Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα European Commission. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα European Commission. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, Φεβρουαρίου 04, 2015

EC hopes to return to talks with Russia concerning South Stream counterpart projects

The European Commission hopes to return to talks with Russia on the South Stream counterpart projects and regards the Turkish Stream gas pipeline construction unfeasible, the EC energy commissioner Maros Sefcovic said...

"A first assessment is that this would not work," Sefcovic added. He does not think this is a final decision and believes the return to more rational discussion of gas supply routes is possible.

Sefkovic expressed confidence negotiations with Gazprom and Russia on gas supplies to Europe will continue and it is too early to speak about the final decision.

Full transparency of intergovernmental agreements and commercial contracts on gas supplies is needed, the energy commissioner added.

Ukraine will receive assistance of the EU and international institutions for the upgrade of its obsolete gas transportation system to secure stable gas supplies to Europe through its territory, Sefcovic said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on December 1, 2015 during his visit to Ankara that Moscow was dropping plans to build the South Stream pipeline. Instead, Mr. Putin said Russia would pursue an alternative transit route to Turkey in addition to the Blue Stream pipeline and set up a gas hub on the border between Turkey and Greece.

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said later the Turkish Stream will be the only route for future supplies of 63 bln cubic meters of the Russian gas currently flowing through Ukraine.

   http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/775433
4/2/15
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Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 30, 2015

EU to consider lifting fish import ban on Sri Lanka

The European Commission has offered Sri Lanka assistance to meet the regulatory requirements that would enable an early lifting of ban on fish exports from Sri Lanka to the EU, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday.

The External Affairs Ministry said the decision was made following talks held between Sri Lanka and the European Commission.

Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, was in Brussels this week in an attempt to have the ban on Sri Lankan fish imports lifted.

Foreign Minister Samaraweera met Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and members of the European Parliament.

He also held talks with the European commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries and the European commissioner for international cooperation and development.

Discussions focused on strengthening Sri Lanka's relations with the European Union and Belgium, the steps Sri Lanka has taken and will take to comply with international fishing regulations and the process of requalifying for tariff concessions, the External Affairs Ministry said.

"During the fruitful meetings the European Commission offered Sri Lanka assistance in meeting the regulatory requirements that would enable an early lifting of the ban on fish exports to the EU and displayed strong interest in expanding socio-economic ties and development programmes," the Ministry said.

The EU had imposed the ban after Sri Lanka continued to violate international regulations on deep sea fishing.

Sri Lanka, under the previous government, was given time to remedy the situation before the ban took effect this month, but the government had failed to meet the requirements.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
29-30/1/15
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Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 14, 2015

No Reason to Revise Gas Deal With Ukraine in April (Alexander Novak, Russian EM)

Russia sees no reason to reach a new agreement on gas deliveries to Ukraine after the so-called 'winter package' deal expires at the end of March, as all the terms are already outlined in the existing contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Wednesday.

"We are talking about current deliveries schedule and the financing regime, in other words — about conditions that have been, in one way or another, stipulated in the existing contract [betwen Rusia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz]," Novak said following talks Maros Sefcovic, the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union.

"So far, we see no reason to sign a new document," Novak said.

[sputniknews.com]
14/1/15
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Δευτέρα, Δεκεμβρίου 22, 2014

Russia’s new gas pipeline to Turkey may be named Turkish Stream

Russia’s new natural gas pipeline, which energy giant Gazprom will built in place of the South Stream pipeline, might be called the Turkish Stream, Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said on Monday.

“The South Stream pipeline will not be constructed and we will be implementing another project, which will get its name in the nearest future,” Medvedev said. “Our partners in Turkey proposed the name of the Turkish Stream.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on December 1 that Russia was abandoning its South Stream gas pipeline project in Europe over the European Commission’s unconstructive approach and instead was planning to build a gas pipeline to Turkey.

