Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 341

Posts Tagged ‘commission’

The Commission assesses the data collection framework for sustainable fisheries

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 31 ottobre 2020

In a recent report, the Commission assesses the implementation and functioning of DCF. The report presents the main players, tools and activities covered by the legislation since 2017. It stresses the operations and important features of the DCF, such as the end-user driven approach and the importance of the regionalisation of data collection. It also provides details on the level of implementation of the DCF.The DCF sets out a harmonised approach for collection of biological, environmental, technical and socio-economic data by EU countries for the fishing, aquaculture and processing sectors. Article 23 stipulates that the Commission shall submit a report on the implementation and functioning of the regulation to the European Parliament and the Council.The report concludes that DCF provides the appropriate structure, tools and flexibility for data collection in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, allowing them to respond to new challenges. The focus for the coming years should be on continued cooperation with EU countries and at regional level on solidifying the implementation of the regulation, including on addressing upcoming challenges (such as on sensitive species), addressing evolving data needs (as identified by end-users), streamlining and simplifying processes, and improving methods (such as integrating results of pilot studies and regional grants). The renewal of the delegated and implementing legislation beyond 2021 will play an important role in this process.

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Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2021

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 31 ottobre 2020

For 2021, the European Commission presents a proposal with 23 Total Allowable Catches (TACs). Following scientific advice, the Commission proposes for 13 stocks to decrease the fishing quota, while increasing it for horse mackerel in the Iberian waters and sole in Kattegat by 5% and 12% respectively. The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most of Europe’s commercial fish stocks in order to keep them in a healthy status or help them return to it, while guaranteeing the wellbeing of fishermen and women. Under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the EU Member States are legally bound to manage fish stocks at sustainable levels.Four TACs are delegated to a Member State, and four do not follow the calendar year (e.g. anchovy, sprat) and are already set until June 2021 or await scientific advice next year.The Commission also proposes to continue existing safeguard measures to ensure that the amount of cod in Kattegat recovers to safe levels. Following the advice received by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) that no targeted fishery should take place for this stock, the Commission will set a fishing quota for by-catches only. Fishers in the area must use selective gears that reduce or avoid cod by-catches, or electronic monitoring to prevent illegal discards.Today’s proposal also covers the Total Allowable Catches that will be decided in cooperation with non-EU countries, such as the United Kingdom and Norway, or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). International consultations for many of these stocks are still ongoing, as are the negotiations of the future EU-UK partnership, including on fisheries, and therefore the respective TACs are put as pro memoria awaiting the outcome of negotiations.Sustainable fishing has made substantial progress in the EU. In 2020, 62 out of 78 TACs are set at a level that allows a healthy future for the fish stocks’ biomass, while taking into account socio-economic factors (“maximum sustainable yield” (MSY), compared to only 5 out of 35 in 2009. Despite reduced fishing activity during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, preliminary results show that the sector remains profitable, with estimated gross profits expected to reach 1.5 billion EUR in 2020.The Commission proposal bases itself on scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). For stocks with a full scientific assessment, the Commission is proposing fishing levels in line with maximum sustainable yield (MSY). For stocks where less data is available, the Commission bases itself on the ICES’ precautionary advice. In cases where the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea advises no catches, the Commission either proposes a small fishing quota for a scientific fishery to ensure continued data collection, or limits the fishing to by-catches. In line with the provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy and the applicable multiannual management plans, this helps to avoid “choke” situations so that fishermen and women can continue targeting the healthy stocks.

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Baltic Sea: Commission adopts report on multiannual plan

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 4 ottobre 2020

Long-term trends that predate the MAP have a substantial impact on the evolution of the marine environment and the fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. The MAP’s implementation has decreased fishing pressure since 2016 and contributed to a moderately positive development in fisheries over the past years. Other environmental pressures beyond fisheries are having substantial effects on the health of certain stocks.“The report on the multiannual plan for the Baltic Sea clearly demonstrates the complexity of managing fish stocks in an environment with multiple and constantly evolving pressures. I have called the Our Baltic conference later this month to agree a comprehensive approach, so that we can turn around the situation in the Baltic Sea and put it on a long-term sustainable footing. We cannot blame the fishing sector alone, we must address various pressures on the Baltic Sea altogether”, said Virginijus Sinkevicius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.Overall, the Commission considers that the MAP has been helpful in implementing the common fisheries policy, notably for setting fishing opportunities. The MAP has made it easier to put in place flanking measures to help stocks recover, and without the MAP, quotas likely would have been set at a higher level. At the same time, the MAP has enabled flexibility for healthy stocks by allowing the use of the upper FMSY range to buffer severe reductions in quotas. Thanks to the MAP, all fisheries are now either managed in line with maximum sustainable yield (MSY) or measures are put in place to bring them back to MSY. Altogether, it provides a basis for the long-term profitability of the fishing industry.At the ‘Our Baltic’ conference hosted by Commissioner Sinkevicius on 28 September, decision-makers and experts will address the challenge of long-term sustainability in the Baltic Sea.

