Explanatory Memorandum to COM(2007)648 - Conclusion of the fisheries agreement with Côte d’Ivoire

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The European Community and Côte d’Ivoire negotiated and initialled, on 5 April 2007, a Fisheries Partnership Agreement which provides Community fishermen with fishing opportunities in Côte d’Ivoire’s fishing zone. This Partnership Agreement, accompanied by a Protocol and the Annex thereto, was signed for a period of six years and is renewable. On the date of its entry into force, this Agreement repeals and replaces the Agreement between the European Economic Community and Côte d’Ivoire on fishing off the coast of Côte d’Ivoire which entered into force on 19 December 1990.

The Commission’s negotiating position was based in part on the results of an ex-post and ex-ante evaluation carried out by independent experts.

The main objective of the new Partnership Agreement is to strengthen cooperation between the European Community and Côte d’Ivoire, thereby creating a partnership framework within which to develop a sustainable fisheries policy and sound exploitation of fisheries resources in Côte d’Ivoire’s fishing zone, in the interests of both Parties. The two Parties are taking part in a political dialogue on topics of mutual interest in the fisheries sector. Within this new Fisheries Partnership Agreement, special attention will be given to supporting the fisheries policy of Côte d’Ivoire. In this context, the two Parties will agree on the priorities to be decided upon for such support and will identify the objectives, the annual and multiannual programming and the criteria to assess the results to be obtained, with a view to ensuring a sustainable and responsible management of the sector.

The financial contribution is fixed at EUR 595 000 per year. This financial contribution will be allocated in full to the support and implementation of initiatives taken in the context of the sectoral fisheries policy drawn up by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire.

In terms of fishing opportunities, 25 seiners and 15 surface longliners will be authorised to fish. However, at the request of the Community, exploratory fishing trips may be carried out under the Agreement. If they are conclusive, the Parties may decide to award new fishing opportunities to Community vessels. The Protocol also includes a review clause allowing the Protocol and the Annexes thereto to be amended following its third anniversary if the Joint Committee deems it necessary.

The Partnership Agreement also provides for encouraging economic, scientific and technical cooperation in the fisheries and related sectors.

The Commission proposes on this basis that the Council adopt a Regulation on the conclusion of this new Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and Côte d’Ivoire.