Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the "Green Paper on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy"
OJ C 36, 8.2.2002, p. 36–43 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
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Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the "Green Paper on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy"
On 22 March 2001 the Commission decided to consult the Economic and Social Committee, under Article 262 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, on the Green Paper on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy.
The Section for Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment, which was responsible for preparing the Committee's work on the subject, adopted its opinion on 28 September 2001. The rapporteur was Mr Chagas.
At its 385th plenary session of 17 and 18 October 2001 (meeting of 17 October), the Economic and Social Committee adopted the following opinion by 129 votes in favour with five abstentions.
1.1. The Green Paper on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy is designed to launch a wide debate among all Community bodies, members of the fisheries sector, and the many other organisations concerned about the sector's future. The Green Paper can provide a valuable basis for dialogue with a view to assessing the situation and possibly securing a consensus on measures and goals for the development of the sector in the short term.
1.2. This important sector is in a highly vulnerable position, being weakened by the depletion of stocks, the steady erosion of employment, and the bleak outlook for some regions which are heavily dependent on fisheries and are faced with a fraying social fabric and no viable alternatives for reviving the local economy.
1.3. The sector's current structural, social, regional and political problems stem from a variety of factors: the rapidly changing circumstances of the sector itself, inadequate application of existing legislative instruments, and unbridled exploitation of resources. These problems are of concern to us all.
1.4. The revision of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) provides an opportunity that must not be wasted. The Member States and the Commission must have the political courage to grasp the attendant challenges and tackle the resistance which always appears, but also to put forward balanced measures that have been decided in a dialogue with the sector. In particular, these measures must provide the support needed to cushion any socio-economic consequences.
1.5. The Committee regrets that the Green Paper does not fully address important topics such as aquaculture, the common market in fishery products and illegal fishing. The Commission must be sure to tackle these topics when it comes to draw up formal proposals.
2. General comments
2.1. The Committee is pleased that the Green Paper stresses the basic principles which, according to the Treaty, should guide the CFP. These are: to increase productivity, to ensure a fair standard of living for the fishing community, to promote technical progress and to ensure that supplies reach consumers at reasonable prices.
2.1.1. The Committee therefore considers that the set of objectives listed in chapter 4 of the Green Paper supplement the basic principles enshrined in the Treaty. One of the major challenges of the reform is to reach a compromise between these principles, the current situation of resources and the need to minimise the socio-economic consequences of the necessary reforms, whilst respecting the overall objective of fisheries policy as enshrined in the FAO's Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
126.96.36.199. The Commission's review of the current objectives of the CFP completely overlooks the social aspects. These aspects should be a constant concern in both short and long term analyses.
2.1.2. Fishing cannot be treated solely from an economic viewpoint because, as the Committee noted in a previous opinion(1), "for the regions concerned, the importance of fisheries and all ancillary activities, both upstream and downstream, extends far beyond their contribution to GDP. Fishing constitutes a hub around which a whole series of communities revolve, and these play a key role in maintaining social balance and ensuring regional management; this role is difficult to quantify in economic terms". This is particularly true in the outermost regions. Accordingly, and in keeping with the arguments put forward by the Committee, the Commission should offer these regions greater support in the form of practical measures.
2.2. Resource conservation
2.2.1. The vital need to conserve fishery resources was enshrined in Community law at a very early stage. This principle has top priority in the Community's resource management system. The CFP has thus been an essentially positive factor in that it has improved the organisation and regulation of fishing activities. The continuing problems and dissatisfaction felt by some of the sector's main players do not call into question the usefulness of this important common policy.
2.2.2. As the Committee has frequently noted for many years(2), the sustainability of fishing activities and the future of many fishing communities depend on the political will to address the current overfishing and depletion of stocks. Broadly speaking, the current situation has been brought about not by an absence of appropriate legal instruments, but by the fact that they have not been applied properly. The Committee therefore duly notes the Green Paper's recognition of shortcomings in the application of the battery of instruments available under the CFP, and the fact that - for reasons which are unclear - instruments have been not applied at all, or have been applied insufficiently. Although the Council has recognised that the overexploitation of resources is unsustainable, it has not accepted some of the Commission proposals warning it about this situation.
