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Regional Advisory Councils
The establishment of Regional Advisory Councils (RACs), a mainstay of the reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP), seeks to involve stakeholders in the fisheries sector more closely in the decision-making process in this field. Through these ongoing forums, all the parties concerned will be able to maintain a dialogue and cooperate in the development and implementation of the CFP.
By this Decision, the Council intends to adopt a general framework for establishing Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) in order to encourage participation by the fisheries sector * in the formulation and management of the common fisheries policy (CFP). Within that context, the parties concerned may make recommendations and suggestions to the Commission and the competent national authorities regarding the geographical areas covered by an RAC.
The RACs consist of management units based on biological criteria. They cover sea areas which are the concern of at least two Member States. An RAC is therefore established for:
- the Baltic Sea;
- the Mediterranean Sea;
- the North Sea;
- north-western waters;
- south-western waters;
- pelagic stocks;
- the high seas/long distance fleet.
Where a matter is of interest to various RACs, they will coordinate their positions and adopt joint recommendations on that issue.
In order to establish an RAC, the stakeholders must submit a properly documented request to the Member States concerned * and the Commission. If the Member States consider the request to be compatible with this Decision, they will send a recommendation on the RAC to the Commission. The latter, after evaluation of the recommendation and any necessary amendment to the request, will adopt a decision specifying the date on which the RAC will become operational.
Structure and composition
Each RAC will consist of a general assembly and an executive committee.
The general assembly will approve each year the annual report and the annual strategic plan drawn up by the executive committee.
The general assembly will appoint an executive committee of up to 24 members, which will manage the work of the RAC and adopt its recommendations.
The RACs will consist of representatives of the fisheries sector and other interest groups * affected by the CFP. These will be proposed by the organisations representing the fisheries sector and other interest groups to the Member States concerned who will select all the members of the general assembly.
Scientists will be invited to participate as experts in the work of the RACs. The following may also participate as active observers:
- the Commission;
- national and regional administrations of the Member States concerned;
- a representative of the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA);
- representatives of the fisheries sector and other interest groups from third countries on an invitation from the RAC.
RACs will adopt the measures necessary for their organisation. They may, for example, establish a secretariat and working groups. They will adopt the measures necessary to ensure transparency at all stages of the decision-making process. Their meetings will, in principle, be open to the public, save in exceptional cases.
The members of the executive committee will, where possible, adopt recommendations by consensus.
RACs may receive Community aid to cover their operating costs, including translation and interpretation. The Financial Regulation provides for such aid for bodies pursuing a European general interest objective. As regards the procedure, the Commission signs grant agreements with the RACs and may carry out checks to ensure that their expenditure matches the tasks they are supposed to perform.
|Key terms used in the act|
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
OJ L 256 of 3.8.2004
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
OJ L 155 of 15.6.2007