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C 137 E/140 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.

2003

Other contacts, on a reciprocal information basis, have been set up with the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) which was responsible for managing funding totalling five-million dollars provided by
the Italian development agency in Miranda State (small schemes implemented via NGOs).

5. The Commission will, of course, ensure the highest level of coordination possible with Member States,
multilateral organisation and UN agencies in the implementation of operations.

(2003/C 137 E/158) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2980/02


by Rosa Miguélez Ramos (PSE) to the Commission

(23 October 2002)

Subject: Social clause in international fisheries agreements

The Commission is rightly encouraging European social dialogue between entrepreneurs and trade unions
with a view to ensuring that the progress of European integration includes the social aspects. Of the
various industries, perhaps fisheries most require this social dialogue, due to the harsh working conditions,
long working days, high rate of accidents, aspects which go beyond the national framework, low levels of
trade union organisation and collective negotiation, wage systems foreign to labour law, etc.

At the plenary meeting of the ‘Sea Fishing’ Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee of 19 December 2001,
the economic and social representatives adopted a social clause to be included in fishery agreements with
third countries.

The clause also recognises the following within the framework of these agreements: freedom of association,
effective recognition of collective negotiation, and the elimination of discrimination of all kinds with
regard to employment and profession. It further establishes guarantees for contracted fishermen from the
signatory countries, who are guaranteed ‘living and working conditions similar to those of the EU’.

The Commission has recently signed three fishery agreements, with Santo Tomé, Angola and Senegal
respectively, and neither the regulation nor the protocols make any reference to this social clause.

Why did the Commission not include this social clause in its proposals for regulations and in the
protocols?

What measures is the Commission going to take to promote this clause and make it effective?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(11 December 2002)

The Commission is following with interest the deepening of the social dialogue between employers and
employees in the sea fishing sector and welcomes adoption by the social partners meeting in the Sea
Fishing Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee of the declaration calling for inclusion of a ‘social clause’ in the
Community’s fishery agreements with other countries.

The Commission is at present studying how the social partners’ wish can best be realised. It would be
possible to include the clause in agreements directly by means of a specific reference. Or its provisions
could be set out in the agreement and possibly improved on depending on the nature of the latter.

The Commission can already draw on past experience in this matter: provisions on employment of seamen
already exist, e.g. in the protocols to the agreements concluded with the Seychelles (1), Côte d’Ivoire (2) and
Mauritania (3).

(1) OJ L 134, 22.5.2002.


(2) OJ L 102, 12.4.2001.
(3) OJ L 341, 22.12.2001.