CFP Briefing No 17

The Commission has come forward with its proposed decision on regional advisory councils (RACs), which is arguably the most concrete manifestation thus far of anew approach to EU fisheries governance under the revised Common Fisheries Policy. Although intended purely to advise the Commission and national fisheries managers, RACs should allow management issues to be considered in a more tailored and ecosystem-based way, while enhancing dialogue between different interests involved in any one maritime region.

In presenting this proposal, the Commission is aiming to define a common framework to govern the shape, membership, functioning and financing of RACs. There is a fine balance to be struck, on the one hand, between allowing RACs to becreated through bottom-up stakeholder-led processes, and on the other, ensuring basic consistency between the EU’s marine regions and respect of principles of good governance. The question is whether this balance has in fact been struck.

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