Skip to main content

European Union (Marine Resources)

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he intends to make on the draft EU constitution's provision for an exclusive EU competence over the marine resources of the sea. [117725]

In the amendments to the draft EU Constitutional Treaty that the Government have submitted to the Convention, we have emphasised that the competences exercise should clarify existing competences rather than extend Union competence.The Government believe that the inclusion of the conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy at draft Article 12 of Part 1 of the draft Constitutional Treaty, as an area of exclusive Union competence, represents an accurate reflection of the current position with regards to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).The European Court of Justice held, in Case 804/79 (Commission v UK) that, "since the expiration on 1 January 1979 of the transitional period laid down by Article 102 of the [UK's] Act of Accession, power to adopt, as part of the common fisheries policy, measures relating to the conservation of the resources of the sea has belonged fully and definitively to the Community." That said, Council Regulation 2371/2002 gives member states the right to introduce non-discriminatory conservation measures, up to 12 miles from the shore line. Such measures must conform with the CFP and must be cleared with the Commission in advance.