Gazprom will build a gas hub on the Turkey-Greece border under a new 63 billion cubic meter pipeline project. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said the construction of a gas pipeline to Turkey will make it possible to reduce the risks linked with natural gas transit through Ukraine. Russia’s steel pipe manufacturers hope that all their products originally meant for the South Stream project will be redirected to the new gas pipeline project.......................http://itar-tass.com/en/world/768439

  22/12/14
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Κυριακή, Νοεμβρίου 16, 2014

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc makes road safety a priority in EU transport policy (EC - 16.11.14)

European Commission - Statement,  Brussels, 16 November 2014:
On the occasion of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, Violeta Bulc, the EU's Transport Commissioner made the following statement:


"Road safety has been one of the great European success stories and our roads are much safer today than they were some twenty years ago. But our work cannot stop here! More than 26, 000 people still die on our roads every year, and many more suffer horrific road traffic injuries.
Behind these statistics are grieving parents, children, siblings, colleagues and friends. This is an unacceptable price to pay for mobility. Today my thoughts go out to every person who has lost someone dear to them, and to all those who have been physically or mentally affected by a road accident.
The World Day of Remembrance gives us a painful but necessary reminder that working towards improving road safety is a never ending process. It is clear that we have come a long way, but more needs to be done.
That is why I would like to take this opportunity to personally pledge to make road safety one of my top priorities as the European Transport Commissioner. I hope that I can count on you to work actively together with the European Commission, to help make our roads safer in Europe. Together we can save thousands of lives."

Background
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year in order to remember all those who are killed or injured in road traffic crashes every year. The World Day of Remembrance also calls attention to the suffering of the families and friends of the victims. The Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was first established in 1995 on the initiative of the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims. Since 2005 the World Day of Remembrance is endorsed by the United Nations and recognised and honoured on all continents.
 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-14-1761_en.htm?locale=en
16/11/14
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VIDEO: http://europa.eu/!NK36QK

Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 15, 2014

EU Commission's Stance on South Stream in Serbia Still Unknown

The position of the new team of European Commissioners on the construction of the Serbian section of the Russia-led South Stream gas pipeline is not clear yet though preparations for the project are underway, the Russian president's top aide, Yury Ushakov, told journalists Wednesday.
"Preparations for the construction of the Serbian section are well underway. I expect them [European Commissioners] to mention it. It has been made clear to Serbia that it will find next to impossible to implement this project without a go-ahead from Brussels, although [Serbia] is more than ready. It is of great interest to them," the presidential aide said.

Ushakov said that the recent elections to the European Commission effectively put its decision-making on hold, meaning that it would take more time for the union's executive body to agree on a unified approach to the South Stream project. A new team of 28 commissioners, one from each member state, is appointed every five years.
  • "The Commission is getting new members, so we are still to learn about Brussels" stance [on the pipeline]. We are continuing to raise awareness of the project. It's not over yet. We are ready to go ahead," Ushakov said.
In early October, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic reaffirmed Belgrade's commitment to the South Stream project, saying it would go ahead with its construction.

Russian energy giant Gazprom started building the South Stream gas pipeline across the Black Sea in 2012 to reduce the unreliable passage of Russian natural gas to central and southern Europe through Ukraine. The pipeline is expected to be fully operational by 2018.................http://en.ria.ru/world/20141015/194112027/EU-Commissions-Stance-on-South-Stream-in-Serbia-Still-Unknown.html
15/10/14
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Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 14, 2014

Illegal fisheries: green cards for five countries, but red card for Sri Lanka. (EC -14.10.14)

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 14 October 2014:

In its fight against illegal fishing activities worldwide, the European Commission has today proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. The move comes after four years of intense dialogue with the country after which it could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In contrast, the Commission today confirmed that Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu, which had received warnings at the same time as Sri Lanka, have successfully taken measures to tackle illegal fishing. Consequently, the Commission proposes to lift the trade measures imposed in March this year against Belize.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Our policy of resolute cooperation is yielding results. Five countries receive today our appreciation for getting serious on illegal fishing. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Sri Lanka. I hope that the message we are sending today will be a wake-up call for this country."

