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Document 52011DC0424


/* COM/2011/0424 final */




1........... Introduction.................................................................................................................... 5

2........... Contributing to long term sustainability worldwide............................................................ 5

2.1........ Transforming our dialogues into working partnerships...................................................... 5

2.2........ Upholding and strengthening the global architecture for fisheries governance..................... 7

2.3........ Contributing towards a more effective functioning of RFMOs........................................... 8

3........... Towards Sustainable Fisheries Agreements................................................................... 10

3.1........ Current Fisheries Partnership Agreements and their shortcomings................................... 10

3.2........ Better promotion of long-term resource conservation and sustainability........................... 10

3.3........ Reinforcing the governance of bilateral fisheries agreements............................................ 11

3.4........ More effective support for sustainable fisheries in partner countries................................ 12

4........... Coherence with other EU policies................................................................................. 13

ANNEX I.................................................................................................................................. 15

ANNEX II................................................................................................................................. 16


Almost 85% of the world fish stocks for which information is available are reported as being either fully exploited or overexploited, according to the most recent assessment made by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation[1]. The EU must strive to reverse this situation, through swift and bold initiatives.

The EU is one of the very few major players with a strong presence in all of the world’s oceans through its fleets and investments, bilateral agreements with third countries and participation in most relevant Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). It is also a main market for fishery products in terms of consumption and imports. The EU consumes 11% of the world fishery resources in terms of volume and imports 24% of fishery products in terms of value. This confers a heavy responsibility on the EU to further engage in the tasks of conservation and sustainable management of international fish stocks.

Contributing to long-term sustainability worldwide

To ensure sustainable management and conservation of fisheries resources and enhance performance of RFMOs, the EU should seek to:

· Drive forward the global and multilateral agenda promoting sustainable fisheries worldwide while transforming its dialogues into working partnerships to address crucial issues such as eradication of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing or reduction of overcapacity.

· Lead the process of strengthening the performance of RFMOs to better enable them to conserve and manage marine living resources under their purview through:

– Delivery of more reliable data and science to underpin the decision-making;

– Increased compliance and control;

– Reduction of capacity to levels commensurate with resources;

– More effective functioning of the RFMOs through improved decision-making;

– Introduction of fees for access to high seas by the members of the RFMO.

· Better integrate the fisheries, development, environment, trade and other policies to further advance the objectives of sustainable and responsible governance.

Bilateral fisheries agreements

International agreements between the EU and individual third countries should remain the framework for fishing activities of the EU fleet in third-country waters. In order to promote long-term resource conservation, good governance of bilateral fisheries relations, and sustainable development of partner countries' fisheries sector, in future fisheries agreements the EU should:

· Base the agreements on the best available scientific advice and information on the cumulative fishing effort in the waters concerned;

· Conduct scientific audits on multi-species (“mixed”) agreements;

· Make the respect of human rights an essential condition for concluding and maintaining fisheries agreements;

· Move towards an increased contribution of ship-owners to the cost of access rights;

· Ensure that fisheries agreements support better governance of the fisheries sector in the partner country, notably in terms of surveillance, inspection and administrative as well as scientific capacity;

· Ensure sound and efficient financial management of sectoral-support funds under the agreements, and foresee the suspension of payments if results are not obtained.

Some of these elements should already be integrated into transitional agreements negotiated before the adoption of the CFP reform. Once the reform is in place, all negotiations will reflect the new orientations. At the end of the process, a new generation of Sustainable Fisheries Agreements (SFAs) will be in place.

1. Introduction

This Communication presents new orientations for the external dimension of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)[2] and is based on a large number of consultations and assessments carried out by the Commission services in the context of the reform. The CFP reform aims to ensure sustainable exploitation of marine living resources while working towards robust economic performance, inclusive growth and enhanced cohesion in coastal regions. The new orientations for the external dimension of reformed CFP intend to project these principles at the international level and contribute to more responsible international fisheries governance, delivering sustainable exploitation of fish stocks globally by achieving mortality levels compatible with Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY[3]) by 2015, while mitigating the impact of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem. This ultimately means a viable future for both European and third-country fishermen alike.

