Friday

18th Oct 2019

French fishermen blockading English Channel offered €4m

French agriculture and fisheries minister Michel Barnier announced Thursday (16 April) that his government is ready to release some €4 million to appease fishermen whose blockade of English Channel ports has now entered its third day.

Early on Thursday morning the minister issued a communique offering the funds after more than four hours of negotiations with the fishermen in Paris, according to French media reports.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The blockaders say that small-scale fishing is dying (Photo: Irish Presidency)

Mr Barnier is also to request that the European commissioner for fisheries, Joe Borg meet with himself and representatives of the French fishermen, according to domestic daily Le Figaro.

The fishermen have blocked the ports of Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk to protest EU fishing quotas, notably of cod and sole in the English Channel and the North Sea. They say that the quotas are too low and that small-scale fishing is dying while fish stocks are robust.

The French minister however has refused to touch the quotas, despite the offer of compensation.

The European Commission for its part on Wednesday affirmed that there could be no reconsideration of the quotas.

The blockade was temporarily lifted last night to clear a bottleneck of passengers from Calais.

The fishermen intend to lift the blockade again for a few hours this morning to allow their numbers to participate in a general assembly to consider the minister's offer.

At the same time, the French CFDT union has threatened to extend the blockade today to Eurostar and Eurotunnel services that pass through the Channel Tunnel if their demands are not met. The BBC is reporting however that the French police will move to prevent such action.

US to put tariffs on European whiskies, cheese

After a 15-year legal battle, the US was given the green light to impose tariffs on EU products. The EU is threatening countermeasures but wants to negotiate. Transatlantic ties have suffered another blow.

News in Brief

  1. Commission: Facebook's Libra needs international approach
  2. Italian PM: denial of accession talks a 'historic mistake'
  3. Catalan president blames clashes on 'infiltrators'
  4. US imposes €6.7bn new tariffs on European products
  5. G7: Libra should not operate until all risks addressed
  6. Kurds agree with US-Turkey ceasefire but not safe-zone
  7. US to host 2020 G7 summit at Trump golf club
  8. Turkey's pension fund buys stake in Finnish defence firm

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  2. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  3. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  4. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  6. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  10. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  12. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us