The 24th of April last, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Governance within the Common Fisheries Policy. This resolution reinforces the mutual interest shown by both the RACs and the EP in establishing a closer relationship between both organizations at a more institutionalized level.
This resolution states that the evaluation and review of the functioning of the RACs has proven to be positive in general terms. However, it is noted that the excessive degree of bureaucracy and lack of flexibility in the application of the financial management rules by the Commission has hampered in practice a smooth functioning of the RACs. In relation to the content aspects regarding the provision of advice, it has been stressed that the Commission should reply in more detail to the RAC opinions and addresses all the questions posed in the recommendations presented by the RAC. The Commission should also provide systematic explanations in relation to the extent the RACs advices or recommendations have been used and incorporated on its legislative proposals.
The European Parliament considers that dialogue between fishing stakeholders and scientists should be enhanced, allowing to the first a more inclusive participation in the decision making process.
Thus, the EP basically requests that in respect to the RACs, the Commission: increase the visibility of their activities; improve the access of the RACs to scientific evidence and data and engage their participation in the consultation procedures in an earlier stage.
Furthermore, considering the workload that RACs are currently facing, and its increasing level of responsibilities, the Parliament demands that the Commission guarantee the allocation of adequate and sufficient funds, together with a higher degree of flexibility in the use of these funds in order to allow the RACs to carry out their tasks to promote the development of the CFP.
The European Parliament requests that its members acquire the status of active observers in the RACs, and that the Commission designates one or several MEP as liaison with the RACs.
Finally, the Recommendation indicates that it would be advisable to establish closer links between the RACs and the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee to improve the governance within the CFP.