The Address | Benghazi – Libya
BRUSSELS – The European Parliament is discussing a proposal to extend the fishing zone in Libya’s territorial waters allowed for European countries close to Libya, according to a report posted on its online media center.
Whereas the European Union has exclusive competence in fisheries matters, in particular as regards the definition of the common fisheries policy and the conclusion of international agreements with third countries; it emphasizes that “the central Mediterranean is the most important area of passage of bluefin tuna, and that not having access to it has extremely serious economic and social repercussions for the EU’s tuna fishing industry,” according to the text of the draft resolution presented by the Italian MEP, Innocenzo Leontini.
“While the EU has already come forward with a package worth almost € 70 million in bilateral support to Libya, subdivided into 23 projects covering several different sectors, mainly through the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI) and the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP); the seizure of EU fishing vessels by the Libyan authorities is a common occurrence”, referring to the support given in particular by the European authorities to the Presidential Council in its capacity as a recognized authority by EU.
The draft resolution states, “within the ambit of its bilateral relations and in the light of the substantial financial support provided to Libya, should request that the permitted fishing zone in Libyan territorial waters be enlarged. ”
It also calls on the European Commission to negotiate an agreement with the Libyan authorities “aimed at enabling EU fishermen to have legal and safe access to Libyan fishing waters.”, The draft resolution concluded.