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EU fisheries policy needs to be radically decentralised


24 Apr 2009


Health & Consumers
Agriculture & Food

The European Parliament adopted a report today by Elspeth Attwooll (LibDem, United Kingdom) which advocates a complete recast of the institutional governance of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), in particular by reinforcing the role of the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) established in 2004. This report comes at a time when the European Commission has announced a wide consultation in order to reform "Blue Europe" in view of 2013.

" The closer involvement of stakeholders in the decision-making process is clearly having a beneficial effect, as evidenced, for example by the voluntary agreement of Scottish fishermen to close areas where there is an abundance of juvenile cod and the decision of the North Sea RAC to ban the discarding of marketable cod", underlined Mrs Attwooll. "That said, it is clear that certain issues to do with funding, composition and area of coverage remain to be resolved and that action needs to be taken to improve their visibility, the consultation procedures and their access to scientific evidence on fish stock levels, a permanent source of debate among fishermen".

The European Parliament feels that the RACs should be at the heart of any future Government operation in the future CFP. "We need a radical decentralisation so that measures are tailored to particular fisheries in specified areas, according to conditions in them" suggested the rapporteur.

"Whilst the CFP should remain a common policy in terms of its aims and objectives and its general regulation, administration and supervision, actual management should be progressively devolved to the RACs, with a view to them playing a full role in this regard by the time the coming reform of the CFP is in place", concluded Elspeth Attwooll.


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