Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), with a target of reaching political agreement in June, is a major focus for the Irish Presidency. The agenda on developing an Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) will be more wide-ranging, at least if the European Commission stays on track and adopts in time a series of proposals - action plans for the Atlantic, Adriatic and Ionian Seas and a draft directive on spatial planning - thus allowing the Irish Presidency to launch discussions in Council.


Reform of the CFP will be a central issue throughout 2013. If the Irish Presidency, the member states and EU institutions focus all their attention to the matter, it is likely that the honour of concluding the negotiations will fall to Lithuania, which takes over the six-month rotating Presidency on 1 July. But there will be plenty of events during the year. The European Parliament is likely to give its view on the proposals on the basis of a report by Ulrike Rodust (S&D, Germany) in February at the earliest, or possibly in March. For its part, Dublin intends to finalise the intermediary phase - an important one in the context of co-decision - by reaching a political agreement by the end of June based on a series of partial agreements (or general approaches') put together during the Cyprus Presidency. For the first time, the European Parliament is a co-legislator, along with the Council, on fisheries. It is therefore highly likely that MEPs will use the new powers which the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU confers on them, leading...

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