Sri Lanka needs to address illegal fishing
According to the Commission's assessment, Sri Lanka has not sufficiently addressed the shortcomings in its fisheries control system identified in November 2012. The main weaknesses include shortcomings in the implementation of control measures, a lack of deterrent sanctions for the high seas fleet, as well as lacking compliance with international and regional fisheries rules.
As a result, the Commission tables a ban on fisheries products caught by Sri Lankan vessels being imported into the EU. In order to avoid disrupting ongoing commercial contracts, the full trade measures will only come into force in mid-January 2015, which is three months after the decision is published in the EU's Official Journal. 

Progress confirmed for Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu
The Commission has today also proposed to remove Belize from the list of non-cooperating third countries in the fight against illegal fishing and to end the trade measures imposed against the country in March 2014. Belize has demonstrated its commitment to reforming its legal framework and adopting a new set of rules for inspection, control and monitoring of vessel. The Council will take a decision in this respect.
In a similar vein, the Commission also announced the termination of steps against Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu who all received a formal warning in November 2012. The countries have taken concrete measures in addressing established shortcomings and shown commitment to complete structural reforms in order to address illegal fishing.
The Commission has prolonged the cooperation with Korea, Curacao and Ghana until January 2015. Despite some progress achieved in these countries, which have received formal warnings in November 2013, more time is needed in these countries to make changes.
Commissioner Damanaki said: "The improvements Belize made as regards its fisheries control system since its 'red card' show that the EU's fight against illegal fishing works. The formalised cooperation with the EU has helped the country to move towards sustainable fisheries. The same goes for Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu. These countries' positive attitude should serve as a template to other countries in similar situations."
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1132_en.htm?locale=en
14/10/14
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Δευτέρα, Οκτωβρίου 13, 2014

European Commission welcomes electricity subsea cables linking Norway to Germany and UK (EC - 13.10.14)

European Commission, Statement, Brussels, 13 October 2014:

"The EU Commission welcomed the announcement made today by the Norwegian government to licence the construction of two subsea cables linking Norway to Germany and UK. The two 1400 MW subsea cables will enable the three countries to exchange electricity and use the Norwegian hydropower potential.
Vice-President of the EU Commission, responsible for Energy, Günther H. Oettinger said: "This will help enormously to integrate renewable energy in North-West Europe. Germany and UK can sell renewable energy to Norway when weather conditions are such that they produce a lot and Norway can sell electricity from hydropower. This will benefit both sides and balance the system."

The licence granted today is a further step towards building the two subsea cables. The NORD.LINK interconnector will run between Norway and Germany and the North Sea Network (NSN) will run between Norway and UK with a goal to be operational by 2020 at the latest. 

The integration of the Norwegian, German and UK electricity markets, which at the moment are not connected directly, will ensure improved security of supply in the two countries, increase market efficiency and further integrate renewables.
In June 2012, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg agreed a partnership between the three countries to secure sustainable long term energy security through interconnectors connecting Norway to Germany and UK."
 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-14-313_en.htm?locale=en
13/10/14
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Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 08, 2014

Toxic exports allowed: EU drops labeling of Canadian tar sands as highly polluting

The European Commission has proposed a directive that abandons obligatory labeling of tar sands oil as highly polluting, opening way for Canada's sands crude imports and drawing criticism for putting oil producers' interests above the environment.
In light of recent economic tensions with Russia and the EU's energy dependence on its eastern neighbor, the European Commission has published a proposal, the text of which removes one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Alberta exporting its oil sands crude to Europe. The revised draft still has to be approved by EU member-states before being passed on to the European Parliament.

