EU/ANGOLA: FISHERIES AGREEMENT (16101/05)
Letter from Ben Bradshaw MP, Minister
for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare, Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Chairman
I am writing to bring you up to date on developments
on the draft proposal to terminate the EU/Angola Fisheries Agreement
and to derogate from certain measures on provision of Community
structural assistance in the fisheries sector.
I sent you an Explanatory Memorandum on the
original proposal on 30 January 2006. This Explanatory Memorandum
has now been cleared. However, there have been developments since
then of which your Committee should be aware. By way of background,
under the original proposal, fishing vessels which would be affected
by the termination of the Agreement would not have had to pay
back any tie-up aid or construction aid. Nor would they have had
to demonstrate continuous fishing activity in Angolan waters in
the year preceding the termination. The UK and certain other Member
States objected the proposed derogation which would exempt these
vessel owners from having to repay funding received.
By way of compromise, the Presidency have proposed
Spanish vessels which received aid and which are planning to be
flagged as Angolan vessels will be allowed to keep it.
However, Spain will not be allowed to replace
the vessels which have moved to Angola. If the aid had been reimbursed
it would have gone to the Spanish government and there would have
been no implications for the EU budget. As such, we can support
the compromise because it will not lead to an increase in fleet
It is regrettable that this compromise has come
forward so late in the day so your Committee has not had an opportunity
to examine it properly.
28 June 2006