Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) elected last May have officially taken office on the 2nd of July and are already at work. So are the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) ready for fruitful cooperation with new members sitting in the relevant committees.
The parliamentary committees responsible for relevant topics for the recreational fisheries have seen a lot of new MEPs joining their composition. Early in July, Committees held their constitutive meetings. In the Fisheries Committee (PECH), MEP Chris Davis, a British liberal democrat, was elected Chair of the Committee. MEPs Peter van Dalen, Søren Gade, Giuseppe Ferrandino and Claudia Monteiro de Aguiar were elected vice-Chairs.
French MEP Pascal Canfin is the new Chair of the Environment Committee (ENVI) and MEPs Bas Eickhout, Seb Dance, Cristian Silviu Bușoi and Anja Hazekamp have been elected vice-Chairs.
Important matters have already been discussed during the first PECH meetings in July and September, such as conservation measures for the cod stocks in the Baltic Sea and the general state of the seas. Most importantly, in the coming months, the PECH committee will resume its work on the European Commission’s Proposal for a revision of the Fisheries Control Regulation for which the European Parliament (EP) is co-legislator with the EU member states. The Fisheries Control Regulation is one of the key pillars of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), putting in place a control system to make sure that the CFP objectives and provisions are put into practice and enforced. The proposal published includes more provisions to regulate the recreational fisheries than those in force today.
The EAA, together with the EFTTA seized the opportunity of the plenary sessions of July and September in Strasbourg to meet with news MEPs from both the PECH and the ENVI committees, to invite them to join the Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment. The Forum has been an important platform for exchange of information and cooperation on important EU files during the 2014-2019 mandate, tackling issues such as the hydropower and fish migration, cormorant management, the Water Framework Directive, conservation measures for Eel, Seabass, Danube Salmon… As many topics in which new MEPs also showed an interest.
Mr Niclas Herbst, MEP elected in Germany has accepted to host the first event of the Forum under the 2019-2024 legislature of the EP. He will host a presentation reception in Strasbourg, on 26th of November, at the occasion of which representatives from the EAA and the EFTTA will meet with MEPs to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the recreational fisheries sector in Europe.