“The commission is today (Tuesday) giving this another push, to try and ensure that in the future, there will be a methodology and thus an incentive to choose less polluting fuels over more polluting ones like, for example, oil sands,” EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement.
“It is no secret that our initial proposal could not go through due to resistance faced in some member states,” Hedegaard added. “I strongly recommend Member States to adopt this proposal and keep the safeguards that will allow cleaner fuels to be used in transport across Europe.”
The desire for a trade deal with Canada had been a factor in revising the draft said EU sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters.
Oil sands crude is more damaging to the environment as it emits more carbon over its life-cycle, but under the new draft that was EU will be counting it in the same category as conventional oil, opening way for larger imports from Canada.
The debate about labeling tar sands crude, in the EU started in 2009 when the block approved legislation aimed at cutting greenhouse gases from fuel by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it. The law is part of the EUs broader strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels........................http://rt.com/news/194048-eu-sand-oil-imports/
8/10/14
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Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 07, 2014

EU Proposes to Stop Labeling Tar Sands Oil as Highly Polluting (Reports)

MOSCOW, October 7 – The European Commission has proposed eliminating a mandatory requirement to label tar sands oil as highly polluting, Reuters reported Tuesday.

"The commission is today giving this another push, to try and ensure that in the future, there will be a methodology and thus an incentive to choose less polluting fuels over more polluting ones like, for example, oil sands," EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement as quoted by Reuters.


"It is no secret that our initial proposal could not go through due to resistance faced in some member states," Hedegaard added.

The revised proposal still has to be debated by EU member-states and also needs a sign off from the European Parliament.

The debate about labeling tar sands, also known as oil sands, dates back to 2009 when the European Union approved legislation aiming to cut greenhouse gases from transport fuel sold in Europe by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it.

In 2011, the European Commission agreed tar sands should be given a carbon value a fifth higher than for conventional oil, but EU member-states could not agree and the Commission has been reconsidering the proposal ever since.

Oil sands crude, found in clay-like sands, is used by major oil companies, such as BP Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil. It costs more to produce than conventional crude, uses more energy and water and emits more carbon over its life-cycle.

(RIA Novosti)
7/10/14
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Δευτέρα, Οκτωβρίου 06, 2014

Russian PM Medvedev Urges Compromise on Gas Dispute With Ukraine. "The debts must be paid off..."

MOSCOW, October 6  - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that the terms of a deal on supplies of Russian natural gas to Ukraine should be acceptable for Kiev, but Ukraine still needs to pay its debts to Russia's energy giant Gazprom."There is no doubt that we have to continue searching for compromises, we should maintain contacts keeping in mind that the debts must be paid off, but the conditions for Ukraine in this situation must be sufficiently acceptable," Medvedev said at a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission are currently involved in trilateral talks on resolving the standing issues over Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine.
According to preliminary arrangements, Russia and Ukraine are expected to sign the so-called "winter package" on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine that envisions supply of five billion cubic meters of gas within half a year and with a possible increase in volume. The temporary price for 1,000 cubic meters of gas would be $385 for this period.
In June, Gazprom was forced to introduce a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine due to Kiev's massive debt which is currently estimated at $5.3 billion.
 (RIA Novosti)
  6/10/14

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Παρασκευή, Οκτωβρίου 03, 2014

Commission proposes moderate decrease in deep-sea fishing opportunities 2015-2016 to protect vulnerable species

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 3 October 2014:

The European Commission has today proposed fishing opportunities for deep-sea fish stocks in EU and international waters in the North-East Atlantic for 2015-2016. In line with scientific advice, the Commission proposes an increase of total allowable catches (TACs) for 4 stocks, a decrease for 9 stocks, and a status quo for 5 stocks as compared to 2014. For 4 stocks, mainly deep-sea sharks, the proposal does not yet contain a figure, because scientific advice will be delivered later this month.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Deep sea ecosystems and fish stocks are particularly vulnerable to human activities, such as fishing, and need appropriate protection. Hence, sustainable management is the only way we can ensure the future of deep-sea fisheries. It is good news that the scientific advice allows for increases for a number of these stocks, but unfortunately the situation is bleak for most other stocks. We look forward to continue working with the Member States to improve the knowledge on these stocks, and to work towards sustainable deep-sea fisheries."
 