2.2.3. The Committee agrees that conservation policy needs to be tightened up and improved by deploying all the instruments available, such as multiannual and multispecies management and the full range of technical measures. The Committee has already noted that in the field of technical measures, "there is still scope for progress if there is the political will and support for research geared to improving the selectivity of fishing tackle, for example"(3). The Green Paper is now suggesting the deployment of some measures that have not been applied or have been underused. This raises the question of why, if such provisions already exist, they were not exploited in the past.
188.8.131.52. A clearer picture is also needed of the real scale of "recreational" fishing, as in some cases the scale of this exceeds what would normally be considered a simple leisure activity. Member States should be called upon to manage fisheries possibilities in this sector.
184.108.40.206. The Committee supports and recommends a more detailed analysis, backed by scientific advice, of the outlawing of discards where feasible, of striving to minimise by-catches, and of making use of closed seasons and closed areas. The Committee agrees that a responsible, sustainable conservation policy requires a precautionary approach based on rigorous scientific recommendations. It must then be up to the decision-makers/managers to adopt measures on the basis of the information available. Special care must be taken to avoid disruptions which require drastic measures such as the current ban on cod and hake fishing in the North Sea, as such measures have serious socio-economic consequences.
220.127.116.11. The Committee reiterates the view expressed in an earlier opinion on fish not used for human consumption. Although fish used for meal are essentially from less commercially prized species, this sector inevitably has an impact on the food chain of other species and this impact should be assessed.
2.2.4. The Committee supports the proposal for a system to track the CFP's progress towards sustainable development, and the performance of the management schemes and policies already in place, as a way of rectifying the abovementioned shortcomings.
2.2.5. As regards access to fishing grounds and stocks, the Committee reiterates its previously expressed views(4) on the principle of relative stability and access to the North Sea and the Shetland Box. The access restrictions in the North Sea for the Spanish, Finnish, Portuguese and Swedish fleets are to be lifted on 31 December 2002. However, as species of commercial interest are already subject to TACs and quotas, this right of access is purely formal. With a view to future enlargement(s), care must be taken to ensure that new Member States do not enjoy a more favourable regime than current Member States.
18.104.22.168. The 6 to 12-mile limit is a key issue in the reform of the CFP, and the Committee reiterates its view that access should continue to be restricted and/or that the current derogation should be made permanent or extended for a considerable period.
2.2.6. As fishery resources are renewable natural resources, fishing rights should be accorded to the Member States and they should be left to adopt their own management system for using and distributing quotas.
2.2.7. Although the Commission has not submitted an official proposal on the matter, the Committee does not agree with the introduction of individual transferable quotas managed directly by the Commission and granted to fishermen without involving the Member States, as part of a market-based system involving payments for fishing rights. The institutionalisation of such a system would concentrate fishing rights in large businesses, spelling the end of smallscale fisheries and small and medium-sized enterprises. It would also mean disaster for communities in some regions which depend on fisheries.
2.3. Environmental aspects
2.3.1. The Green Paper acknowledges that fisheries depend on biological conditions which are heavily influenced by environmental factors, and that environmental protection must be made an integral part of the CFP. However it does not specify how this is to be done, and merely states that a future communication will consider "elements of a strategy for the integration of environmental protection requirements into the Common Fisheries Policy". It is not clear how this strategy is to be applied, or how the Community authorities and the Member States are to acquire the resources to stop people treating the sea as a dumping ground for all kinds of pollutants.
22.214.171.124. A truly integrated policy requires the adoption and implementation of a policy for the management of coastal areas. The Committee supports the efforts being made to implement a European strategy for coastal zone management; this strategy should also address the concerns of the fisheries sector. Here too it is important to ensure that human activities do not disrupt the environmental balance.
2.3.2. Will the "polluter-pays" principle be effectively applied, with compensation for injured parties? This is an important aspect for the credibility of the CFP in terms of public health and market confidence. Compensatory mechanisms should also be considered for those who invest in environmental improvements.
2.3.3. The development of eco-labelling could provide consumers with a useful guarantee that a product is wholesome, has been caught according to the rules, and meets food safety standards. However, as this scheme is not yet sufficiently advanced, caution is needed regarding those aspects which extend beyond good fishing practice and respect for eco-systems. A standard eco-label has not yet been devised, and the Committee considers that in the case of fishery products this label could include information about the fishing area, date of catch, fishing licence number, type of gear used, and so on.
