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Uniform and effective implementation of the common fisheries policy
To implement an action plan to facilitate cooperation in implementing the common fisheries policy (CFP) and create a joint inspection structure.
Commission communication of 21 March 2003: Towards uniform and effective implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy [COM(2003) 130 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
Action plan. The action plan sets up a Community strategy in accordance with the European rules on the conservation of resources, inspection and surveillance.
Strengthening the use of national means of inspection and surveillance. The Commission is proposing to use the means available as a priority in selected zones. It will identify the fisheries and stocks to target. The Commission also intends to adopt specific monitoring programmes. It will set common inspection and surveillance priorities and benchmarks and determine the inspections to be conducted. The Member States, who are primarily responsible for monitoring the fishing of their resources, will adopt all the measures needed to facilitate the implementation of these programmes.
Improving operational cooperation. The Commission intends to rationalise data recording and reporting to authorities. It will encourage the launch of pilot projects on electronic reporting devices and logbooks.
To ensure ease of access to inspection data, the Member States will be able to appoint coordinators responsible for supplying information to inspectors from other Member States. The Commission, in collaboration with the Member States, will also ensure that the information is confidential. It will study with the national authorities how to harmonise the operational communication routines.
To improve follow-up of infringements committed, the Commission will make available to all parties a list of national coordinators. At the same time, the Member States will ensure that these coordinators are empowered to speak on behalf of all the parties involved.
Harmonising surveillance activities. The Member States will exchange inspectors, notably for the surveillance of cross-border fishing activities. Each year, the Commission and the fisheries representatives will examine the irregularities reported. To facilitate cooperation, the Commission will establish inspection procedures.
Monitoring and review. As part of the cooperation between the Commission and the national authorities, the Commission will give its opinion on the information about inspection and surveillance missions.
Community Fisheries Control Agency. To improve the effectiveness of checks, the Commission is proposing to adopt Community inspection and surveillance strategies. It also intends to arrange the pooling of national means of inspection. The Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) will be responsible for deploying these means.
Mission of the CFCA, role of the Member States and the Commission.
It is proposed that the CFCA should plan and organise the deployment of the national means of inspection.
It could train inspectors and give instructions on the zones, stocks and fisheries to be inspected.
The Member States will have to allocate the human and technical resources needed to ensure that the Agency functions properly. They will also have to ensure that their inspectors comply with the Agency's planning. Creation of the CFCA in no way relieves the Member States of their inspection and surveillance obligations.
The Commission is responsible for regulating and evaluating the common fisheries policy and representing the EU in the international arena. By designing Community-level inspection and surveillance strategies in helps coordinate action and cooperation between the different parties. In particular, it will ensure that the Member States have the means needed to implement the joint strategies.
Other tasks of the CFCA. The CFCA can also collect and evaluate information and take on certain obligations under agreements between regional fisheries organisations or bilateral agreements. At the request of the Commission, it can also provide technical assistance.