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Council’s budget conditionality “inadequate”, Commission’s report “a good first step”

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 4 ottobre 2020

The Civil Liberties Committee discussed the proposed conditionality clause on the rule of law, ahead of negotiations with Council, and the first EC rule of law report.On Thursday, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders debated with MEPs on the proposed clause to make EU funding conditional on respecting democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, and on the Commission’s first Annual Rule of Law Report, published on Wednesday.The negotiations between Parliament and Council on the final shape of the rules on conditionality to protect the EU budget should commence soon, following the adoption of the Council’s negotiating mandate on Wednesday. A relevant clause would be inserted into the next EU long-term budget to correct persistent shortcomings in relation to EU values in the member states.Almost every speaker who took the floor, including Parliament’s co-rapporteurs for the Multiannual Financial Framework Jan Olbrycht (EPP, PL) and Margarida Marques (S&D, PT), and the co-rapporteur for the rule of law conditionality mechanism Eider Gardiazábal (S&D, ES), criticised heavily the Council’s position. MEPs agreed that an effective conditionality clause is of utmost importance and that the scope of Council’s position and the definition of the rule of law in it are not fit for purpose. They were also adamant that the mechanism has to be based on reverse qualified majority voting.Many stressed that priority should be given to protecting the final beneficiaries of EU funding if such a mechanism is activated. Some speakers criticised the German Presidency for accusing Parliament of causing delays, highlighting that it has taken the Council years to agree on a common stance. Several MEPs pointed out that there is significant alignment between the Commission’s proposal and Parliament’s position, asking the Commissioner to work towards a viable conditionality mechanism in the upcoming negotiations.A few MEPs took a different approach, arguing that there is no legal basis for such a mechanism in the EU founding documents. The subsequent debate focused on the Commission’s first Annual Rule of Law Report, which aims to identify backsliding on EU values by establishing an objective, uniform review mechanism to monitor developments across all member states with the help of external experts and internal stakeholders. Most MEPs welcomed the publication of the report and commended its methodology and thorough approach, while pointing out that there is room for improvement after this first iteration. Comments revolved primarily around involving Parliament and additional independent experts in future versions, and on the practical impact of the tool. Many speakers argued that, once issues are identified, it is important that they lead to concrete recommendations, and to infringement procedures where appropriate.

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Changes in Commission: hearings to take place on 2 October

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 settembre 2020

The hearings of Mairead McGuinness – Commissioner-designate in charge of financial services, financial stability and the Capital Markets Union – and Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis – set to assume responsibility for the trade portfolio – are scheduled to take place on 2 October. Mrs McGuinness will be heard by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee from 9.00 to 12.00, where MEPs will evaluate if she is suitable to become a member of the College of Commissioners and if she is qualified to carry out the particular duties assigned to her.Mr Dombrovskis will be heard by the International Trade Committee from 13.00 to 16.00. The Committees on Foreign Affairs, on Economic and Monetary Affairs, on Development and on Budgets will be invited to participate and can ask one oral question each. Since he is already a member of the Commission, Mr Dombrovskis only has to answer questions on whether he is suitable for the portfolio assigned to him.Before the hearings can start, Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee examines the declaration of financial interests presented by Commissioner-designate McGuinness and Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis to confirm that there is no conflict of interests in connection with their future portfolio in the Commission. Both also have to respond to written questions addressed to them by the responsible committees.The hearings on 2 October will be followed immediately by meetings in which the Chairs and group representatives (coordinators) of the committees will evaluate their performances.On 5 October, the Conference of Committee Chairs will assess the outcome of the two hearings and forward its conclusions to the Conference of Presidents. The latter is responsible for the final evaluation and decision to close the hearings or request further actions, in its meeting on 6 October.The vote by EP Plenary is scheduled for 7 October.

