October 24, 2012 -- In 2012 the Council of Ministers reached a general approach, both on the basic regulation and on the Common Market Organisation (CMO).
The general approach is not an official step in the co-decision procedure, so it does not really bind the member states, but it is taking a position or an orientation toward further work.
In general, the CMO represents "… better targeted intervention, a stronger role for the producer organizations to make them central, and key actors in a decentralized policy and better labeling," said Franz Lamplamair, advisor for fisheries policy at the European Commission. "Most of it is there" in the results of the Parliament's first reading and the general approach of the Council, he added.
And while the European Commission had proposed a voluntary, softer approach on eco-labeling, the European Parliament has proposed a new EU scheme.
"If there is a need because there are so many different and conflicting claims, you can set criteria at a European level. In our view an EU scheme was not the best idea," said Lamplamair.
At the Parliament level, also 'positive news' witnessed for the market organization legislation proposal. According to the Commission, Parliament has already finalized its first reading and voted Struan Stevenson's report on 20 June in the Committee, and voted in plenary on 12 September.
At the European Parliament level a rapporteur is appointed for each proposal from the European Commission and drafts the report that is put to vote in the committee responsible.
Germany's Ulrike Rodust presented the draft report on the basic regulation to Parliament in May. More than 2,500 amendments to the report were tabled by Members of European Parliament (MEPs). As a result, while a vote was due in the Fisheries Committee in October, this has been delayed until November.
"The rapporteur is working very hard to find compromises to reach the basis for a vote on Committee," said Lamplamair.
On the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the general approach is foreseen for the October Council meeting, taking place in the week of 22 October. But Franz warned of a time issue, with recent meetings between the ambassadors to the EU, who prepare all the Council of Ministers' meetings, suggesting there's a lot of issues that they couldn't solve.
For the EMFF, the report rapporteur is France's Alain Cadec, and the timelines there are slipping as well. The deadline for amendment to his draft report is December. "We can imagine it will take a few months, we can expect there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of amendments. So we will slip well into 2013," said Lamplamair.
Read the full story here