Davies: Irish Presidency accused of deceiving MEPs

Picture shows Matthias Groote MEP, Chair of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament (left) with Chris Davies MEP (right) and Bill the Cod.

The Irish Presidency will this evening be accused of deceiving MEPs over an issue key to reform Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The preparation of long term management plans for every fishery is seen as crucial to the rebuilding of depleted fish stocks.

But since 2009, EU governments have blocked negotiations on their preparation in an argument with the European Parliament over the terms of the Lisbon Treaty.

Ministers say that governments have the right to set annual quotas, but MEPs say the treaty gives them the power to set guidelines.

MEPs argue that the Ministers have in the past been responsible for allowing over-fishing and the decline in stocks.

Chris Davies, a British MEP who founded the cross-party Fish for the Future group, has been amongst those pressing for negotiations.

He claims that the promises by Minister Simon Coveney to engage with the Parliament on the issue have not been kept.

Ahead of tonight’s debate he said:

“It’s bad that we have had only finer words but no action from the Irish Presidency.  It’s worse that assurances have been given only to be broken.

 “The Irish Presidency should take a lead and get us around the table.”



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