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Fisheries protocols

Question écrite de M. Nicolás GONZÁLEZ CASARES - Commission européenne

Question de M. Nicolás GONZÁLEZ CASARES,

Diffusée le 29 janvier 2024

Subject: Fisheries protocols

1. As the Commission explains, the EU currently has six ‘dormant’ agreements: Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Micronesia, Morocco, Mozambique and Solomon Islands. These are countries that have a fisheries agreement in force but no implementing protocol, which means that EU vessels cannot fish in their waters. In view of this, could the Commission explain what prospects there are for these dormant fishing agreements?

2. Moreover, 6 of the 13 sustainable fisheries agreements in place will expire this year: Cape Verde, Cook Islands, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Senegal. Could the Commission explain what it is doing to renew these protocols so to ensure that the Community fleet can continue to operate in those areas?

Submitted:30.1.2024

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 12 mars 2024

Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius on behalf of the European Commission (13 March 2024)

The Commission is fully aware of the consequences that so-called ‘dormant agreements’ have on the capacity of some EU fishing vessels to operate in the waters of certain third countries. The options considered include notably the renegotiation of these agreements or their termination. Nevertheless, each case is different, as is the level of interest of the EU fleet, and the solution pursued should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, both legally and politically.

Regarding the protocols to fisheries agreements that will expire in 2024, the procedures related to upcoming negotiations with these countries have already been initiated. These procedures include, among others, the production of an independent study, a Commission Staff Working Document and a recommendation from the Commission for a Council Decision to authorise negotiations (1). It is also the Commission’s intention to run the different negotiation processes as fast as possible once the Council authorises the negotiation.

1 ∙ ⸱ Commission proposal adopted for Cabo Verde (13.11.2023), Côte d’Ivoire (30.1.2024) and Guinea Bissau (17.1.2024), or the planned initiative has undergone

a public feedback period on the ‘have your say’ portal, for São Tomé e Príncipe (08.1.2024), and Senegal (29.08.2023). The evaluation study is ongoing for Cook Islands.

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