2.4. Animal health, public health and food safety
2.4.1. On no account must the sector neglect efforts to ensure the quality of the final product in all senses. The current overhaul of Community legislation on foodstuffs will raise standards and introduce new requirements.
2.4.2. The market demands stricter quality standards, and the Community must see that these standards are respected by all.
2.4.3. The Community's goal of improving the quality and safety of fishery products will rest on a number of factors: on concern for water quality, so as to avoid possible pollution; on the good condition and conservation of fish, both during catching operations and subsequently; and on application of high health and safety standards. All these are intrinsic aspects of a policy of quality and safety for fishery products, which are prized for their dietary properties and their beneficial role in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
2.5.1. Analysis of the current situation confirms that the Community fleet is too large. The Committee agrees with the Commission that existing fleet adjustment policies should continue, subject to any alterations that are necessary to respond to recent developments.
126.96.36.199. Fleet adjustment measures should continue to be handled via the multi-annual guidance programmes (MAGPs). The programmes must be revised on the basis of a case-by-case analysis that takes account of the efforts and situation in each Member State as regards achievement of the MAGP targets. Any further reduction must take the objectives set previously as their starting point, and efforts to meet these objectives must continue before setting any new reduction targets. The possibility of introducing stiffer penalties for non-compliance should also be considered, particularly now that the Commission has proposed extending the current MAGP for a further year.
2.5.2. However, as the Committee noted in an earlier opinion, fleet reduction measures should not lose sight of "the need to continue to renew and modernise the Community's fleet. There should be a firm commitment to achieving high-quality conditions for processing the raw material, improving the quality of life on board, and enhancing safety for crews".
2.5.3. The Committee regrets that the Green Paper does not consider this problem when discussing a new policy for the Community fleet. Fishing is one of the most dangerous activities in Europe and in the world, with the highest incidence of industrial accidents. Here the Committee would refer to the comments made in an earlier opinion(5) and underscore those made in its opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No. 2792/1999(6).
2.6. Governance of the CFP
2.6.1. The Committee is pleased to note that the Commission intends to involve interested parties more closely in the debate and to let the sector share the responsibility for decision-making and management at local level. The Committee has called for such steps in many earlier opinions. In this context, the Committee also supports the moves to decentralise responsibilities by giving Member States a greater role in the adoption and management of conservation measures. However, care must be taken to ensure that decisions taken in the EU's name by one Member State are applied to all and do not discriminate against fishermen from other Member States.
188.8.131.52. The establishment of new forums for institutional dialogue, such as regional advisory committees, would also provide a means of involving the sector more closely, thereby improving effectiveness.
184.108.40.206. At the same time, an assessment is needed of why the current system does not function (advisory committee on fisheries and aquaculture). This might show - not for the first time - that the system is not obsolete but that its operation simply needs adjusting so as to meet the purpose for which it was created.
220.127.116.11. The Committee suggests that the establishment of regional committees be based on the main European fisheries areas and that it be consistent with the ICES(7) geographical divisions.
2.6.2. The Committee has always argued that it is vitally important that proposed amendments to the CFP and proposals for the TACs should be based on rigorous scientific advice. The future European Food Authority could play a coordinating role here. For many years now, the Committee's opinions have noted that conservation policy must be supported by advances in scientific knowledge and by technological development.
2.6.3. To note - as the Green Paper does twenty years after the establishment of the CFP - that there are significant gaps and weaknesses in the scientific advice and information available, does little to give credibility to the (sometimes difficult) decisions taken hitherto under the CFP.
2.6.4. Strong support for boosting scientific back-up in the EU fisheries field is vital. It will be interesting to see how Member States' financial effort is distributed here.
2.7. Monitoring and controls
2.7.1. As the Committee stated in an earlier opinion(8), "the monitoring of regulated activities is the key to securing a suitable resource conservation policy". There will be no substantive progress on the CFP until robust steps are taken to strengthen the Commission's powers of inspection, and until the disparities between Member States' sanctions systems are ironed out. The Commission's suggestions regarding "controllability evaluations", better use of new technologies and harmonisation of sanctions echo long-standing calls from the Committee, and the Committee therefore supports them.
