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Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Department Getting into Top Shape

the Fish Site Editor
30 December 2016, at 12:00am

EU - Come January 2017, the Commission's department dealing with maritime affairs and fisheries will be better equipped to match the challenges and priorities of today's maritime economy.

Following a reshuffling just approved by the College of Commissioners, the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will start the New Year with an entirely new set up that might very well sharpen its ability to make a difference both in the EU and abroad.

The department's structure had been unchanged since 2008 and had served the objectives of the time, notably the need to mainstream the maritime agenda into all Commission's policies. But the Commission is operating in a different context now.

While the recent fisheries reform has moved this policy towards a modern, decentralized system, new priorities have emerged for the Commission and in particular for Commissioner Vella in the areas of international ocean governance and the blue economy.  The new setup of the Directorate General will reflect this change through several key features:

  • There is a Directorate in charge of Maritime Policy and the Blue Economy
  • The policies on Ocean Governance and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing are strongly and visibly anchored in the International Directorate
  • The regionalised approach for the management of the Common Fisheries Policies and Structural Support is maintained
  • The knowledge base within the Directorate General is improved through the creation of three 'Centres of Excellence' that will provide advice and support to the organisation on socio-economic matters, scientific advice, data collection and fisheries control.

On 7 December 2016 the Commission approved the reorganisation, which will take effect from 1 January 2017.