The Commission proposes a methodology suited to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and indicated seven initiatives to be undertaken in two priority areas.
The Commission proposes a multiannual action plan for the period 2006-08. The plan identifies three types of act:
- instruments whose review has already been started;
- new legislation, which must be drawn up in line with the simplification objectives;
- legislative instruments now in force that must be simplified as a matter of priority.
Simplification should aim to:
- revise the body of Community law, on the basis of the methodology contained in the strategy for the simplification of the regulatory environment
- strengthen the pre-legislative phase (consultation and assessments);
- promote clearer legislative texts and access to information;
- rationalise and reduce the administrative workload and cost imposed by Community legislation.
Simplification should benefit both fishermen and the public authorities responsible for fisheries.
The Commission proposes to concentrate its efforts on resource-conservation policy and the control of fishing activities.
As regards the conservation of resources, the Commission proposes to prioritise simplifying the legislative instruments related to:
- the management and conservation of certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks;
- technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms;
- the collection and management of data needed for implementing the CFP.
With regard to the monitoring of fishing activities, simplification should concentrate on four areas:
- adjusting all the legal provisions;
- computerising and automating certain procedures that are obligatory under the resource management and conservation policy;
- reducing reporting obligations for fishermen and the authorities;
- improving the management of fishing authorisations.
The action plan specifies for each measure the different actors involved, the instruments to be simplified and the timetable.
The current action plan was drawn up by the Commission on the basis of the Communication "Perspectives for simplifying and improving the regulatory environment of the CFP", adopted in December 2004.
The action plan is fully in line with all the initiatives the Commission has taken to simplify and improve the regulatory framework.
This is the first action plan designed to simplify legislation in one particular sector.
It also contributes to achieving the Lisbon objectives of promoting economic growth and creating jobs, since a more effective legal environment can strengthen competitiveness.
Implementing the action plan
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the implementation of the Action Plan for simplifying and improving the Common Fisheries Policy [COM(2009) 261 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Although commitments listed in the Action Plan have been met, efforts to simplify the regulatory environment concerning fishing and related activities will be continued, since the tasks set by the better regulation agenda are of a permanent nature.
Specific initiatives on the simplification of the CFP will be inserted in the Programme the Commission presents annually. For instance, in the 2009 programme is mentioned the revision of rules governing market organisation with a view, in particular, to improving legal clarity and reducing administrative burden through extended use of electronic reporting.
Cutting pointless reporting obligations will also remain a main objective as well as regrouping legal provisions in fewer acts, while improving their clarity and accessibility.
Simplification goals will be kept in mind when drawing up the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, while the impact of procedural rules that the Lisbon Treaty will have on the legislative process, will also be taken into due consideration.
The Commission encourages Member States to commit themselves to a simplified regulatory environment, by cancelling needless requirements established by domestic legislation and by promoting the resort to ICT.
Proposal for a Council Regulation authorising the Commission to approve modifications to protocols of fisheries partnership agreements concluded between the European Community and third countries [COM(2007) 595 of 15.10.2007].
Proposal for a Council Regulation concerning the conservation of fisheries resources through technical measures [COM(2008) 324 of 4.6.2008].
Communication from the Commission of 24 May 2006 - Improving consultation on Community fisheries management [COM(2006) 246 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Communication from the Commission of 5 February 2007 on improving fishing capacity and effort indicators under the common fisheries policy [COM(2007) 39 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Policy Statement from the European Commission of 15 September 2006 - Fishing Opportunities for 2007 [COM(2006) 499 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Policy Statement from the European Commission of 6 June 2007 - Fishing Opportunities for 2007 [COM(2007) 295 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Policy Statement from the European Commission of 30 May 2008 - Fishing Opportunities for 2009 [COM(2008) 331 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Council Decision 2007/409/EC of 11 June 2007 amending Decision 2004/585/EC establishing Regional Advisory Councils under the Common Fisheries Policy [Official Journal L 155 of 15.6.2007].
Council Decision 2009/447/EC of 25 May 2009 repealing Directive 83/515/EEC and 11 obsolete Decisions in the field of the Common Fisheries Policy [Official Journal L 149 of 12.6.2009].
Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006 on the European Fisheries Fund [Official Journal L 223 of 15.8.2006].
Council Regulation (EC) No 1966/2006 of 21 December 2006 on electronic recording and reporting of fishing activities and on means of remote sensing [Official Journal L 409 of 30.12.2006].
Council Regulation (EC) No 41/2006 of 21 December 2006 fixing for 2007 the fishing opportunities and associated conditions for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Community waters and, for Community vessels, in waters where catch limitations are required [Official Journal L 15 of 20.1.2007].
Council Regulation (EC) No 1098/2007 of 18 September 2007 establishing a multiannual plan for the cod stocks in the Baltic Sea and the fisheries exploiting those stocks, amending Regulation (EEC) No 2847/93 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 779/97 [Official Journal L 248 of 22.9.2007].
Council Regulation (EC) No 199/2008 of 25 February 2008 concerning the establishment of a Community framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the Common Fisheries Policy[Official Journal L 60 of 5.3.2008].
Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, amending Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1936/2001 and (EC) No 601/2004 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 1093/94 and (EC) No 1447/1999 [Official Journal L 286 of 29.10.2008].
Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 of 29 September 2008 concerning authorisations for fishing activities of Community fishing vessels outside Community waters and the access of third country vessels to Community waters, amending Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93 and (EC) No 1627/94 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 3317/94 [Official Journal L 286 of 29.10.2008].
Council Regulation (EC) No 492/2009 of 25 May 2009 repealing 14 obsolete Regulations in the field of the Common Fisheries Policy [Official Journal L 149 of 12.6.2009].
Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy [Official Journal L 343 of 22.12.2009].
Commission Decision 2009/309/EC of 1 April 2009 repealing 13 obsolete Decisions in the field of the Common Fisheries Policy [Official Journal L 90 of 2.4.2009].
Commission Regulation (EC) No 875/2007 of 24 July 2007 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty to de minimis aid in the fisheries sector and amending Regulation (EC) No 1860/2004 [Official Journal L 193 of 25.7.2007].
Commission Regulation (EC) No 736/2008 of 22 July 2008 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the Treaty to State aid to small and medium-sized enterprises active in the production, processing and marketing of fisheries products [Official Journal L 201 of 30.7.2008].
Commission Regulation (EC) No 148/2009 of 20 February 2009 repealing 11 obsolete Regulations in the field of the common fisheries policy [Official Journal L 50 of 21.2.2009].