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Document 52010AE0984

Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 861/2006 of 22 May 2006 establishing Community financial measures for the implementation of the common fisheries policy and in the area of the Law of the Sea’ COM(2010) 145 final — 2010/0080 (COD)

OJ C 44, 11.2.2011, p. 171–172 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

11.2.2011   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 44/171


Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 861/2006 of 22 May 2006 establishing Community financial measures for the implementation of the common fisheries policy and in the area of the Law of the Sea’

COM(2010) 145 final — 2010/0080 (COD)

2011/C 44/31

Rapporteur-general: Ms SÁNCHEZ MIGUEL

On 31 May and 12 May 2010 respectively, the Council and the European Parliament decided to consult the European Economic and Social Committee, under Article 43(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on the

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 861/2006 of 22 May 2006 establishing Community financial measures for the implementation of the common fisheries policy and in the area of the Law of the Sea

COM(2010) 145 final — 2010/0080 COD.

On 25 May 2010, the Bureau of the European Economic and Social Committee instructed the Section for Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment to prepare the Committee's work on the subject.

Given the urgent nature of the work, at its 464th plenary session, held on 14 and 15 July 2010 (meeting of 15 July), the European Economic and Social Committee appointed Ms María Candelas Sánchez Miguel rapporteur-general, and adopted this opinion by 135 to none, with 4 abstentions.

1.   Conclusions

1.1   The EESC welcomes the proposed measures to amend the current Regulation No. 861/2006, because they are intended to make the funding of data collection and scientific studies more transparent and make it easier to ensure the objectivity of measures adopted under the common fisheries policy (CFP). Discussions on reforming the CFP have highlighted the need for a solid set of data to guarantee that the way in which the common fisheries policy is implemented reflects real needs, to make certain that the policy is sustainable in economic, social and environmental terms.

1.2   The new provisions are intended to clarify the system of funding data collection and the production of scientific studies relevant to the CFP. Moreover, the scope of what is deemed to be data collection is extended, regulating the management and use of data in terms of the legal certainty of the information gathered. The monitoring of data by the Member States will help ensure they are used properly.

1.3   As regards funding for the operating costs of the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs), this will no longer be limited, as it has been to date, to support for the setting-up of these bodies.

1.4   Furthermore, it is proposed to meet the costs of the representatives of the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA) incurred through participation in the meetings of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF).

1.5   Where the administrative procedures for applying for and monitoring funding are concerned, the need is highlighted for Member States' multiannual plans to be detailed and to be approved by the Commission, to ensure that they are subject to EU budgetary discipline.

2.   Introduction

2.1   The aim of the proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No. 861/2006 is to clarify the scope of measures funded and in particular to improve the content of certain articles concerning expenditure on monitoring measures and their implementation.

2.2   The planned changes cover three areas:

changes to the legislative framework;

changes affecting the scope, to ensure that they reflect current needs;

changes clarifying the measures covered by this Regulation that Member States should adopt when collecting data and carrying out studies on the CFP.

2.3   Furthermore, and as part of international relations in the context of the CFP, the type of cooperation is clarified (bilateral, regional or multilateral).

2.4   Also included is a new administrative form for requesting and processing funding, with clarification of how it should be implemented and monitored by the bodies set up for this purpose.

3.   The EESC's comments

3.1   The EESC welcomes the proposed changes to Regulation No. 861/2006, because they include rules adopted after the entry into force of the Regulation. Particularly noteworthy is the request for data and scientific studies on the situation of our seas and oceans and of fisheries, to ensure that any measure adopted on fisheries policy is well founded and guarantees the sustainable use of existing resources.

3.2   The aim is to improve not only transparency but also the use of funds, broadening the criteria for the granting of funding. Funding the collection of data and monitoring their use by the Member States will help ensure that research forms a key part of the CFP and leads to the sustainable development of the fisheries sector.

3.3   The proposal's content can be grouped together as follows:

3.3.1

Community framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the Common Fisheries Policy. The salient feature of this proposal is its reference to funding coming not only from States and the competent public bodies, but also from the private sector. Broadly speaking, the aim is to acknowledge a reality - the involvement of the private scientific sector, which is now taking place in practice, hence the Committee's view that its inclusion makes legislation more transparent.

3.3.2

International cooperation with third countries on data collection and the production of studies (regional, bilateral or multilateral agreements). This means scientifically monitoring not only our own fisheries resources but also those of other regions in which EU vessels fish, in order to improve scientific and technical assessment of their fisheries and monitoring of their activities.

3.3.3

Funding of the costs of participation by representatives of the ACFA in meetings of the RCC, ICES and the STECF, in order to make decision-making as broad-based as possible. This funding is determined by the specific benefit accruing to the EU. The EESC considers that the organisations referred to above should be given a greater role to play, not only in terms of their involvement in collecting data, but also in taking decisions on fisheries-related matters that fall within their remit and which would help improve the CFP.

3.3.4

Procedures in the area of data collection, management and use. The amendment to Section 2 of the regulation aims to harmonise the current funding application procedure with the procedure used in the multiannual programmes put forward by the Member States, with the Commission's approval. This will ensure that the final assessment of their use will be subject to Community expenditure monitoring rules.

3.4   Lastly, the EESC considers that although reform of the CFP is in the pipeline, this proposal for amendment is useful, as it makes it possible to bring forward the potential benefits of using objective scientific data for planning future measures that should be taken once the new policy is adopted, rather than having to wait until 2013. In any event, stepping up and developing the same practices in third countries will have a major impact on the state of our seas and oceans.

Brussels, 15 July 2010.

The President of the European Economic and Social Committee

Mario SEPI


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