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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Taking stock of EU fisheries restructuring

The EU could champion data transparency to the  world 

In the global arena, the EU is a key player on fisheries negotiations - given the size of its market and subsidies - under the Doha Development Agenda of the WTO. But while WTO trade negotiations have admittedly moved at a snail’s pace, pushing for increased transparency and reporting on fisheries subsidies would be an opportunity for the EU to galvanise support from willing WTO members. 

This could make a real difference even without further negotiations. Subsidies notification and trade policy review processes help to improve access to information about national programmes, promoting information exchange and continued discussion of national subsidy policies within formal WTO conversations. Enhancing access to information and transparency with regards to subsidy notification is one element of the fisheries subsidies reform agenda where practical solutions are available and achievable, but this will require the right political will. 

At the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Bali, Indonesia in December 2013, the EU missed an opportunity to join a group of governments who reaffirmed their commitment not to introduce any new subsidies that contribute to overfishing or the overcapacity of fishing fleets. The EU could do a lot more to reduce global overcapacity and overfishing. As a first step, however, championing improved transparency would be one easy and practical way where the EU could play a constructive role at the WTO once again

See more at: http://ictsd.org/i/news/bioresreview/187943/#sthash.8AbXgw5W.dpuf