The European Commission is due to report to the Council and the European Parliament on the functioning of the Common Fisheries Policy by 31 December 2022. It will be up to the European Commission, in accordance with the right of initiative, following such a review to propose possible changes. Ireland will again be a central player in that debate given the importance of fisheries to our coastal communities and I would expect that, in consultation with stakeholders, we will aim to build on the current CFP to ensure an environmentally and economically sustainable seafood industry.
Any possible changes to the current Policy, and the timing of such proposals, will of course be influenced by the outcome of Brexit negotiations. In that context, our overriding priority will be to maintain existing reciprocal access to waters and resources. In terms of the wider CFP, Ireland will be working to continue to improve the long term sustainability of the fish stocks upon which we rely and to ensure ongoing sufficient support for such sustainable development of the seafood sector through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.