These orientations will also feature greater synergies with the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), which will enable the EU to take a more ecosystem-oriented approach to fisheries management as well as to address overarching issues of impact on international fish stocks, such as climate change and pollution.

2. Contributing to long term sustainability worldwide 2.1. Transforming our dialogues into working partnerships

The EU is engaged in bilateral dialogues with its main international partners, such as the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand as well as Russia and China. The aim of such dialogues is to ensure sustainability of global fishery, forge alliances on issues of fisheries governance and solve problems on a bilateral basis.

There are traditionally strong relationships with the EU's Northern neighbours, in particular Norway, under the so-called Northern Arrangements. These arrangements provide for a shared resource management in the waters of the North-Atlantic, the Arctic, the Baltic and the North Sea. More recently, the EU-Russia bilateral agreement for the joint management of the Baltic Sea came into force in 2009. As regards highly migratory and straddling stocks (including mackerel and blue whiting) in the North East Atlantic, the EU cooperates with the same Northern neighbours in the Coastal States fora. The Commission will consider best approaches to strengthen this cooperation to take into account developments in regional processes which will seek to manage resources on a sea-basin level.

At the same time, the EU's relationship with the near abroad continues to be guided by the principles of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) through which the EU offers its neighbours a privileged relationship, building upon a mutual commitment to common values (democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development). The ENP is also a well-suited conveyor of the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy to neighbouring ENP partner countries, encouraging actors in the Baltic Sea, Mediterranean and Black Sea to build and strengthen mechanisms for peer exchanges for which the EU can provide the initiative as well as support.

Putting an end to illegal fishing

In order to effectively address the main problems facing today’s fisheries such as combating the Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishery and reducing overcapacity, the EU needs to secure support from other global players.

The Commission proposes to launch, by the end of 2013, discussions with other major fishery import States, in particular the USA and Japan[4], to implement a common approach for preventing IUU products from entering these markets. Such an initiative could be modelled on the EU IUU Regulation[5] and would pave the way to eradicating IUU fishery over the course of the next decade, especially if joined by other major players. The Commission would be open in the near future to implementing joint mechanisms for information exchange and harmonisation of approaches towards IUU actors (flag States or fleets) with its partners.

ACTION · A working partnership with key counterparts aiming at development of a common approach against IUU fishing.

Overcapacity – a global issue

Within the framework of achieving fishing-mortality levels compatible with MSY by 2015 at the latest, the Commission intends to launch a high-level political initiative to discuss the avenues for capacity reduction on a global level by 2013. Such an initiative would take into account the aspirations of the developing States and be consistent with the CFP reform which will propose rights-based management as one of the main mechanisms to achieve capacity reduction.

ACTION · A high-level conference to discuss ways of reducing capacity will be called for by the EU by 2013 to pave the way for a process aimed at addressing overcapacity at a global level.

2.2. Upholding and strengthening the global architecture for fisheries governance

At a global level, the EU participates in the work of the United Nations, as a Party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea[6] as well as a Party to the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement[7]. The EU is also an active Member of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and participates in the work of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

These are key organisations to advance discussions on the protection and conservation of marine living resources. Once agreements within these fora were reached (e.g. on protection of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems within the UN), these instruments have been successfully implemented on a more operational level through the adoption of concrete conservation measures by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). The involvement of the EU in these arenas should therefore be focused and enhanced, along the following lines:

– Continue promoting initiatives concentrating on the role of port States and flag States in combating IUU activities in the framework of the FAO, such as the 2009 Port State Agreement or technical consultations on flag State performance;

– Continue advocating to raise major issues of concern, such as overcapacity, discards, by-catch or the impact of certain fishing gears on marine ecosystems, at the UN level;

– Promote the establishment of a level playing field for vessels fishing in RFMO and third country waters, to avoid a "race to the bottom" where a laxer management framework could be abused to the detriment of resources. Such an action would be implemented without prejudice to the primary responsibility of flag States for the responsible behaviour of their vessels.

