North Sea RAC Condemns Rush to beat Lisbon

19th October 2009 in Advisory Councils, North Sea

The North Sea RAC has issued a stiffly worded press release criticising the Commission's drive to force through new legislation to beat the introduction of co-decision-making with the European Parliament.

The North Sea RAC along with other regional advisory councils were established as part of the 2002 CFP reforms to provide the Commission with considered and balanced stakeholder advice.

Against this background, it is a matter of the utmost concern that the rush to agree a new Control Regulation and a new Technical Conservation Regulation (to beat the introduction of co-decision making) has in effect bypassed the RACs.

The extensive and detailed advice that we have submitted on these proposals has been completely ignored in the artificial and truncated time frame imposed.

It is almost inevitable that this rush to beat the democratic reforms associated with the Lisbon Treaty will result in two major pieces of CFP legislation of critical importance to the fishing industry, being littered with errors, anomalies and contradictions.

We deplore this absolute failure of good governance and warn the Commission and Council that if these legislative proposals are accepted, it will be the fishing industry, member states and enforcement authorities who will inherit the consequences of what amounts to an abrogation of the Commission’s duty of care.

The Commission’s own Green Paper on CFP reform signals the correct way forward on detailed fisheries management and control rules. It suggests that these responsibilities should be devolved to regional and fishery levels, where the problems associated with a blunt, top-down, approach can be avoided.

The two proposals confronting us move in exactly the wrong direction.