2.7.2. The Committee regrets that the Commission has not yet clarified the objectives of the Joint Inspection Structure or its intended operation and sphere of activity.
2.7.3. The Committee urges the Commission to put forward proposals for extending monitoring and control policy to illegal fishing and vessels flying flags of convenience. The whole of the fisheries sector should have a clear position on this and should not associate itself with it either directly or indirectly. The Committee thus welcomes [subject to adoption of the relevant ESC opinion] the Commission's proposal(9) to alter Regulation (EC) 2792/1999 (MAGP IV) so as to "prohibit the granting of public aid for the transfer of vessels to third countries that have been identified by the relevant fisheries organisations as countries that permit fishing in a manner which jeopardises the effectiveness of international conservation measures.".
2.8. The social and economic dimension of the CFP
2.8.1. Adjustments to any sectoral policy - and in this case, to the CFP - will not produce the desired results and may have serious adverse effects if they are not backed by careful studies and analyses that consider the situation in all Member States.
18.104.22.168. The Commission proposes that the small-scale inshore fishing fleet (which plays the most obvious social role and which is the backbone of local economies and coastal areas) should receive special treatment, along with the outermost regions.
22.214.171.124. The Committee endorses this. However, a clear and transparent definition of small-scale fisheries will be needed in order to avoid distortions of competition.
126.96.36.199. In areas which are particularly dependent on fisheries, special attention must be given to investment in alternative sectors. The second report on economic and social cohesion, adopted in January 2001, noted that in the period 1990-1997 the regions in which dependency has risen are those where development is lagging behind.
2.8.2. The Committee reiterates a view expressed in an earlier opinion regarding structural measures for dealing with the excess capacity of the Community fleet: "Efforts should continue, without losing sight of the need to continue to renew and modernise the Community's fleet. There should be a firm commitment to achieving high-quality conditions for processing the raw material, improving the quality of life on board, and enhancing safety for crews. The concept of capacity should be redefined so that instead of only taking into account total fleet tonnage and engine power, a distinction can be drawn between an active capacity which generates fishing effort and a passive capacity which does not have any impact on this. Such a step would do much to improve safety and living conditions on board".
2.8.3. The Committee considers that the new management approach proposed by the Commission is too geared towards the problem of excess installed capacity (which is a genuine problem) and to incentives for withdrawals and support for fishermen seeking other economic activities, although this is important too.
2.8.4. However, whilst the review of FIFG aid must not overlook the need to modernise the Community fleet, an integrated and coherent policy can only call for the ending of construction and modernisation aid for those fleet segments or Member States which have incontrovertibly failed to meet the targets set in the MAGPs.
2.8.5. An indiscriminate reduction that did not take account of existing programmes for managing capacity (the MAGPs) could hit less problematic segments or particularly fisheries-dependent regions, and could even eliminate production capacity that is essential to the fabric of the sector. It could also discriminate against Member States which have met the targets set by the Commission and even, in some cases, exceeded them.
2.8.6. The same is true of aid for aquaculture. It is inaccurate to state - as the Commission does - that production and demand for all farmed species are currently balanced, as the situation varies from Member State to Member State. The proven reduction in wild species and the increased demand for fish products, in view of their health benefits, show that the Commission is mistaken, at least as regards some species and regions. FIFG aid should take account of the real situation in each Member State.
2.8.7. Sustainable management of fisheries will naturally benefit the sector. A reduction in manpower and in the number of working vessels will boost the productivity of those who remain in the sector and help improve fisheries resource management. However, the fact that there is excess capacity in some countries does not necessarily mean that there is a similar surplus of workers. Some Member States actually face a labour shortage.
2.8.8. There should be an active social policy to back up the restructuring that is going to be necessary and the sacrifices that will have to be agreed to in all Member States in order to bring the size of fishing fleets into line with current levels of fishery resources. Socio-economic measures will be needed to cushion the effects of decommissioning and of fishermen leaving the sector, but steps will also have to be taken to train new, younger fishermen to replace those who take early retirement, as the long-term sustainability of the sector also depends on timely training for newcomers.
