Source: Commission Press Release [IP/04/556]
There as been much talk about the weakness of the commission and some pundits are claiming that the "Monnet method" of gradual integration is dead.
If any evidence to the contrary were needed, this is it. Quietly, though its agency programme, the commission continues to extend its powers. Step-by-step, it is extending its remit from simply proposing laws and leaving Member States to enforcement, to taking a direct hand in enforcement.
Make no mistake, this is a quantum leap in the power of our new government. Particularly sinister is the establishment of an EU fisheries monitoring centre. control is slipping out of the hands of the Member States.
Text as follows:
The European Commission has proposed the creation of an EU Fisheries Control Agency, to improve compliance with the 2002 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
The agency will strengthen co-ordination and enforcement efforts by pooling national fisheries control and monitoring resources. It will organise the deployment of surveillance vessels, aircraft, vehicles and other equipment as well as inspectors, observers and other staff.
Joint deployment plans will be agreed by the agency and the member states concerned on the basis of identified criteria, benchmarks, priorities and common inspection procedures. Multinational teams will be set up for onshore and at sea inspection in identified areas, and on identified fisheries and fleets at given times.
The agency will provide support to the member states in meeting their responsibility not only in EU waters, but also in relation to fisheries agreements concluded with non-EU countries.
It will be active on the high seas under international control and inspection schemes agreed within the framework of Regional Fisheries Organisations such as the North-west Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) or the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC).
Other tasks include the training of inspectors, provision of equipment and services for control and inspection, and co-ordinating the implementation of joint pilot projects to test new control and inspection technologies.
To help the agency in its tasks, an EU fisheries monitoring centre, using satellite-tracking technology to provide information on the movements of EU vessels, will be established.