ACTIONS The Commission will propose to the Council: · To continue to put forward ambitious proposals for the annual UN General Assembly Resolution on sustainable fisheries; · To reinforce support for the development of international instruments for the conservation and management of fish stocks in the context of the FAO; · To launch an initiative at UN level for a Global Certification Scheme to eradicate IUU fishing. · To promote the respect of high sustainability standards by third parties in the high seas and third country waters.

2.3. Contributing towards a more effective functioning of RFMOs

RFMOs are the key fora for the conservation and management of shared and migratory fish stocks. Under the UNCLOS as well as the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, the EU has committed itself to participate in the works of various RFMOs, provided it has a real interest[8] in the fisheries managed by these Organisations as a fishing nation or a market state. The role of the EU in these fora has significantly increased since 1999, when the last "Communication on Community participation in Regional Fisheries Organisations (RFOs)" was published[9].

However, despite the efforts of the RFMOs to sustainably manage resources under their competence, the fish stocks have continued to decline. Almost 85% of the world fish stocks for which assessment information is available are reported as being either fully exploited or overexploited, according to the most recent estimation made by the FAO[10]. Such a trend has been experienced for several decades and reflects an increased exploitation of fish stocks, in particular due to an increasing consumer demand for fishery products.

In the short to medium term, the EU should direct its efforts at tackling the main difficulties preventing RFMOs from delivering on their mandates, by directing its actions along the following policy lines:

· The functioning of RFMOs should be enhanced through systematically conducted performance reviews, in line with the appropriate UN Resolutions;

· More reliable scientific data and advice should be available to RFMOs through increasing the EU's investment in data collection, applied research, scientific knowledge and in RFMOs' scientific activities while encouraging other RFMO Members to do the same. The EU should also promote a wider scope of scientific advice, notably through an implementation of the precautionary and ecosystem approaches and complementing them with the tools of socio-economic analysis;

· To remedy the current situation of poor compliance of some Members with RFMOs' conservation and management measures, the EU should promote the following:

– A periodic review of the compliance records of each individual Party in the respective RFMOs;

– Identification of reasons for the lack of compliance (e.g. lack of capacity in developing countries) and addressing them in an appropriate, focused manner;

– Development and implementation of transparent and non-discriminatory sanctions in cases of clear lack of compliance or political engagement by Parties. This process could be accompanied by incentives to reward "complying" and "transparent" actors (flag States or fleets).

· Overcapacity is an issue to be addressed both on a multilateral level (the EU launching an initiative together with its main partners) and RFMO level. The EU should advocate tackling overcapacity through a review of the best available scientific advice on sustainable levels of catch and consideration of measures to address it. Such measures could include capacity freeze or reduction while taking into account the aspirations of the developing States to develop their own fishery sector.

· Adoption of decisions on management measures through consensus is the best guarantee for the highest level of compliance. Nevertheless, the EU should advocate a reform of decision-making systems in RFMOs, in particular to allow for voting, where necessary, in line with the most progressive and efficient procedure recently adopted in the Convention for the South Pacific RFMO[11].

· In order to strengthen the financial base of RFMOs and further encourage responsible use of resources by the fleets, the EU should promote the concept of operators whose vessels fly the flag of an RFMO Member paying a fee to RFMOs for access to high seas fisheries. A well-conceived pay-for-access regime developed in full conformity with UNCLOS would act as an additional factor preventing the "tragedy of the commons"[12].

ACTIONS The Commission will propose to the Council: · To encourage the review of RFMOs' performance, aiming at all Organisations completing their first reviews by the end of 2013 and subsequently undertaking them at regular intervals (3 to 5 years); · To promote the concept of a pay-for-access regime through introduction of fees for placing vessels on RFMO authorised-vessels lists in a limited number of RFMOs; · To promote actions outlined in this Chapter in a coherent and structured way, to allow these organisations to effectively deliver against their mandate. This would ensure a sustainable and regulated level of fishing activities (MSY-based) on the stocks under the RFMO's purview and protection of marine biodiversity.

