The second round of annual fisheries consultations between the EU and Norway, kicked off on 3 December, was suspended on 6 December after the parties failed to come to agreement.

The talks on shared management of certain North Sea stocks stumbled on the question of cod quotas. The EU is deadlocked on this issue due to the conflict between the European Parliament and the Council over their respective competences under the co-decision procedure for adoption of the multiannual management plans.

The European Commission (DG MARE) has asked its legal staff to come up with a solution acceptable to the two institutions. This matter will probably be addressed first by the Council at its fisheries meeting, on 18-20 December, focused on setting fishing opportunities (TACs or total allowable catches) for 2013.

Pending a solution – or at least an agreement with Norway – the Council will probably adopt provisional TACs for the species concerned. The talks with Oslo will resume in mid-January 2013.

2012 Europolitics