Mr Kuyk wants to see the establishment of a new horizontal Advisory Council in addition to the regional bodies proposed in the current reform negotiations.
Up till now, processors and traders, who employ some 130,000 people in over 4,000 businesses across the EU and generate outputs valued at over 23 billion euros, have been a formal part of consultation arrangements under the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA).
Under the reform proposals, ACFA has already been discontinued and will be replaced with a series of new regional bodies and a dedicated forum for aquaculture only.
There will, however, continue to be a range of issues, particularly in relation to trade and marketing of fish, which transcend regional boundaries and require proper discussion in a horizontal forum to avoid potential distortions of competition and ensure that the benefits of the EU Single market are assured for all who earn their livelihoods from the industry.
The European Parliament supports such an initiative and AIPCE-CEP strongly urges the Commission and Council to agree. Alternative solutions so far suggested by the Commission would lack clarity and consistency as well as adding to complexity through discussion of the same issues in all or several of the new regional bodies.
Summarising the AIPCE-CEP position, Andrew Kuyk said: “Processors and traders are a vital part of the supply chain, adding value, expanding the market and providing quality and convenience for consumers across all Member States.
"As such, we deserve to be represented on an equal basis with other stakeholders in the new Advisory Council structure which the Commission is proposing as part of its Common Fisheries Policy reforms. This cannot be done on a purely regional basis and requires a new horizontal forum consistent with Single Market principles.”