Irish candidates for EU Parliament hoping upcoming elections shift more fisheries power away from Brussels

A banner in Brussels, Belgium, highlighting the upcoming European Parliament elections
Elections for European Parliament are set to take place 6 June through 9 June | Photo courtesy of Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock
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Several Irish candidates running for election to the E.U. Parliament have claimed that the Netherlands exercises outsized control on the bloc’s fisheries policy and possesses an unfair share of quotas.

Irish MEP Luke Ming Flanagan is seeking reelection to Parliament, and claimed that MEPs from the Netherlands dominate fisheries policy discussions in Europe and would be unlikely to cede any quota their country has, some of which Flanagan believes rightfully belongs to Ireland.

According to Flangan, the influence Dutch MEPs currently have on European fisheries policy is likely to increase after the elections, which are set to start 6 June.

The right-leaning Identity and Democracy (ID) group is expected to win more seats in the upcoming elections, and with numerous Dutch MEPs aligned with the ID group, Irish efforts to wrestle away quota may become more difficult, Flanagan said.

“If you are looking to get involved with MEPs who will cooperate and hand over what’s ours, the last people to do it will be the ID. You are asking the people who run the fishing industry in the E.U. to give it all away,” he said at a town hall event organized by the Irish Fish Producers Organization (IFPO), along with the Killybegs Fishermen's Organization (KFO) and the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association (IFPEA).

IFPO CEO Aodh O’Donnell echoed Flanagan’s concerns, pointing out that Irish waters comprise 12 percent of E.U. fishing waters, but the country has just 5.6 percent of E.U. fishing quotas.

Though right-wing gains in the election are likely to increase Dutch influence, other Irish candidates

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