The European Committee of the Regions is currently drafting an opinion on the reforming of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in view of the forthcoming legislative proposal by the European Commission.
Our rapporteur, Mr Jesús Gamallo Aller (ES/EPP) would like to gather the views of key stakeholders on this important topic.
The Commission package concerning the current state of the CFP, the energy transition of the sector, the EU action plan to protect marine ecosystems and the common organisation of fishing markets across the EU is aiming to:
- Support the revitalisation of coastal communities and improve their economic prospects with more innovation and technology.
- Reinforce the CFP’s contribution to the EU’s environmental objectives.
- Have a climate neutral fisheries and aquaculture sector by 2050.
- Advocate for the standardisation of formal labour qualifications and for more precise common marketing standards for fishery products sold in the EU.
A CoR own-initiative opinion is seeking to enable local and regional authorities to make a contribution to the design of the future legislative framework tailored to their needs and expectations.
More in particular, the working paper raises following questions:
- Should the CFP's social dimension be given more prominence? Should its impact on areas highly dependent on fishing be assessed?
- Do you believe that the Commission is making maritime activities and fishing subordinate to environmental aspects? What do you think about creating a dedicated Commissioner post for fisheries-related issues?
- Do you think the EU's current approach to avoiding unwanted catches, which still account for 25% of total catches, is the right one? Could adaptation of the quota allocation and improved valuation of certain species help?
- How could CFP decision-making be improved to take account of the views and knowledge in the sector?
- Should we extend EU sustainability standards to other marine areas? How could environmental NGOs help create a true and fair framework for global fisheries?
- Do you think that the rules governing fishing in the EU are among the most rigorous in the world? Does this ensure that European fisheries are sustainable and resilient?
- Do you think that the sector will have time to adapt to the phasing out of mobile bottom fishing in all MPAs within such a limited timeframe?
- The plan envisages curbing the use of fishing gear used to catch species that could not be caught otherwise. Is this consistent with food security?
- Do you think that this action plan involves the sector enough? The fact that this plan is not a legally binding act makes it unfeasible to appeal to European Court of Justice. Should the Commission opt for an ordinary legislative procedure in order to avoid any lack of legal defence and legal grey area in this process?
- In the context of the European Green Deal, should the lower carbon footprint of fishing compared to other economic sectors be taken into account?
- In order to fully commit to the use of renewable and low-carbon energy sources in fisheries, should we not first have a specific technology that is clearly practicable and economically viable?
- Given that improving energy efficiency involves installing new propulsion systems, would it be sensible to renew fleets by constructing new vessels?
- Increasing energy efficiency will entail a significant economic effort to adapt fishing gear and vessels. Should we have a specific fund for this purpose?
- Achieving a genuine fair trade framework requires greater coordination and coherence between different EU policies, such as the common commercial policy and the employment policy. How should this coordination be improved?
- In order to make progress on identifying sustainable fishery and aquaculture products, do you see a need for an eco-labelling scheme?
- Producer organisations play a key role in producing and marketing fishery products, but there are other entities with a similar role, such as fishers' associations in Spain. Should these entities benefit from the same recognition and tools as producer organisations?
- Marketing is a key stage in the functioning of the sea-industry chain in adding value to the product. Does your region encounter difficulties in supporting this activity with the various sectoral funds linked to fisheries and aquaculture?
The adoption of the CoR opinion is scheduled for November 2023.
You are cordially invited to participate at our stakeholder consultation which will take place on June 19th, from 14.00 to 15.30 (Brussels time) at the premises of the European Committee of the Regions, Rue Belliard 99-101, 1040 Brussels, meeting room JDE53.
The consultation will be in English, in person only.
Your comments and/or your position papers are also welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will be able to watch the webstreaming below: