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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Fisheries first item on the agenda of this year’s last meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council

By: UKOM

Negotiations on fishing quotas for 2022 are extremely important for fishermen from EU member states fishing in the Atlantic and the North Sea (and other seas) and in the waters of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Intensive negotiations are already underway. They will be very tense as they draw to a close, because difficult decisions need to be taken to limit fishing of fish stocks in poor condition.

An important topic of today’s meeting was the revision of the Union fisheries control system. The Slovenian Presidency has put considerable effort into this dossier. Since June 2021, the Slovenian Presidency met with the European Parliament at four trilogues and 13 technical meetings as part of interinstitutional negotiations. “Although this dossier has proved very difficult, the Slovenian Presidency has managed to finalise two of the three basic fisheries control system regulations covered by the proposal and about a third of the relevant provisions.” Dr Jože Podgoršek also commended the cooperation with the European Parliament and the European Commission: “We were attentive to the details, and the atmosphere was always very positive.”

While progress has been made in several areas, the Council Chair particularly highlighted the following:

  • a political agreement was successfully reached on the Regulation on the European Fisheries Control Agency,
  • negotiations were successfully concluded and a political agreement was reached on the part of the Regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (the IUU Regulation) regarding digital certificate management system,
  • an agreement in principle was reached on the definition of “fishing vessel” and the approach for referring to fishing and catching vessels throughout the Control Regulation,
  • significant progress has been made on the sets of definitions, fishing licences and authorisations, fisheries without a fishing vessel and national control programmes; most of the provisions in these sets are now agreed upon,
  • the priorities of the co‑legislators were successfully identified and clear guidance at technical level has been provided to ensure a seamless continuation under the French Presidency.

Minister Jože Podgoršek: “I am very proud of the outcome that the Slovenian Presidency achieved regarding this complex dossier. We have worked hard to find common ground and reach balanced compromises. I wish the French Presidency well and every success in their endeavours and offer them our support.”

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