[Fsfe-ie] Patents Back on Fishery Agenda

Ian Clarke ian at locut.us
Fri Jan 21 12:20:35 CET 2005

I will try to respond even though I am probably not the best informed 
about this:

On 21 Jan 2005, at 10:28, Ciaran McCabe wrote:
> On 20 Jan 2005, at 14:37, Malcolm Tyrrell wrote:
>> http://wiki.ffii.org/Fish0501En
>> Good luck,
> Is it the agriculture minister or one of our elected MEPs that need to 
> be alerted to this?  Who are the MEP's that are supposed/likely to 
> attend?

It is the Agriculture Minister, no MEPs will attend as this is a 
Council of Ministers meeting, its a different part of the EU and is 
independent of the European Parliament.  MEPs will get their chance 
later in the process during the "second reading", but it will be much 
more difficult for them to make amendments to the Directive as any 
change will require a majority of *all* MEPs, not just those who happen 
to be there at the time :-/

> Also, please excuse my naivety but can someone please clarify this 
> issue for me:  How can this be appearing on the calendar for 
> agriculture in the first place?  Hardly seems predominantly 
> agriculturally based.

Good question.  The official answer would probably be that this is just 
a formality as the Directive received "political" approval last May.  
It just needs to be rubber-stamped, and it doesn't really matter which 
Ministers do it.

The cynical answer is that this political approval is on very shaky 
grounds as it was reached under somewhat unusual circumstances and many 
national parliaments who had voted in favour in May have now come out 
against it, so they are basically trying to sneak it through under 
people's noses.  Agriculture Ministers can approve this on the basis 
that they are just rubber-stamping something that has already been 
approved, and since they are Agriculture Ministers, they can plead 
ignorance as to the controversy surrounding it.

Any or all of this could be completely wrong, but that is my 
understanding of things.


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