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MEPs call on EU Commission to step up action against dangerous chemicals

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 3 luglio 2020

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee adopted a resolution by 65 votes to 1 and 14 abstentions, calling on the Commission to come up with a new chemicals strategy for sustainability that effectively ensures a high level of protection of health and the environment, minimising exposure to hazardous chemicals. It also says that further regulatory measures are needed to adequately protect vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly.The new chemicals strategy must fully reflect the precautionary principle and the polluter-pays principle, as well as being more transparent during the approval process. It should also encourage safe and sustainable alternatives to be developed in a competitive way, including through a clear commitment to securing funds for research.
MEPs believe there is a need to support the ‘one substance – one hazard assessment’ principle, to allow substances to be reviewed by only one EU agency to speed up and make chemicals regulation more consistent.The resolution calls for a comprehensive EU framework on endocrine disruptors (EDCs) to effectively minimise the extent to which humans and the environment are exposed to EDCs, and insert specific provisions into legislation on toys, food contact materials and cosmetics to treat EDCs like substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction.
It also calls on the Commission to heed the various calls of the European Parliament to improve the EU’s authorisation procedure for pesticides and accelerate the transition towards low-risk pesticides.MEPs call on the Commission to develop EU criteria for Sustainable Chemicals to provide incentives for sustainable chemistry, materials and technologies, especially non-chemical alternatives that are safe.MEPs also underline that there are harmful chemicals in recycled products and therefore call for the same rules that apply to new products to apply to recycled materials.The EU must also minimise and progressively replace animal testing through expanded use of new approach methodologies and intelligent testing strategies.The resolution, which still has to be adopted by Plenary, is Parliament’s input to the upcoming EU chemicals strategy for sustainability foreseen to be presented by the Commission this autumn. A draft roadmap was open for feedback until 20 June. It is part of the European Green Deal.An oral question to the Commission has also been adopted, asking what measures the Commission is intending to take under the chemicals strategy for sustainability and in particular, how the Commission intends to improve the functioning of REACH to close the regulatory gaps in EU legislation.

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Commission notifies the Republic of Panama to fight against illegal fishing

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 21 dicembre 2019

The European Commission has notified the Republic of Panama about the risk of being identified as a non-cooperating country in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.The Republic of Panama had already received a yellow card in November 2012, which was then lifted in October 2014.Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “Today’s decision confirms our determination to maintain the fight against IUU high on the European Commission agenda, and to ensure that results achieved under the IUU Regulation are long lasting ones. We hope that Panama authorities will swiftly step up their efforts and implement the necessary measures to demonstrate their commitment in the fight against IUU fishing. Fighting illegal fishing has been a fundamental part of the EU’s action to improve ocean governance over the last ten years, and this Commission will continue our fight against IUU fishing with a zero-tolerance approach”.Today’s decision is based on the identification of various shortcomings that constitute significant backtracking compared to improvements observed from 2012 to 2014. This undermines the country’s ability to comply with its duties under international law as flag, port, coastal and market state. Panama is encouraged to step up its actions to ensure adequate control over the activities of its vessels to prevent and deter them from engaging or supporting IUU fishing. In particular, Panama should ensure an effective monitoring of the activities of its fishing and fishing related vessels and an adequate implementation of its enforcement and sanctioning system. In addition, it should also ensure adequate implementation of the ‘Port State Measures Agreement’ in order to prevent fish stemming from IUU fishing activities from reaching its market or others, and to deter IUU fishing vessels from receiving port services. An adequate control of the activity of processing plants – especially those exporting to the EU – is of paramount importance. The yellow card is a warning and offers Panama the chance to react and take measures to rectify the situation within a reasonable time.