For the important stock of Roundnose grenadiers West of the British Isles, scientific advice on how to achieve Maximum Sustainable Yield is available. Based on this, the Commission proposes a moderate cut for this stock (-12%), which should allow it to be fished at sustainable levels in 2015. For 2016 a small increase will be possible (+2%). For 4 stocks of Greater forkbeard, the Commission proposes 10% increases. 

For a number of other stocks, data is limited and a precautionary approach implies significant cuts to protect the stocks. This is especially the case for Red seabream in the areas West of Portugal and around the Azores. The scientific advice for the area West Portugal even calls for the development of a recovery plan.

The Commission's proposals are based on scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). However, available data for most deep-sea stocks are insufficient to allow scientists to fully assess the stock status, either in terms of number of fish or fishing mortality. 

Background
Deep-sea fish are slow-growing and long-lived, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fishing. They are caught in waters beyond the main fishing grounds of continental shelves. They are distributed on the continental slopes or associated with seamounts.
Fishing for deep-sea species has been regulated by the European Union since 2003. Deep-sea fisheries account for about 1% of fish landed from the North-East Atlantic. The catches – and related jobs - have been declining for years, due to depleted stocks.
The poor state of key deep-sea stocks and the lack of scientific data clearly demonstrates that a better management framework for deep-sea fisheries, as proposed by the Commission in 2012 (see IP/12/813), remains highly necessary.
 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1084_en.htm?locale=en
3/10/14

Σάββατο, Σεπτεμβρίου 20, 2014

FISHERIES CONTROL: PORTUGAL, FRANCE, SPAIN, ITALY, LATVIA AND MALTA NOW PLAYING BY COMMON RULES

To achieve sustainable fishing, the revised rules of the Common Fisheries Policy need to be fully respected. But how can we ensure that they are in practice?

Well, by efficient and harmonised control systems.

In a spirit of subsidiarity, fisheries control means are agreed at EU level, but need to be concretely implemented on the ground by national authorities. Therefore, to guarantee a level playing field between fishermen, the European Commission checks how Member States implement their common obligations. It also provides Member States with support, where necessary, so that their control systems meet the European requirements. For the development of IT tools or the reinforcement of existing control systems the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund can provide substantial financing.

For instance, the Portuguese Action Plan proposed last Thursday is part of a broader scheme to collaborate with Member States. With France, Spain, Italy, Latvia and Malta we have already agreed on specific Action Plans to fill missing links or reinforce the effectiveness of their controls. So doing, we ensure that we all play by the same rules, a prerequisite to preserve the sustainability of our marine resources.
http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/fisheries-control-portugal-france-spain-italy-latvia-and-malta-now-playing-by-common-rules/
19/9/14
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Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 18, 2014

Enforcing fisheries rules: Questions and answers on new Portuguese control action plan

European Commission, MEMO, Brussels, 18 September 2014:

What does this action plan seek to achieve?
Effective fisheries control is essential for the sustainability of European fisheries. This is best achieved if all fishermen in the EU play by the same rules. To that end, the Commission is working with all the Member states individually to bring their national control system up to European standards. Where general, systemic shortcomings are identified action plans are drawn up to identify steps needed to address these shortcomings.

