Modifications to how ACFA operates

Following our participation, with Framian BV and COWI Consultants, in the Interim Evaluation of the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (see news item “Evaluating how the European Commission consults with fishery sector stakeholders through ACFA” March 2008), we are pleased to record that the considerable work we put into this report has been received favourably by the Bureau of ACFA and a number of our proposals are being taken forward by ACFA with the Commission.

“Update on the Reflection on the Future of ACFA's WG4 and ad-hoc Group on CFP Reform

“The chairman of the Bureau gave details of the two meetings held on 19 November and 3 December 2008. The Bureau would call on the Commission to retain a consultation body at European level to deal with horizontal European issues. It was also agreed to ask the Commission to ensure continuity in the funding of preparatory meetings for ACFA meetings and to include in this interpretation and location costs. The Bureau also retained four key criteria for membership of ACFA and emphasised the need to use information systems and electronic tools for the work of ACFA, with links to the official documents of the Commission. All these elements would be part of a written opinion to be prepared by the Secretariat and the Secretaries-General of the Organisations. This document would be circulated at the end of January for comments and discussed with the Secretaries-General in February in order for it to be finished by March.

“He also informed the meeting of the Bureau's proposal to suspend the activities of WG4 temporarily and to reassign the capacity and resources of this group to the ad-hoc group on CFP Reform. The general issues addressed by WG4 would be discussed in WG1 and/or in the other groups or plenary meetings. This was supported by the plenary participants. However, it was requested that all member organisations should be able to participate in the meetings of the different WGs when issues concerning their interests were discussed. The Secretariat recorded that the WGs and working methods could be reorganised following the advice of ACFA as short-term improvement measures.”