188.8.131.52. It will also be necessary to invest in the vocational training of those currently working in the sector. This training should focus primarily on safety and on fishing techniques but should also cover other topics which can equip fishermen with skills that make them less dependent on fishing in the strict sense of the term, so as to prepare them for alternative or supplementary activities.
184.108.40.206. The PESCA programme was not a great practical success. Nonetheless, the Committee thinks it important to continue to have a specific instrument for social policy in the sector. Spreading this support over other wider programmes makes access to it more complicated for those working in the sector.
2.8.9. The measures to be submitted by the Commission must extend beyond reducing fishing capacity and helping those currently working in the sector to find alternative employment. At all events, it is difficult to share the Commission's conviction that the answer lies in retraining surplus workers, as the age and skills of some may make it difficult for them to adjust to another job even if they are helped through the transition.
220.127.116.11. Other possible forms of assistance have not received the attention they deserve. For example, management of the number of fishing days and transposition of the directive on working time at sea could provide effective management tools, enabling the fishermen concerned to continue to work.
2.8.10. The recent crisis sparked by the sharp increase in fuel prices also highlighted the need to rethink some of the remuneration systems in the fisheries sector, as these can deter new entrants and hamper efforts to manage resources sustainably. In some widely used remuneration systems, increases in fuel costs are directly factored into pay; this seriously affects the income of many fishermen, thus provoking an increase in fishing effort.
2.8.11. The Committee has long called for social measures to remedy this situation, on the grounds that the sustainability of the sector - and hence of many regions of the EU - also depends on decent working conditions and a skilled, well paid workforce. The institutionalisation of a guaranteed minimum wage for the sector could help not only to guarantee fishermen a decent standard of living but also to ease the pressure on stocks. Although this does not fall within the direct remit of the Commission, but is rather a matter for the social partners, the Commission could conduct an information campaign to encourage the partners to act.
2.9. External relations
2.9.1. This is an important strand of the CFP which cannot be taken out of context, as the Green Paper seems to do. The overarching aim of this policy strand is to give EU fishing fleets access to resources outside their own waters, with a view to reducing the EU's deficit in fishery products and ensuring balance on the internal market whilst not neglecting the legitimate interests of our partners in third countries. Future fisheries agreements must continue to abide by these principles, or they will not come about.
2.9.2. Access is granted by means of commercial agreements which may include other aspects of Community development policy. The Council has reaffirmed the need to boost the EU's international activity in the fisheries field on a number of occasions.
2.9.3. The principles underpinning the external strand of the CFP must be upheld.
2.9.4. The Committee does not favour a dual approach to international agreements. The various types of fisheries agreement must all be guided by the same principles. Different or specific arrangements are only justified if they reflect actual practical differences.
2.9.5. The agreements with the ACP countries should be retained and strengthened, as these are necessary for the EU and are an important development factor for the signatory countries and have a crucial socio-economic impact on them.
2.9.6. The Committee also welcomes the Commission's move to hold talks with the social partners on the inclusion in fisheries agreements of a social clause to ensure compliance with a series of standards and principles as established by the ILO.
2.9.7. The Commission makes appropriate suggestions for boosting multilateral cooperation and the important role played by the EU. Full support should be given to these efforts, including those to strengthen the role of regional fisheries organisations in combating certain undesirable practices which threaten the sustainability of fisheries and the future of the sector.
2.10. The Mediterranean and the CFP
2.10.1. The Committee agrees with the Commission that further efforts are needed to fully integrate the Mediterranean into the CFP by improving or adapting the relevant legislation. The special arrangements for this region have played a part in the depletion of stocks and should be carefully reviewed with a view to gradually bringing them into line the arrangements for other Community areas.
2.10.2. Mindful of the fact that a common legal framework will make for more balanced and rational exploitation of Mediterranean fisheries, the Committee hopes that appropriate legislative measures will soon be adopted. This is vital for the survival of the socio-economic fabric and coastal communities concerned.
2.10.3. If the measures adopted in this region by the Member States are to be effective, the EU must also prevail on the other Mediterranean countries to follow the same path. Some steps are being taken in this direction (e.g. in the Adriatic), but the practice should be extended to the rest of the Mediterranean as any EU measures would be quite ineffective if they were not followed by the other countries in the region. Special attention should be paid to vessels from non-Mediterranean third countries, whose activities often go unchecked.