The Portuguese action plan focuses largely on the catch registration system, with the aim to ensure that the essential data required to effectively monitor catches are complete, reliable and available in a timely manner. For example, measures within the action plan include the development of IT tools to enable more effective data collection, sharing and analyses. A fully functioning catch registration system is essential for national control authorities to monitor that fishing quotas are respected and overfishing avoided.
Several measures in the plan aim to re-establish the chain of control, and the flow of catch data between mainland Portugal's fisheries authorities and those of the Portuguese offshore archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira.
Also included are measures which focus on Portugal's inspection activities, to support a more robust control system; for instance the introduction of risk assessment as a tool to enable strategic use of inspection resources and the improvement of coordination and resource sharing between the different authorities involved in inspection activities (Navy, Air force, National Republican Guard (GNR), and the fisheries authorities of the Azores and Madeira).
In addition, there are measures which aim to inform fishing communities, raise awareness and ultimately increase the degree of compliance by the fishing industry.
Which other countries have an action plan in place?
Before today's announcement action plans have already been agreed with Malta, Spain, Italy, France, and Latvia whilst others are in the pipeline for Bulgaria and Romania.
Malta
  1. The Maltese Action Plan, adopted in 2011, seeks to improve the control systems for Bluefin Tuna due to identified shortcomings in catch monitoring. Malta's was the first administrative inquiry followed by an action plan jointly monitored with the Commission.
  2. Since the fishery concerned was subject to a recovery plan, the actions in the action plan increased the overall compliance of the EU with ICCAT rules and produced a management plan with control measures approved by the international community. These include real time monitoring and a significant deployment of inspectors.
  3. The action plan puts Malta in line with ICCAT's long term recovery plan for Bluefin tuna.
Spain
  1. The Spanish action plan, adopted in 2012, was triggered by the problems identified in their catch registration system, in particular in relation to the late collection of control data, the lack of coordination between control authorities and data reliability.
  2. With the quota system depending on accurate data to avoid overfishing, the Commission worked with the Spanish authorities to improve the operations of their systems. Based on the action plan the Spanish authorities have set up a coordination mechanism between the central authorities and the Autonomous Communities. They have totally reshaped their catch registration system and have developed effective IT tools. Other concrete actions taken by Spain include the restriction of fishing possibilities for vessels having exceeded their quota, for instance in the hake fishery.
  3. The focus of inspections in Spain has been significantly improved by risk driven control strategy and joint operations between the Autonomous Communities inspectors, Guardia civil, Navy and the state fishery inspection services. This has significantly reduced the risk of overfishing mackerel compared to previous years.
Italy
  1. Italy's Action Plan, adopted in 2013, focuses on overcoming some malfunctioning in the monitoring, control and inspection of its fishing activities under the CFP identified in 2010 and 2011, including the use of illegal driftnets.
  2. It focuses mainly on control systems for highly migratory species. Intensified control activities are therefore conducted for the large pelagic fisheries, both within the framework of the Bluefin tuna recovery plan and the swordfish closed seasons.
  3. Driftnets sanctioning procedures were also incorporated into the action plan which is currently in its first stage of implementation.
France
  • The French action plan, adopted in June 2014 (IP/14/644), focuses on the catch registration system in order to ensure that the data available to national controllers is complete, reliable and timely.
  • It consolidates measures already taken by France and also includes measures such as the development of IT tools.
Latvia
  1. Following Commission audits revealing shortcomings in Latvia's control system, in particular in terms its administrative structure and resource availability, an action plan was jointly designed with the Latvian authorities.
  2. Latvia's action plan, adopted in 2013, has achieved significant progress in allocating additional human resources and setting administrative, legal and technical structures to implement CFP rules. IT structures have also improved and control procedures streamlined.
An administrative inquiry is ongoing in Bulgaria and in Romania to tackle shortcomings identified in their turbot fishery. The objective is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of these failures in order to identify concrete remedial actions that will be carried out in an agreed timetable. Depending on the outcome, action plans could be adopted in due course.
What if a Member State does not follow through with its Action Plan commitments?
Where there is no, or insufficient, action taken by the Member State within the deadlines fixed in the action plan, the Commission could start infringement proceedings.
Who does what in the EU fisheries control system?
Fisheries rules and control systems are agreed on at EU level, but implemented by the national authorities and inspectors of EU Member States. The day-to-day enforcement of the rules is for the national authorities: national inspectorates monitor for instance what gear is being used, or how many tonnes of fish are caught and then landed.
To encourage closer collaboration and exchange of best practices, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) in Vigo, Spain, organises joint control campaigns, where inspectors from different EU countries work together.
The Commission has its own body of inspectors, but they do not police the fishermen directly. Rather, their role is to inspect the control systems put in place by the Member States, and make sure that the CFP rules are enforced effectively and fairly across the whole of the EU. In that capacity they also can participate in national inspections. In order to be able to assess the reality on the ground the Commission inspectors carry out both announced and unannounced inspections in Member States.
What has the Commission done on control since the Regulation came into force?
The Commission has tackled non-compliance issues by issuing 45 warning pilot letters to Member States previously identified in preliminary infringement proceedings. Most of these cases have been satisfactorily resolved.
However, systemic control deficiencies identified in audits cannot always be addressed effectively in individual basis, and require an action plan with a set of complementary corrective measures. The results of this work can be seen today with the Portuguese action plan, the previous adoption of similar plans in Malta, Spain, Italy, France and Latvia, and the plans in preparation with regard to Bulgaria and Romania. All of these constitute concrete, detailed roadmaps for the improvement of control systems.
The aim was to move away from cases involving structural issues requiring adaptations to complex administrative systems to a more cooperative and collaborative way of working with Member States than in more traditional infringement cases, which can take a longer period of time before yielding results on the ground. Action Plans are one way of demonstrating this approach. In order to be able to assess the reality on the ground the Commission also carries out both announced and unannounced inspections in Member States.
Other important milestones in the development of the Control Regulation include coordinated inspections by means of Joint Deployment Plans and data exchange programmes between Member States and the European Fisheries Control Agency. Moreover, a new a Fisheries Expert Group on Compliance will be established, following the CFP Reform, to allow the Commission and Member States to strengthen and simplify control implementation in an open and transparent way.
Is control funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund?
Yes, the new EMFF €690 million control budget almost doubles the amount made available for control. Out of this amount, € 580 million has been ring-fenced to support the development of control programmes such as these action plans.........http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-532_en.htm?locale=en
18/9/14
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Δευτέρα, Σεπτεμβρίου 15, 2014

