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Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy high on the EU's agenda

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European Fisheries ministers and stakeholders alike will be discussing the future shape of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy at two major events in Spain over the next days.

On 2 and 3 May, in La Coruña, the European Commission and the Spanish Presidency are organising a large stakeholder conference on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

On 4 and 5 May, an Informal Council of Fisheries Ministers organised by the Spanish Presidency will take place in Vigo. Maria Damanaki, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner, will represent the Commission at the Informal Council meeting.

At both events, the Commission will present the results of the public consultation on the reform of the common fisheries policy held last year. Participants will review the options emerging from the consultation and shape the basic policy orientations for the future.

In 2008 the EU launched a radical reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The first step of this process was a Green Paper by the Commission initiating a general discussion on the future of the CFP. During the public consultation, between April and December 2009, over 1700 opinions were received and they have been now summarized in a Report.

At this point, a second step of the process consists in reviewing the results and distilling them, with institutions, administrations, stakeholders and experts, into definite suggestions and trends for the future. This is the objective of the conference in La Coruña, which, aside from plenary sessions, will discuss three key pillars of the reform in three simultaneous workshops on governance, access and resource management and the differentiated regime for small-scale and coastal fisheries.

Over 200 people are expected at the conference (70 for each workshop), representing European institutions, national administrations, the fisheries sector, the scientific community, non-governmental organisations as well as the press and media. It will be held in Spanish, French and English.

For the Informal Council of Fisheries Ministers in Vigo, the Spanish Presidency has invited Commissioner Damanaki to present the results of the public consultation, as well as the main conclusions of the stakeholder conference in La Coruña. Ministers will also discuss the external dimension of the future Common Fisheries Policy.

The results of both events will feed in to the future preparations of the reform. Ministers will have another opportunity to discuss the reform at the Fisheries Council meeting on 28-29 June in Luxembourg. The Commission will present its legislative proposals for a new EU fisheries policy next year.

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy website

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