visits, fisheries, law enforcement and judicial coordination in criminal matters, and participation in Union programmes. It looks at the main provisions of the Agreement in each area, setting them in context, and also gives an overview of the two parties' published negotiating positions in the respective areas.

Support for Baltic cod and herring fisheries

05-11-2020

During the November I part-session, Parliament is due to vote on approving a provisional agreement with the Council enabling financial support for permanent cessation of fishing activities under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for certain Baltic Sea fisheries. The agreed text extends the scope of the Commission proposal to include not only those fishermen affected by the eastern Baltic cod closure, but also cod and herring fishermen in the western Baltic who are faced with a major reduction ...

During the November I part-session, Parliament is due to vote on approving a provisional agreement with the Council enabling financial support for permanent cessation of fishing activities under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for certain Baltic Sea fisheries. The agreed text extends the scope of the Commission proposal to include not only those fishermen affected by the eastern Baltic cod closure, but also cod and herring fishermen in the western Baltic who are faced with a major reduction in fishing opportunities.

A Just Transition Fund for climate-neutral EU regions

13-10-2020

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030, and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The transition to clean energy will be a challenge for those regions highly dependent on fossil fuels and high-emission industries, in particular regions with a high level of employment in the coal sector. The new Just Transition Fund, complementing the existing cohesion policy funds, will provide support to address the social, economic and environmental impacts of the transition in the most ...

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030, and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The transition to clean energy will be a challenge for those regions highly dependent on fossil fuels and high-emission industries, in particular regions with a high level of employment in the coal sector. The new Just Transition Fund, complementing the existing cohesion policy funds, will provide support to address the social, economic and environmental impacts of the transition in the most affected territories. This paper looks at the new fund and its allocation mechanism; it focuses on the EU coal industry and the potential for clean energy solutions in a selection of coal regions; and finally, it gives an overview of the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by NUTS2 region.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2021-2027

06-10-2020

As part of the next EU budget framework for the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in order to continue the support to the common fisheries policy and the integrated maritime policy. The new fund would give the Member States more flexibility in the implementation of the priorities. Small-scale coastal fisheries and outermost regions would receive greater preferential treatment. Support for permanent cessation and ...

As part of the next EU budget framework for the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in order to continue the support to the common fisheries policy and the integrated maritime policy. The new fund would give the Member States more flexibility in the implementation of the priorities. Small-scale coastal fisheries and outermost regions would receive greater preferential treatment. Support for permanent cessation and temporary cessation would be supported under strict conditions. It further proposes increased support for international ocean governance and stronger synergies with other EU policies. The fund is also expected to contribute to the development of the blue economy and support the EU's climate objectives. In reaction to the coronavirus crisis, the Commission published in May 2020 a revised multiannual financial framework proposal, significantly reducing the budget cut for the EMFF as compared to its initial proposal. Both Parliament and Council have agreed positions on the proposal, and trilogue negotiations started in November 2019. An important area of discussion is subsidies to fishing vessels, on which both co-legislators want to go further than the Commission proposal. The next trilogue meeting is scheduled for 29 October 2020. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure

Marketing of and trade in fishery and aquaculture products in the EU

14-07-2020

The European Union is the world's largest market for fishery and aquaculture products, with a total value of extra-EU imports and exports reaching €26.6 billion in 2018. The consumption of fish in the EU exceeded 24 kg per capita in 2017, with the highest consumption levels in Portugal and Spain. In terms of production, the EU-27, excluding the United Kingdom, ranks sixth globally. This includes catches taken by EU vessels on the high seas and in the waters of third countries. The EU's self sufficiency ...

The European Union is the world's largest market for fishery and aquaculture products, with a total value of extra-EU imports and exports reaching €26.6 billion in 2018. The consumption of fish in the EU exceeded 24 kg per capita in 2017, with the highest consumption levels in Portugal and Spain. In terms of production, the EU-27, excluding the United Kingdom, ranks sixth globally. This includes catches taken by EU vessels on the high seas and in the waters of third countries. The EU's self sufficiency ratio of 43 % in fishery and aquaculture products is rather low. As a result, internal demand is primarily met through imports. To ensure the supply of fish to the EU fish-processing industry, import duties are removed or reduced for a number of fishery products up to a specific annual import volume. In addition, products can enter the EU market, at zero or a reduced rate of duty, from countries with which the EU has a free trade agreement in force, or from developing countries that can export to the EU under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). In addition to tariffs, fish imports are subject to EU food hygiene regulations, which set out sanitary and phytosanitary requirements, and the EU's common fisheries policy (CFP). The CFP requirements include EU marketing standards − covering freshness and size categories − and specific labelling requirements that go beyond those required for other food products, for example the obligation to indicate the catch area and the main fishing gear used. Other market areas regulated by the EU cover the support and organisation of professional bodies and exemptions to competition rules. On the one hand, most market intervention mechanisms, such as withdrawal schemes and reference prices, have been removed since the most recent reform of the CFP in 2013. On the other hand, the EU fishing industry now has greater responsibility in the management of supply and demand. The submission of yearly production and marketing plans has become an obligation for all recognised producer organisations.