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Pour une Commission “géopolitique”… et médiatique

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 dicembre 2019

La nouvelle Commission est à pied d’œuvre depuis le 1er décembre. Cette actualité fait du bruit dans le Tout-Bruxelles et dans les chancelleries nationales, où l’on s’interroge sur la portée réelle du caractère « géopolitique » que s’est attribué le premier exécutif européen présidé par une femme. Mais au fond de nos chaumières, dans les zones pavillonnaires de nos villes moyennes, qu’en dit-on, qu’en sait-on ? En France, les journaux télévisés les plus regardés n’ont dit mot du vote d’investiture par les députés européens du collège des commissaires, qui s’est tenu le 27 novembre dernier à Strasbourg. Ce temps fort de la vie politique européenne qu’est la consécration démocratique de la Commission a été passé sous silence. Aujourd’hui, la légitimité la plus démocratique peut souffrir d’un manque élémentaire de résonance médiatique. Jouer dans la cour des grands passe aussi par la petite lucarne. Pour être sinon géopolitique, du moins influente dans le monde, la Commission von der Leyen doit accéder à ces leviers que sont les espaces médiatiques nationaux. Aux radios et télévisions de faire de la place à ceux qui font l’Europe. Comme nous le plaidons dans une toute récente publication, la réforme de l’audiovisuel public français à venir offre l’occasion de faire reconnaître que l’actualité européenne ne doit plus nous être étrangère. (Sébastien Maillard Directeur de l’Institut Jacques Delors)

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Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2020

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 31 ottobre 2019

Ahead of the 16-17 December Council meeting on Fisheries, the Commission has today adopted its proposal for fishing opportunities in 2020 for 72 stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea: for 32 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same; for 40 stocks the quota is reduced. The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most commercial fish stocks in order to keep or restore healthy stocks, while allowing the industry to profit from fishing the highest amount of fish.

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Baltic Sea: Commission proposal aims to improve long-term sustainability of stocks

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 2 settembre 2019

The Commission has adopted a proposal for fishing opportunities for 2020 for the commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea.
Based on the latest available scientific advice, the Commission proposes to increase fishing opportunities for herring in the Gulf of Riga and maintain the same levels for salmon in the Gulf of Finland. For remaining stocks covered by the proposal, the Commission proposes to decrease fishing opportunities.Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said: “Despite efforts by our fishermen and authorities, the situation of fish stocks in the Baltic is serious, particularly for eastern Baltic cod and western herring. In line with scientific advice we propose a prudent package to ensure that sustainable fisheries can continue in the Baltic Sea over time.” The proposed total allowable catches (TAC) are based on scientific advice from the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas and follow the Baltic multiannual management plan adopted in 2016 by the European Parliament and the Council.Efforts by fishermen, industry and public authorities had, in recent years, succeeded in rebuilding important stocks in the Baltic Sea. Where complete scientific advice is available, decisions on the Baltic fishing opportunities had succeeded in setting fishing opportunities for 7 out of 8 stocks in line with the principle of maximum sustainable yield (MSY), covering 95% of fish landings in volume. However, scientists have discovered that the situation was less stable than previously estimated. Decisive action is therefore necessary to rebuild all stocks and to ensure that they grow to or remain at sustainable levels, in line with MSY.The Council will now examine the Commission proposal, in view of adopting it during a Ministerial meeting on 14-15 October.

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Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 luglio 2019

The Commission has announced emergency measures to save the ailing eastern Baltic cod stock from impending collapse. Emergency measures will ban, with immediate effect, commercial fishing for cod in most of the Baltic Sea until 31 December 2019.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “The impact of this cod stock collapsing would be catastrophic for the livelihoods of many fishermen and coastal communities all around the Baltic Sea. We must urgently act to rebuild the stock – in the interest of fish and fishermen alike. That means responding rapidly to an immediate threat now, through the emergency measures the Commission is taking. But it also means managing the stock – and the habitat it lives in – properly in the long term.”The ban will come into force immediately and last until 31 December 2019. It will cover all fishing vessels and apply in all those areas of the Baltic Sea where the largest part of the stock is present (i.e. subdivisions 24-26), except for some specific targeted derogations. It follows measures that have already been taken by some Member States. Given that these measures do not ensure a uniform approach in all areas where the eastern Baltic cod stock is found, and that not all Member States intend to adopt national measures, the Commission has decided that further emergency action is warranted.
While this fishing ban is an essential immediate step to help protect this vulnerable stock, the Commission and Member States will revisit the need for longer-term action later in the year, when Ministers meet to decide on next year’s fishing opportunities. Scientists also warn of many factors besides fishing that threaten the stock and that need to be addressed separately, including a lack of salinity, too high water temperatures and too little oxygen, as well as parasite infestation.