3. Towards Sustainable Fisheries Agreements 3.1. Current Fisheries Partnership Agreements and their shortcomings

Bilateral fisheries agreements between the EU and third countries have long been a feature of the Common Fisheries Policy. The 2002 reform of the CFP introduced important changes to bilateral agreements by putting emphasis on the partnership approach and the development of sustainable fisheries in the partner countries. Current Fisheries Partnership Agreements (FPAs) have the objective to allow EU vessels to fish, in a regulated and legally secured environment, surplus resources[13] in the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of a number of third countries[14].

FPAs aim at supporting the development of a sustainable fisheries sector in partner countries. By doing so, they tend to have a positive economic and social impact. In particular, they contribute positively to local economies through the employment of seamen, landings, fish processing industries while they also contribute to food supply in partner countries.

In spite of several improvements, substantial shortcomings continue to affect the functioning of FPAs, as has been highlighted most recently by the consultation on the 2009 Green Paper[15]:

· The scientific knowledge on certain stocks in foreign waters is insufficient to establish the overall size of the surplus;

· The terms and conditions of fishing agreements concluded by partner countries with other (non-EU) countries are usually not known to the EU;

· Consequently it is often impossible to assess the overall fishing effort targeted at the stocks, and to determine the share of the surplus to be sustainably fished by the EU fleet;

· There are limits to the absorption capacity of many partner countries when it comes to effectively using FPA funds allocated to the support of the sector.

The Commission considers that current FPAs should be transformed into Sustainable Fisheries Agreements (SFAs) focusing on resource conservation and environmental sustainability, improved governance and effectiveness of sectoral support.

3.2. Better promotion of long-term resource conservation and sustainability

SFAs should be always based on the best available scientific advice, using the concept of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) as a reference.

The Commission will launch scientific audits to assess existing multi-species agreements consisting of independent peer reviews of available scientific data. On that basis, and in line with the eco-system approach, it will decide if it is necessary to refocus these agreements on species where the level of scientific knowledge is sufficient and the total fishing effort known[16]. As for tuna agreements, scientific data provided by the relevant RFMOs will be used in a more rigorous manner . Catch-reporting provisions should be thoroughly complied with by Member States. The Commission will deal with allegations of non-compliance swiftly and fairly.

The Commission will also endeavour that SFAs include a transparency clause, whereby the cumulative fishing effort in a given partner country is made known to the EU.

ACTIONS The Commission will: · systematically launch scientific audits to assess the stocks before negotiating new protocols to multi species agreements; · ensure compliance of Member States with catch-reporting rules applying in the waters of partner countries, including through full use of existing legal instruments such as the IUU Regulation; · reinforce transparency on the global fishing efforts in third countries’ waters through specific clauses in bilateral agreements and contacts with other third parties.

3.3. Reinforcing the governance of bilateral fisheries agreements

Current FPAs need to be reformed to provide a fully-fledged governance framework for the fishing activities of EU vessels in third-country waters. The implementation of the agreements must be simplified, they must provide better means of reacting to human-rights violations, and public contributions to the costs of access must be reduced.

SFAs must be easier to implement and to comply with. To this end they should be based on "model agreements", and standard clauses should be introduced. With regard to fishing authorisations issued and managed under the agreements, the administrative process should be eased. The Commission will make in 2012 a proposal to revise the Fishing Authorisations Regulation[17].

A human-rights clause should be inserted in all future agreements, as it is already the case with protocols that have recently been initialled, so that breaches of essential and fundamental elements of human rights and democratic principles would ultimately result in a suspension of the protocol to the agreement. This clause should follow the example of provisions established by the Cotonou Agreement[18], where applicable, or other relevant international instruments and agreements.

The exclusivity clause in current FPAs prevents EU vessels from fishing outside of the regulatory framework of the agreement where one exists and guarantees that all EU vessels are subject to the same rules. To prevent circumvention of the exclusivity clause by reflagging, future fisheries agreements should foresee that an EU vessel which changes flag to elude its obligations or to obtain additional fishing opportunities will not be allowed any more to fish in the partner country's EEZ.