Three critical issues in EU-UK relations

08-06-2020

Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) on 1 February 2020, the EU and the UK launched negotiations on a new partnership agreement, to come into effect at the end of the transition period, scheduled for 31 December 2020. The negotiations are intended to address nearly all the domains covered in the Political Declaration negotiated by both parties alongside the Withdrawal Agreement, including trade and economics, fisheries, thematic cooperation, and internal ...

Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) on 1 February 2020, the EU and the UK launched negotiations on a new partnership agreement, to come into effect at the end of the transition period, scheduled for 31 December 2020. The negotiations are intended to address nearly all the domains covered in the Political Declaration negotiated by both parties alongside the Withdrawal Agreement, including trade and economics, fisheries, thematic cooperation, and internal and external security. As far as negotiations on the future economic relationship are concerned, while the parties agree in principle on an exceptional zero-tariff and zero-quota comprehensive and balanced free trade agreement (FTA) aiming for as 'frictionless' trade as possible, they still disagree on major aspects of the economic partnership, especially fisheries and level playing-field (LPF) commitments. The EU wants the future agreement in the fisheries domain to retain the status quo as far as possible, including reciprocal access to waters in return for access to markets and quota-shares that are based on historical fishing patterns. The EU also insists that an effective LPF would ensure fair competition. After the third round of talks, which took place in May 2020, the UK's chief negotiator, David Frost, said that the EU proposal on fisheries was ‘simply not realistic’, and it was unacceptable that the LPF binds the UK to EU law or standards; if need be, the UK would aim for a less ambitious FTA. The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said that negotiating an FTA providing for tariffs would be far more time-consuming, and the EU would still demand the same LPF commitments because 'open and fair competition is not a "nice-to-have", it is a "must-have" '. Following the fourth round of negotiations, from 2 to 5 June, the positions therefore still seemed irreconcilable. However, the long stand-off in the earlier negotiations on UK withdrawal had seemed equally irreconcilable before the final agreement was reached and then ratified. One area in which the two sides did manage to agree in those negotiations is the financial settlement included in the Withdrawal Agreement. While that settlement is now being implemented, it had initially been seen as one of the more difficult areas of the withdrawal negotiations.

World Oceans Day 2020

05-06-2020

Every year, 8 June marks World Oceans Day, celebrated since 1992 and officially designated by the United Nations in 2008. Its aim is to raise global awareness of the crucial role oceans play in sustaining life on earth and our duty to protect its rich marine biodiversity and to use its resources sustainably. This year's specific theme, 'Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean', highlights the need for innovative solutions to deal with the challenges oceans are facing. World Oceans Day also offers an opportunity ...

Every year, 8 June marks World Oceans Day, celebrated since 1992 and officially designated by the United Nations in 2008. Its aim is to raise global awareness of the crucial role oceans play in sustaining life on earth and our duty to protect its rich marine biodiversity and to use its resources sustainably. This year's specific theme, 'Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean', highlights the need for innovative solutions to deal with the challenges oceans are facing. World Oceans Day also offers an opportunity to take stock of progress, globally and in the EU.

Support for the fishing and aquaculture sectors in the coronavirus crisis

15-04-2020

Measures taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, such as the closure of restaurants, open-air markets and limits on travel and tourism have had a strong impact on the food supply chain. Fisheries and aquaculture are among the sectors most immediately hit by the crisis. In order to alleviate the socio-economic impact, several measures have been or are in the process of being adopted by the EU. A number of emergency measures will help the fisheries and aquaculture sector, including increased ...

Measures taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, such as the closure of restaurants, open-air markets and limits on travel and tourism have had a strong impact on the food supply chain. Fisheries and aquaculture are among the sectors most immediately hit by the crisis. In order to alleviate the socio-economic impact, several measures have been or are in the process of being adopted by the EU. A number of emergency measures will help the fisheries and aquaculture sector, including increased possibilities for State aid and the introduction of support measures through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

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