Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-20-Speech-4-029"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the Commission has prepared a report on the first year of application of the fourth generation of multiannual guidance programmes for the fishing fleets, known as MAGP IV, for the period 1997-2001. This report shows that, in 1997, the Community fleet was reduced by 2% in terms of gross tonnage and by 3% in terms of power. Therefore, on 1 January 1998 the Community fleet actually exceeded the MAGP IV final objectives by approximately 16% in terms of power and 7% in terms of gross tonnage. However, this seemingly optimistic assessment of the effectiveness of the MAGPs in matching the size of the Community fleet to the availability of fish stocks is subject to some major reservations. The first stems from the difficulties in comparing objectives between MAGP III and MAGP IV due to the change in the criteria for measuring and segmenting the fleets. The second reservation is that we are continuing to use different measurement criteria in each Member State which makes any assessments difficult to compare. The Commission itself gives a warning in its report about the unreliability of the data supplied to us. The third reservation about this seemingly optimistic assessment stems from the fact that the meeting of these objectives varies greatly among the Member States. Two Member States have not met these objectives and one has provided data in an unacceptable form. On the other hand, there are Member States such as Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom which have already met or even exceeded, in the case of Portugal, the final objectives laid down in MAGP IV. As a result, I am basically proposing two types of measure in my report. The first involves standardising the criteria for the measurement and segmentation of the fleets. In this way, a clear and constant comparative assessment of the Community fleet can be made in each Member State. This is fundamental to the effectiveness of the MAGPs. The second type of measure concerns the need to have a Community regulation which specifically establishes an effective penalty system. It is only in this respect that I suggest in my report, by way of example I must stress, the suspension of quotas for Member States in breach of these objectives in order to force them to comply. (§) Amendment No 13 by Mr Ford should therefore be adopted in order to underline that this suspension is temporary. I would stress that this does not involve any transfer of quotas between Member States and there is no violation of the principle of relative stability. This is simply a temporary suspension to put political pressure on countries to comply with the MAGPs. This point is fundamental because it has been proven that financial penalties within the FIFG serve no purpose. Without this measure, Member States will have no incentive to meet the established objectives. Furthermore, with a situation in which some countries comply and others do not, if we do not penalise those which do not comply, this will lead to major discrimination in the application of the common fisheries policy between Member States. It will also penalise some fishermen more than others. Finally, if these two types of measure suggested in my report are not adopted, the multiannual guidance programmes for the fishing fleets will not only serve no purpose but, worse than that, they will act as a form of discrimination and distortion of competition between Member States, shipowners and fishermen. In this case, it would be better to dispense with them altogether. ( )"@en1

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