Commission proposal to extend fisheries partnership agreement protocol with Morocco for one year
The Commission adopted on 11 February, a proposal for a draft negotiating mandate, addressed to the Council for a transitional, time-limited renewal of the Fisheries Parrtnership Agreement Protocol, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to EC.
The draft mandate foresees more specifically an extension of the current Protocol for one year, whilst normally protocols of this type last for more than three to four years. The renewal is subject to a review of fishing opportunities in the light of scientific advice, as well as a regular reporting on the implementation of sectoral policy measures under the Protocol, including its regional impact. This one year period will be used to asses the data and information obtained from the Moroccan authorities about the regional impacts of the protocol and to define next steps.
Context and state of play
- The protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement - which determines fishing zones and maximum effort or catch quantities, as well as the EU's financial contribution - expire on 27 February 2011.
- The FPA Agreement is automatically renewed for another four years at that date, unless it is terminated. Termination may occur either by consent of both Parties or in accordance with the termination procedure foreseen in the Agreement itself.
- The Protocol is not renewable as such. For the renewal of the protocol, regular procedures for the conclusion of an international agreement need to be followed.
- If the draft mandate is adopted by Council, the Commission will enter into negotiations with Morocco. The agreed text is then initialled by both Parties (by the Commission on behalf of the EU).
- On the basis of the initialled text, the Commission submits proposals for decisions (a) on conclusion and (b) on signature and provisional application of the Protocol.
- When Council has adopted the decision on signature and provisional application, and Morocco has also signed the Protocol, it can be provisionally applied and fishing activities can resume.
- The decision on conclusion needs to be endorsed by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament needs to give its consent.