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Commission adopts a report calling on EU Member States to ratify STCW-F Convention as soon as possible

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 aprile 2019

The STCW-F Convention sets standards of training for personnel on board of fishing vessels and is an important contribution to the promotion of safety at sea. It contains stricter provisions for vessels of 24 meters in length or above, but it also contains important provisions on basic safety training and watch keeping applying to all fishing vessels regardless of their size.In 2015, Council Decision 2015/799 authorised Member States to ratify the STWC-F Convention in the interest of the European Union, and encouraged them to do so by May 2017. Today, the European Commission adopted a report to the Council reviewing Member States’ progress in the ratification of the STCW-F Convention.The report shows that only nine EU Member States have become Parties to the STCW-F Convention (Belgium, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain).Ratifying and implementing international standards on safety and working conditions in fishing is of utmost importance to protect the lives of the more than 150 000 fishers in the EU and the livelihoods of their families. Therefore, Member States are encouraged to ratify the STCW-F Convention, without further delay.Fishing is one of the most hazardous professions in Europe and according to EMSA report on marine casualties and incidents of 2018, almost 60% of the accidents are due to human error.National regulations on occupational health and safety in fishing, when they exist, vary widely between countries. Moreover, fishing being an international sector, most of its regulatory provisions are set at international level with the aim of creating a level playing field.

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World Bank and European Commission promote blue economy through new tool

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 2 marzo 2019

The World Bank and the European Commission have launched the Blue Economy Development Framework (BEDF). The Framework is a novelty in the area of international ocean governance. It helps (developing) coastal states transition to diverse and sustainable blue economies while building resilience to climate change.
This transition starts with data and knowledge collection about the marine environment and ocean sectors. The first output of the BEDF will therefore be a comprehensive diagnostic analysis of the conditions that could enable or restrict blue growth. This can be ecological, economic or social factors, but it also relates to the policy and regulatory environment.The outcome of this diagnostic process will lead to a roadmap that assists governments to prepare policy, fiscal, and administrative reforms identify value creation opportunities from blue economy sectors identify strategic financial investments
In short, the BEDF will help coastal countries and regions to develop evidence-based investment and policy reform plans for its coastal and ocean resources. In 2019, the BEDF will be piloted in three coastal countries: India, Vietnam and Kiribati. Further potential regional focus areas are in the South Atlantic, South-East Asia, and other Small Islands Developing States. The pilot studies will generate important lessons for the growing community of blue donors around the world.

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Black Sea: Commission proposes sustainable fishing opportunities for 2019

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 20 novembre 2018

Bruxelles. The Commission has adopted a proposal on fishing opportunities in 2019 for the commercially most important fish stocks in the Black Sea. The catch limit and quota for the two species, sprat and turbot, are shared between Bulgaria and Romania.
The proposal is a roll-over from 2018 and is based on the scientific advice from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). It follows the multiannual management plan for turbot fisheries in the Black Sea, approved in 2017 by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).For turbot, the Commission transposes the GFCM multiannual management plan by proposing a catch limit of 114 tonnes, which will be distributed equally between Bulgaria and Romania, as well as a limitation of turbot fishing to 180 days per year and the complete ban over a 2-month period (15 April – 15 June) . These measures should allow for the recovery of this iconic Black Sea species.
For sprat, the Commission proposes to maintain a catch limit of 11,475 tonnes, of which 70% will be allocated to Bulgaria and 30% to Romania. The Commission’s proposal will be examined by the Member States at the December Council on Agriculture and Fisheries (17-18 December).

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Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 20 novembre 2018