The EU fishing industry should take a fair share of the costs of access to third countries’ surplus resources. The contribution from the EU budget should be reduced accordingly.

ACTIONS The Commission will: · make a proposal by 2012 to revise the Fishing Authorisations Regulation to simplify the management of fishing authorisations; · seek to make the respect of human rights a necessary condition for the conclusion of SFAs and for maintaining fisheries cooperation with third countries; · seek to introduce in bilateral agreements provisions to prevent abusive reflagging. · aim at increasing the contribution of shipowners to the costs of access to third-country waters.

3.4. More effective support for sustainable fisheries in partner countries

The EU’s financial support to third countries’ sectoral policy should result in concrete and measurable benefits for the partner countries including in the domain of sustainable local fisheries. It should aim to support their administrative and scientific capacity and be directed notably at monitoring, control and surveillance activities, including the fight against IUU fishing. The improvement of scientific advice and capacity building should also be a priority for the EU's support to partner countries under SFAs.

At the same time, sectoral support should be made more effective, better targeted and regularly assessed. Guarantee of result should be sought from partner countries and conditionality should be strengthened so that no payment be made when it fails to deliver. The Commission will develop general guidelines to monitor sectoral-support funds under all fisheries agreements which can then be adapted to specific agreements.

The Commission will also seek to increase the added value of the sectoral support to the sustainable development of the fisheries sector of the partner countries by better taking into consideration the overall strategies and priorities defined in each of them.

ACTIONS The Commission will: · propose to decouple in all cases sectoral support payments from fisheries access rights payments and will define sectoral support in the light of the needs and absorption capacity of the partner countries; · seek to introduce stronger conditionality for the sectoral part, so that payments would be linked to the progress achieved in the implementation of the sectoral support. · support partner countries' efforts to improve data collection and the provision of accurate scientific advice.

4. Coherence with other EU policies

In order to fulfil the goals mentioned in this Communication, the voice of the EU needs to be more powerful in various global fora through greater synergies between its actions and policies in the realm of international fisheries governance and the domains of development, trade, environment, research and innovation, foreign policy and others. This will inter alia be done along the following lines:

– Coordination of fisheries and development policies should ensure that the recognition of the aspirations of the developing States to build up their own fishery sector is linked to raising awareness of their duties of sustainable fisheries governance.

– Synergies between future fisheries agreements and development policies and instruments, in particular the European Development Fund (EDF) and other policies such as research and innovation policy will be pursued.

– In the context of the European Union's external action, the EU will continue to support fisheries-related strategies and programmes, such as maritime security and the fight against piracy, under its overall partnership and cooperation strategies.

– The EU, as a major importer of fishery products, already prevents IUU products from reaching its market. The EU's trade policy can also contribute to ensure sustainable fishing worldwide through promoting adherence to the relevant international conventions and agreements relating to fisheries governance in the framework of preferential trade agreements.

– Coherence of environmental and fisheries objectives will be ensured through a continued integration of policies developed by the environmental international bodies and conventions into the RFMOs' conservation and management decisions.

ACTIONS The Commission will: · develop and implement oceans- and sea-based regional strategies for sustainable fisheries, e.g. in the Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as in the Mediterranean Sea. · by the end of 2011, adopt a proposal for a legal framework, including trade related measures, to ensure sustainability of fisheries resources.


Regional Fisheries Management Organisations


Bilateral Fisheries Agreements

Type of agreement || Partner country || Protocol in force until || EU's Annual financial contribution

Multi-species ("mixed") agreements || Greenland || 31 December 2012 || 14 307 244 €

Guinea Bissau || 15 June 2011 || 7 500 000 €

Mauritania || 31 July 2012 || From 86 000 000 € (1st year) to 70 000 000 € (4th year)

