Written Answers. - EU Green Paper.

Alan M. Dukes

Ceist:

44 Mr. Dukes asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the timetable of discussions at Council of Ministers level on the EU Commission's Green Paper on Fisheries; the arrangements he proposes to make for consultation of the relevant interests here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17388/01]

The European Commission's Green Paper on the Common Fisheries Policy was published in March and was formally presented to the Fisheries Council by Commissioner Fischler on 25 April. The first substantive debate on the Green Paper will take place at the Fisheries Council on 18 June. Further discussion will follow at the Fisheries Council on 25 October, under the Belgian Presidency. The Commission's formal proposals on CFP reform are expected to be submitted to Council at the end of this year. The Council must decide on future directions for the CFP by end 2002.

The national strategy group on the review of the CFP, which is fully representative of the industry, is currently examining the Green Paper. I have asked the group to develop a considered response to the Green Paper and I will continue to work closely with the group throughout the review process.