Brussels. Today the Commission presents its proposal ahead of the December Fisheries Council where Member States should agree next year’s fishing quotas.The European Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and the North Sea for 89 stocks: for 62 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same, for 22 stocks is reduced and for 5 the Commission proposes new by-catch quotas at low level to reduce the fishing pressure.The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most commercial fish stocks that keep the stocks healthy, while allowing the fishing industry to profit from fishing the highest amount of fish. As the size of some key fish stocks is increasing – notably for Norway lobster in Skagerrak/Kattegat, Northern hake and Southern horse mackerel – so is the profitability of the fishing sector, with an estimated EUR 1.4 billion profit for 2018.Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Next year will be a milestone year for European fisheries. Our collective duty is to ensure a good transition to the full landing obligation as of 1st January 2019 while continuing our progress to achieve sustainable fishing by 2020. With this proposal, the Commission puts forward concrete solutions to advance on both fronts.”In order to put an end to the wasteful practice of discarding fish, as of 1st January 2019, the landing obligation will apply fully to all EU fishing fleets. This means that all catches of regulated commercial species taken on-board (including by-catch) are to be landed and counted against each Member States’ respective quotas. In today’s proposal the Commission has already deducted the amounts corresponding to the agreed exemptions to the landing obligation from the advised catches.Substantial progress can be observed in the EU with regards to sustainable fishing: 53 stocks are now fishedat Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels compared to only 5 in 2009 and 44 in 2017. This means that the fishing pressure on the stock is limited to a level that will allow a healthy future for the fish stock’s biomass, while taking into account socioeconomic factors. The Commission is working with Member States to support the fishermen in reaching the objective of having all stocks fished at sustainable levels by 2020, as set by the Common Fisheries Policy.Today’s proposal will be submitted for discussion and decision by the Member States at the December Fisheries Council on 17-18 December in Brussels, to be applied as of 1 January 2019.

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The Commission has adopted a proposal for fishing opportunities for 2019

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 settembre 2018

For the commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea.In particular, the Commission proposes to increase catches for plaice, Western cod, sprat, Gulf of Riga herring and the Main Basin salmon stocks. For the remaining stocks covered by the proposal the Commission proposes a reduction in catches.Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said: “We are proposing a balanced package that will ensure sustainable fisheries in the Baltic Sea. The good news is that important quotas for Western Baltic cod can be increased, after several years of hardship for the fishermen. The sacrifices are paying off as the stock is recovering. As per usual, the picture is mixed, as this year we will have to reduce the quotas for Western herring in order to make sure that it is soon in a better state.”The proposed total allowable catches (TAC) are based on scientific advice from the International Council on the Exploration of the Seas and follow the Baltic multiannual management plan adopted in 2016 by Member States and the European Parliament.Efforts by stakeholders in recent years have already succeeded in rebuilding important stocks in the Baltic Sea and in allowing that, where complete scientific advice is available, 7 out of 8 catch limits are set in line with the principle of maximum sustainable yield, covering 95% of fish landings in volume. But further action remains necessary to ensure all stocks grow to levels that allow for sustainable exploitation.The Council will now examine the Commission proposal, and European Ministers for Fisheries aim at adopting it during their meeting of 15-16 October.

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Commission sets direction for sustainable fisheries and launches consultations on the 2019 fishing opportunities

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 giugno 2018

Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Restoring the health of our seas and oceans is not a choice, it’s an imperative, and the EU must continue to lead by example. The laudable efforts of our fishermen over the last decade are starting to pay off: Many of our fish stocks, though far from all, are returning to sustainable levels. Yet, now is not a time for complacency. 2019 will be a crucial year for achieving our shared objectives. Working hand-in-hand – fishermen, industry, civil society and authorities – let us keep up the efforts and keep our ambitions high for our ocean. I look forward to working closely with all parties.” The EU’s Common Fisheries Policy sets the objective of reaching maximum sustain­able yield (MSY) as soon as possible and by 2020 at the latest. MSY contributes to the sus­tainable conservation of the stocks and allows for maximisation of fish supply from fishing. This in turn contributes to securing a profitable EU fishing industry and thriving coastal areas for the future – and to achieving good environmental status in European seas by 2020. Recent years have seen significant progress towards the CFP objectives, notably in northern and western waters, where overfishing has decreased considerably, whilst biomass has increased and in 2016 on average was nearly 39% above 2003 levels.By contrast, moving towards sustainable exploitation in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas remains challenging. This is largely due to the multispecies nature of fisheries, the fact that several fish stocks are shared with third countries and the low number of fish stocks assessed yearly by scientific bodies. While a small number of stocks are being exploited at sustainable levels – for example, deep-sea pink shrimp and red mullet in the south and central Tyrrhenian Sea – the average biomass in the Mediterranean does not show any improvement since 2003. Nonetheless, important efforts are deployed to reverse the situation, both at the EU level and with our international partners. These initiatives give way to cautious optimism. Only last week, Black with an ambitious 10-year action plan on sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. This followed on from the 2017 Medfish4ever declaration, which commits countries around the Mediterranean to restore fish stocks in this important basin.Over recent years, EU Fleet has also registered significant improvement in its overall economic performance, with record net profits of EUR 1.3 billion in 2016. Average salaries and labour productivity have also increased. The overall improvement in profitability coincides with an increase in the number of stocks fished at rates consistent with the objective of achieving MSY and an associated increase in the biomass of these stocks. This confirms that sustainable fisheries address not only environmental but also social and economic concerns.From 2019, the landing obligation – i.e. the requirement for EU vessels to avoid discards and bring to harbour all catches – must be fully phased in. This will be a key achievement in pursuing sustainable EU fisheries and important progress has been made. For pelagic fisheries and fisheries in the Baltic and Black Sea, the landing obligation is already fully implemented. For demersal fisheries, there has been an overall increase of the scope of the landing obligation in volume from 35% to 44% since 2017. In the Mediterranean, around 66 % of the total landings are currently under the landing obligation. In the Black Sea, since 2017, the landing obligation covers all catches of the species subject to TAC, i.e. sprat and turbot. But additional efforts will be needed to reach the agreed 2019 deadline. The EU stands ready to support fishermen in this process, including through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Likewise, the Commission’s recent proposal to improve the EU’s fisheries control system will among other things, facilitate the implementation of the landing obligation.

