Saturday

4th Jul 2020

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 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

EU plans tougher checks on foreign takeovers

The EU and its member countries are worried that foreign powers, such as China and its state-owned companies will take advantage of the economic downturn and buy up European firms

Vestager hits back at Lufthansa bailout criticism

Commission vice-president in charge of competition Margarethe Vestager argued that companies getting large capital injections from the state during the corona crisis still have to offset their competitive advantage.

German court questions bond-buying and EU legal regime

The German Constitutional court ordered the European Central Bank to explain its 2015 bond-buying scheme that helped eurozone stay afloat - otherwise the German Bundesbank will not be allowed to take part.

Coronavirus

EU leaders to reconvene in July on budget and recovery

Most EU leaders want an agreement before the summer break, but the Dutch PM, leading the 'Frugal Four', warned there might not even be a deal then. But the ECB's Christian Lagarde has warned of a "dramatic" economic fall.

Coronavirus

EU leaders seek to first narrow differences at summit

EU leaders on Friday will share their takes - online - on the €750bn recovery and €1.1 trillion budget plans, before they try to seal the deal at one or two likely head-to-head meetings in July.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  2. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  4. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  6. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us