Irish Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. met with his French counterpart, Annick Girardin, the French Minister of the Sea, in Paris. The primary focus of the meeting was to discuss Minister McConalogue’s case to provide greater protection to the inshore fishing waters around Ireland under the Common Fisheries Policy.
The background to the meeting is that the European Commission has proposed to roll over the existing access arrangements for Member States’ access to Coastal Waters for a further 10 years. At present, a number of Member States have historic rights to fish in our 6 – 12 mile zone.
Commenting on the meeting, the Minister said “The meeting today was constructive and I made my case requesting the French Presidency to give further consideration to the Irish position on access to our coastal waters. We had a detailed engagement on the issues and I am satisfied that the French Presidency has a better understanding of the Irish case following the meeting. The French Minister, Minister Girardin, undertook to consider how the French Presidency would proceed taking account of the views of other relevant Member States.
Discussions on an EU Fisheries Council position are expected to be concluded in the coming weeks. The European Parliament is also setting out its position. The agreement of the Council, Parliament and Commission on access arrangements is expected to be finalised before the summer.