Morocco || 27 February 2012 || 36 100 000 €

Tuna agreements – West Africa || Cape-Verde || 31 August 2011 || 385 000 €

Gabon || 2 December 2011 || 860 000 €

Ivory Coast || 30 June 2013 || 595 000 €

São Tomé and Principe || End 2013 || 682 500 €

Tuna agreements – Indian Ocean || Comoros || 31 December 2013 || 615 250 €

Madagascar || 31 December 2012 || 1 197 000 €

Mozambique || 31 December 2011 || 900 000 €

Seychelles || 17 January 2014 || 5 600 000 €

Tuna agreements – Pacific || Kiribati || 15 September 2012 || 478 400 €

Micronesia || 25 February 2010 (new Protocol of 5-year duration in the ratification process) || 559 000 €

Solomon Islands || 8 October 2012 || 400 000 €

Dormant agreements || || ||

Gambia || No protocol in force ||

Guinea || No protocol in force ||

Equatorial Guinea || No protocol in force ||

Mauritius || No protocol in force ||

Senegal || No protocol in force ||

[1]               The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010, FAO, Rome 2010, p. 35. Of the marine stocks monitored by FAO, more than half (53%) were estimated to be fully exploited, 28% overexploited, 3% depleted and 1% recovering from depletion. 3% of the stocks were estimated as underexploited and 12% as moderately exploited.

[2]               Orientations for the external dimension of the Integrated Maritime Policy have been laid down in the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Developing the international dimension of the Integrated Maritime Policy of the European Union (COM(2009)0536final)

[3]               MSY is the largest yield (or catch) that can be taken from a species' stock over an indefinite period. Fundamental to the notion of sustainable harvest, the concept of MSY aims to maintain the population size at the point of maximum growth rate by harvesting the individuals that would normally be added to the population, allowing the population to continue to be productive indefinitely

[4]               These countries represent together with the EU two-thirds of the world market in fishery products; see The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010, FAO, Rome 2010

[5]               Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008, establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, amending Regulation (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1936/2001 and (EC) No 601/2004 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 1093/94 and (EC) No 1447/1999.

[6]               UNCLOS, 1982, also known as the Montego Bay Convention.

[7]               Agreement implementing the provisions of UNCLOS relating to the conservation and management of straddling stocks and highly migratory fish stocks, UNFSA, 1995, also known as New York Agreement.

[8]               "Real interest" can derive from fishing in the high seas, being a coastal State with an EEZ included in an RFMO area of competence, or being a significant importer of fishery products caught in an area managed by an RFMO.

[9]               COM(1999) 613 final, 08.12.1999

[10]             The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010, FAO, Rome 2010, p. 35. Of the marine stocks monitored by FAO, more than half of them (53%) were estimated to be fully exploited, 28% overexploited, 3% depleted and 1% recovering from depletion. 3% of the stocks were estimated as underexploited and 12% as moderately exploited. Of the tuna and tuna-like stocks for which the state of exploitation is known, possibly up to 60% of the stocks are fully exploited, up to 35% of the stocks are classified as overexploited or depleted, with only a few appearing to be underexploited (mainly skipjack).

[11]             Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean, Articles 16, 17

[12]             The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource, even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen.

[13]             The share of the allowable catch which the coastal State cannot or does not wish to exploit itself; see Article 62(2) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

[14]             See Annex 2 for an overview the EU’s current bilateral fisheries agreements and their main characteristics. To become fully operational, bilateral fisheries agreements have to be accompanied by a protocol which determines the specifics of fishing opportunities and financial contribution. Agreements without a protocol in force or in the process of ratification are referred to as “dormant”.

[15]             Synthesis of the Consultation on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, SEC(2010)428 final, 16.4.2010.

[16]             Current FPAs can be divided into (a) those covering exclusively tuna and related highly migratory species (tuna agreements), and (b) those which also cover other species (also known as mixed agreements). Due to their coverage by RFMOs, scientific information about tuna stocks is generally better than about other species.

[17]             Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 of 29 September 2008 concerning authorisations for fishing activities of Community fishing vessels outside Community waters and the access of third country vessels to Community waters, amending Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93 and (EC) No 1627/94 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 3317/94..

[18]             The Cotonou Agreement is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU. Since 2000, it has been the framework for the EU's relations with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).