European Commission postpones decision on OPAL pipeline until October 31

The delay was provoked by the upcoming trilateral gas talks between Russia, the European Union and Ukraine, the date of which has not been determined yet...

MOSCOW, September 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Commission has postponed the decision on the OPAL pipeline, which links Russia and Europe via Nord Stream bypassing transit countries, until October 31, the Russian Energy Ministry said on Monday.
The ministry confirmed it had received the Commission’s postponement note.


The delay was provoked by the upcoming trilateral gas talks between Russia, the European Union and Ukraine, the date of which has not been determined yet.
By delaying the decision, the European Commission is trying to give Kiev better positions in the negotiations with Gazprom, taking into account the latter’s interest in preserving a viable transit route via Ukraine, a source told ITAR-TASS.

The European Commission was expected to decide by September 15 whether Gazprom could fill up the whole of the OPAL pipeline, which is the final distribution link of the Nord Stream pipeline.

Under the Third Energy Package, some of OPAL’s capacities should be reserved for gas from independent suppliers. In practice, this will limit Gazprom’s gas supplies to Europe by Nord Stream, which appears to be the most reliable route amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on August 29 after talks with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger that the working group on access to OPAL would meet shortly.

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The OPAL (Ostsee Pipeline Anbindungs-Leitung) is a natural gas pipeline in Germany alongside the German eastern border. The OPAL pipeline is one of two projected pipelines to connect the Nord Stream pipeline to the existing pipeline grid in Middle and Western Europe, the other one being the NEL pipeline.

The OPAL will pick up the natural gas in Lubmin near Greifswald from the Nord Stream pipeline and transport it 470 kilometres south to Olbernhau on the Czech border. The OPAL will not only provide connecting points for discharging the gas into the existing pipeline network, it will also link up the current natural gas transit lines. That will strengthen Germany's position as a focal point in Europe for the growing natural gas market.
Nord Stream will transport 27.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas from late 2011, and up to 55 billion cubic metres from 2012. This amount of gas corresponds to the energy produced by 55 coal power plants pr 20 new nuclear reactors.
The Shtokman gas and condensate field will be a resource base for gas deliveries via Nord Stream.
http://en.itar-tass.com
15/9/14
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