Scottish Government to provide expertise to Estonia.
Estonia will receive support from the Scottish Government to help host the 2017 EU fisheries negotiations for the first time.
Estonia will hold the presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2017 which means it will be responsible for defining the Council’s positions while taking into account the interests of all member states and remaining neutral at the same time.
The Scottish Government will lend an official to provide expertise to the Estonian Presidency, this will include support for planning around the December fisheries Council - the culmination of all the end of year negotiations on the industry’s fish quotas for the year ahead.
The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU member states every six months Estonia’s Presidency was moved six months forward after the UK dropped out of the Presidency cycle following the EU referendum vote.
The announcement follows the conclusion of this year’s negotiations where Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing met Estonian Fisheries Minister Marko Pomerants to discuss the partnership.
Mr Ewing said:
“I’m delighted that the Scottish Government can use some of its expertise from years of fisheries negotiations to help Estonia host the 2017 December fisheries Council.
“While we may have less than 10% of the UK population Scotland landed 78% of the total UK catch of key stocks in 2015 and we are undoubtedly a key player in Europe’s fishing industry. This is an opportunity to impart some of our knowledge and experience on the breadth and depth of fisheries concerns.
“I look forward to working with Estonia later in the year and building on the strong successes at the 2016 negotiations, which secured increases for the majority of our key species and additional fishing opportunities worth around £47 million.”
The Scottish Government is in the process of identifying a suitable candidate to provide expertise to Estonia.
Audio clip of Fergus Ewing for use on radio is available to download under embargo from 10am Jan 4: https://audioboom.com/posts/5425027-fisheries-reflections