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The Role of Regional Advisory Councils in the European Common Fisheries Policy: Legal Constraints and Future Options

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One of the outcomes of the reform of the European common fisheries policy (CFP) in 2002 was the establishment of Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) to enable the European Commission to benefit from the knowledge and experience of stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of fisheries management measures by the European institutions. RACs are now in operation for the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, North-Western Waters, South-Western Waters, the High-Seas/Long-Distance Fleet, Pelagic Stocks, and the Mediterranean Sea. The CFP will be subject to further reform in 2011. This article reviews the legal constraints and future prospects for enhancing RAC participation in decision-making within the European institutions in light of the Commission’s proposals tabled in the 2009 Green Paper on Reform of the CFP and changes to European law resulting from the Lisbon Treaty.

Affiliations: 1: Jean Monnet Chair in European Law, Marine Law and Ocean Policy Centre, School of Law, National University of Ireland Galway Ireland, Email:


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