Friday, August 31st 2012 - 01:10 UTC

EC with “no powers to intervene” in Spain/Gibraltar bay fishing dispute

The European Commission has told a South West of England and Gibraltar Member of the European Parliament that it has no powers to intervene in the ongoing standoffs at sea between local law enforcement agencies and the Guardia Civil.

Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, powerless

Tory MEP Ashley Fox had described the Guardia Civil incursions as “a deliberate provocation” and urged the Commission to step in.

But the EC response to Mr Fox’s question in the European Parliament last June was short and non-committal.

“The incidents evoked in this question have their origin in a territorial dispute between Spain and the UK in which the Commission has no powers to intervene,” said Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

In his question Mr Fox had praised the “dignified and restrained” response of the Gibraltar authorities to the “illegal” Spanish incursions.

He told the European Parliament that the Gibraltar and British authorities had sought to avoid any escalation of the situation.

“However, with armed patrol vessels coming into close proximity, this has the potential to quickly turn into a lethal situation,” he said at the time.

However the British Government is full-square behind Gibraltar in wanting to find a diplomatic solution to the fishing dispute, the Governor, Sir Adrian Johns told Gibraltar Chronicle earlier this week.

Sir Adrian was quoted as saying that it was important to create the conditions for a successful outcome and that this meant all sides keeping cool heads to allow the process to go forward. He added major confrontation right now would not put Gibraltar in a better position.

10 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 Idlehands (#) Aug 31st, 2012 - 03:47 am Report abuse
Someone within the EU will suddenly find they have powers or interests to help if we start sinking Spanish vessels.
2 lsolde (#) Aug 31st, 2012 - 08:43 am Report abuse
@1 ldlehands,
No one has the guts to do that. Wimps
l would give such an order.
3 Idlehands (#) Aug 31st, 2012 - 09:16 am Report abuse
These things get out of hand very quickly - it may not be a case of somebody “deciding to do it”. More likely somebody feeling threatened and letting rip at sea.
4 vestias (#) Aug 31st, 2012 - 10:32 am Report abuse
Se a UE não tem poderes para intervir então a España e o Reino Unido devem encontrar soluções politicas para que o caso de Gibraltar seja resolvido
5 Conqueror (#) Aug 31st, 2012 - 11:16 am Report abuse
@4 Have you noticed the bit at the top of the Comments section? It says “Comments must be in English.” And so many of your comments are being removed. Wonder why!

On the article: The EU is lying. Again. Perhaps the EU should start by removing its designation of an area within BGTW as a Spanish site of wildlife protection. Instead of waiting for the matter to come to court and then appointing Spanish judges to adjudicate. This is often called “conflict of interest”. I call it “perversion of the course of justice”.
6 Dr. Jeorbbels (#) Aug 31st, 2012 - 06:12 pm Report abuse
Do as the French and Spanish do. Ban all EU fishing vessels from UK waters and the EU will suddenly become involved
7 ProRG_American (#) Aug 31st, 2012 - 10:27 pm Report abuse
1 Idlehands What makes you think that sinking some naval vessels will go without a response. The Spanish Navy is more than capable in taking on anything you have. They even have an Aircraft carrier. As well as all of the bases on the mainland. This just another example that colonialism is a breeding ground for conflict and that the chapter of British ocupation of Gibraltar is coming to a close.
8 Betelgeuse (#) Sep 01st, 2012 - 01:32 am Report abuse
The European Court of Justice recently rejected Gibraltar’s appeal against the European Commission’s decision to classify the marine area called the ‘Western Strait’ as protected Spanish territory. Britain had supported the appeal on the basis that the inscribed zone included a British natural habitat already registered by the UK. This latest decision significantly undermines the UK’s claim to sovereignty of the Bay of Algeciras as the ‘Western Strait’ conservation area maintained by Spain covers an area previously claimed by the UK.

Under EU law, only the member State with sovereignty over the land or sea in question can apply for it to be designated an EU conservation site. By ruling again in favour of Spain, the European Court of Justice has recognised Spain’s claim to sovereignty over the Bay of Algeciras.

Spain will continue to protect its fishermen and enforce Spanish and EU laws over those waters whether the UK or the British colony of Gibraltar likes it or not.

If the current occupants of Gibraltar have a problem with Spain’s actions then they should encourage their British over-lords to honour their commitments under the Brussels Process and heed the numerous UN General Assembly resolutions and enter into discussions with Spain over the decolonisation of Gibraltar.
9 lsolde (#) Sep 01st, 2012 - 07:04 am Report abuse
@7 ProAG,
Don't think so.
@8 Beetlejooz,
Don't you think, that to be fair, & of course we want to be fair don't we, that Spain should hand Ceuta & Melilla to Morrocco? No?
10 British_Kirchnerist (#) Sep 04th, 2012 - 02:08 am Report abuse
The pro-Gibs on this board should be thankful the EC is not intervening, you might not like it if they did! And doesn't thi inability to mediate in a petty squabble between two member states make it as much of a joke unity outfit as the SA organisations that are always mocked on here?

#9 I do think so. Do you??

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!