European Fisheries Alliance Chairman Gerard van Balsfoort meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his team. Photo: EUFA
The European Fisheries Alliance (EUFA) Chairman Gerard van Balsfoort met with EU Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier and his team.
At the meeting they discussed the ongoing negotiations on the future relationship with the United Kingdom. EUFA restated the importance of reaching an agreement on the wider economic partnership with the United Kingdom that maintains existing mutual access to waters and fishing rights for our fishing fleets.
In an open and frank discussion, Mr. van Balsfoort and Mr. Barnier agreed that a balanced, sustainable and long-term solution for fisheries is needed, with the interests of all Member States concerned in mind, and not least the many men and women whose livelihoods depend on it on both sides.
Mr. van Balsfoort stressed that the European Fisheries sector will continue to work constructively to support Mr. Barnier, the European Commission and the Member States in reaching an agreement on this basis, maintaining both existing access to waters, fishing rights and markets. EUFA emphasized that this is essential to protect the future prosperity of fleets, fishermen, and their communities in the EU and the UK.
Upon leaving the meeting, Mr. van Balsfoort stated “I would like to thank Mr. Barnier for his work over the past three years and continued openness to engage with the sector. The next few months be defining for the future of thousands of fishermen, their communities and the value chain linked to fisheries across the EU and we hope that the European Union will continue to take a strong position to protect their future”.
He further added that “the current system strikes a fragile but necessary balance between sustainable management of fish stocks, the prosperity of EU and UK fleets and the thousands of jobs in our coastal communities. We should build upon this basis as any upset to this balance will have very real consequences for many livelihoods across the continent”.