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La Commission enregistre une nouvelle spécialité traditionnelle de République tchèque

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 aprile 2018

La Commission européenne a approuvé la demande d’inscription du «Pražská šunka» dans le registre des Spécialités Traditionnelles Garanties (STG). Le «Pražská šunka» (Jambon de Prague) est un jambon élaboré à partir de parties de cuisses de porc parées, cuites et fumées. Sa production repose, depuis son origine, sur la sélection des matières premières et sur la méthode de salaison. La dénomination «Pražská šunka» est utilisée depuis les années 1860 pour désigner ce qui est l’un des produits les plus renommés de la République tchèque, et de Prague en particulier. Le label “Spécialité Traditionnelle Garantie” met l’accent sur la tradition plutôt que sur l’origine et désigne des produits dont la composition ou les moyens de production présentent un caractère traditionnel. Il s’agit du 5ème produit tchèque à être enregistré comme Spécialité Traditionnelle Garantie. Cette nouvelle appellation va rejoindre plus de 1425 produits déjà protégés dont la liste est disponible dans la base de données DOOR.

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State aid: Commission approves reductions on offshore surcharge for electro-intensive and railway companies in Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 aprile 2018

The European Commission has found German plans to grant reductions on an offshore surcharge to electro-intensive users and railways to be in line with EU State aid rules. The measure will contribute to the competitiveness of these companies without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. Following an amendment to the German Energy Act (EnWG), as of 2019 the costs of connecting offshore wind installations to the main electricity grid will be financed via an offshore surcharge (Offshore-Netzumlage), to be paid by electricity consumers. The amended German Energy Act also provides for reductions from this offshore surcharge for certain electro-intensive industrial users, as well as for railway companies. The reductions will confer an advantage to these companies, as it will lower their financial burden compared to other companies that will not benefit from them. The Commission has assessed the measure under both its Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020 as well as its Guidelines on State aid for railways undertaking and concluded that the German plans to grant reductions on offshore surcharges to electro-intensive users and railways are in line with EU State aid rules, because they will contribute to the competitiveness of these companies without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.

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Commission welcomes ambitious agreement on first ever EU legislation to monitor and report CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 aprile 2018

Representatives from the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the Regulation for monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data from new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), i.e. lorries, buses and coaches. This is the first ever EU legislation focusing on the CO2 emissions from these vehicles. The new rules are part of the EU’s Strategy on low-emission mobility and Communication on delivering on low-emission mobility laying out actions for a fundamental modernisation of European mobility and transport. Welcoming the political agreement, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “This agreement is proof of Europe’s firm intention to curb the growing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. I thank the European Parliament and the Council for their work to reach this ambitious outcome. With this new robust, reliable and transparent monitoring and reporting system, we are on track for the next step: CO2 emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles to be proposed in May 2018.” Accelerating the shift to clean and sustainable mobility is essential to improve the quality of life and health of citizens and contribute to the EU’s climate objectives under the Paris Agreement. The clean mobility transition offers major opportunities for the European economy and reinforces the EU’s global leadership in clean vehicles. Monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of new heavy-duty vehicles will also increase transparency enabling transport operators to make well-informed purchasing decisions and save fuel costs. It will also drive innovation amongst European manufacturers.

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