2.11. Sustainable management of the CFP
2.11.1. The future of the CFP will depend to a large extent on the means and resources bestowed on the Commission, the Member States and the sector for conducting this important common policy successfully.
2.11.2. Both now and, more importantly, in the future, the CFP must be consistent with the Community's other policies such as its environmental, trade and development aid policies.
2.11.3. The relevant budgetary allocations must also be commensurate with needs and aspirations, and with the EU's international responsibilities.
Whilst welcoming all the positive elements put forward in the Green Paper, the Committee wishes to underline the following aspects which merit further elaboration:
- concrete political commitment to remedy the shortcomings in the application of the battery of instruments available under the CFP;
- the Commission's forthcoming proposals should also consider aquaculture, the common organisation of the fisheries market and the fight against illegal fishing;
- particular attention must be paid to the special circumstances of the small-scale fisheries sector and the Community's outlying regions;
- the possibility of outlawing discards where feasible, of striving to minimise by-catches, and of making use of closed seasons and closed areas should be examined;
- the 6 to 12-mile limit is a key issue in the reform of the CFP, and access should continue to be restricted and/or the current derogation should be made permanent or extended for a considerable period; EU enlargement should be taken into account in this respect;
- the Committee disagrees with the introduction of the system of individual transferable quotas and the introduction of any approach based exclusively on market oriented measures;
- recreational fishing should be subject to strict management by Member States in accordance with EU legislation;
- the integration of environmental factors when managing the CFP is still quite unclear; the questions of coastal zone management, compensation of injured parties and eco-labelling are certain examples of ambiguity;
- the market demands stricter food quality standards, and the Community must see that these standards are respected by all, ensuring improvement of water quality, good condition and conservation of fish, and application of high health and safety standards; rigorous scientific advice should be sought by suitable EU bodies; the fishmeal question should be seriously addressed;
- fleet adjustment measures should continue to be handled via MAGPs, only when positive results are confirmed; the possibility of introducing stiffer penalties for non-compliance should also be considered;
- there should be a firm commitment to achieving high-quality conditions for processing the raw material, improving the quality of life on board, and enhancing safety for crews;
- in respect to governance, care must be taken to ensure horizontal and balanced implementation of EU rules; the establishment of regional committees should be based on the main European fisheries areas and it should be consistent with the ICES geographical divisions;
- there will be no substantive progress on the CFP until robust steps are taken to strengthen the Commission's powers of inspection, and until the disparities between Member States' sanctions systems are ironed out; the Committee regrets that the Commission has not yet clarified the objectives of the Joint Inspection Structure; the Committee urges the Commission to put forward proposals for extending monitoring and control policy to illegal fishing and vessels flying flags of convenience;
- a clear and transparent definition of small-scale fisheries will be needed in order to avoid distortions of competition;
- socio-economic measures such as vocational training, investment in alternative employment sectors, management of the number of fishing days and transposition of the directive on working time at sea could provide effective management tools; the institutionalisation of a guaranteed minimum wage for the sector could help not only to guarantee fishermen a decent standard of living but also to ease the pressure on stocks;
- the Committee does not favour a dual approach to international fisheries agreements, and the CFP must be consistent with the Community's other policies such as its environmental, trade and development aid policies.
Brussels, 17 October 2001.
of the Economic and Social Committee
(1) Additional own-initiative Opinion on the Common Fisheries Policy (OJ C 139, 11.5.2001).
(2) Opinion on 2002: The Common Fisheries Policy and the fisheries situation in the European Union (OJ C 268, 19.9.2000), and additional own-initiative opinion on the Common Fisheries Policy (OJ C 139, 11.5.2001).
(3) See point 2.7.1 of ESC opinion CES 244/2001 (OJ C 139, 11.5.2001).
(4) See point 2.7.1 of ESC opinion CES 244/2001 (OJ C 139 of 11.5.2001).
(5) OJ C 139, 11.5.2001.
(6) COM(2001) 322 final - 2001/0129 CNS.
(7) International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
(8) See point 2.7.1 of ESC opinion CES 244/2001 (OJ C 139 of 11.5.2001).
(9) COM(2001) 322 final.