Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 on the implementation of the social partners’ agreement on the Work in Fishing Convention aims to enhance the working and living conditions for fishers working on vessels registered in an EU member State. The Directive implements an Agreement between the General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the European Union (Cogeca), the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) and the Association of National Organization’s of Fishing Enterprises in the European Union (Europêche). These organisations represent the employer and employee representative organisations in the fishing sector across the European Union. As the agreement is a social partnership agreement, the Directive merely implements the Agreement as agreed between the social partners in 2012, and the Agreement itself was not subject to any changes during the discussions on the Directive in the Social Questions Working Party. My Department is supportive of the objective of the Directive to enhance the working and living conditions for fishers working on vessels registered in an EU Member State.
An important aspect of the transposition of the Directive is the requirement for consultation with stakeholders. On 16 November 2018, my Department published Marine Notice 42 of 2018, which invited stakeholders to contribute their views on Council Directive (EU) 2017/159. The consultation process resulted in the Department receiving seven submissions, which were reviewed and published on the Department’s website (https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/1ee9a2-responses-to-the-consultation-on-ilo-work-in-fishing-convention-2007/). Subsequently, my officials met with representatives of the various fisheries organisations to discuss the transposition of the Directive. The outcome from the Department’s consultations with stakeholders made an important contribution to the drafting of the package of Regulations required to ensure the transposition of the Directive.
On 9 October, my Department issued Marine Notice 42 of 2019, to provide key stakeholders with a brief overview of some of the main changes that will come into effect subject to the finalisation of the draft legislation. Any queries or concerns raised in relation to transposition of Directive 2017/159, since the publication of Marine Notice 42 of 2019, have been responded to by my Department.
My Department has been working on a package of regulations in order to transpose Council Directive (EU) 2017/159. Work is at an advanced stage and it is hoped that these regulations will be signed into law in the coming weeks.