MEP: EC launches action against Spain Published: 14 February, 2008
AN MEP said today that EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg had told him that the European Commission has instituted infringement proceedings againt Spain because of “deficiencies” in the Spanish fisheries inspection and control system.
Dr Borg, UK Independence Party MEP Tom Wise went on, had identified flaws including the lack of an appropriate registration of catches and landings.
Last month, Mr Wise, citing evidence of Spanish government collusion in illegal fishing activities, called upon the Commission to take action against Spain.
“Commissioner Borg implicitly stated, at a policy meeting on January 10th, that the flags of nations with a history of illegal fishing should be blacklisted in EU waters”, said Mr Wise. “The EU Court of Auditors has supplied with sufficient evidence, in my opinion, to ban Spanish fishing vessels from EU waters. I want to see Commissioner Borg back up his words with actions.”
Now in a reply received today,Commissioner Borg had told him : “The Commission is aware of certain deficiencies in the Spanish fisheries inspection and control system. Identified flaws include the lack of an appropriate registration of catches and landings. Accordingly, the Commission has found that Spain does not fully respect the obligations laid down in Council Regulation (EEC) No 2847/93 of 12 October 1993 establishing a control system applicable to the common fisheries policy.
In light of this, the Commission has instituted infringement proceedings against Spain and issued a Reasoned Opinion whereby it requested the Spanish authorities to comply with applicable Community legislation. The Commission is currently assessing Spain’s reply to this Reasoned Opinion as well as the results of the most recent inspection missions carried out by its inspectors in Spain. On that basis the Commission will decide whether the case should be brought before the Court of Justice”.
Mr Wise said he was pleased to note the Commission’s fine words, and looked forward to seeing action taken.
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