The Baltic Sea Advisory Council has a significant imbalance in which organisations represent the Council in external fora, a FishSec review shows. The Other Interest Group (OIGs) holds 40% of the seats and yet attends only 17% of the meetings on an annual basis. By contrast the fishing industry attends 58% of meetings and the Secretariat 25%. FIshSec has proposed measures to achieve a fair and balanced representation, but the Executive committee still struggles to take the final step and come to a decision.
The Fisheries Secretariat has drafted a proposal to the Baltic Sea Advisory Council (BSAC) to adopt an external representation protocol that will provide some simple guidelines to achieve a more fair and balanced representation when members of the AC attend other fora. The proposal has been put forward at the past two meetings of the BSAC Executive Committee, however, the proposal has yet to be voted on.
The central purpose of the Advisory Councils is to provide advice to the European Commission and related institutions on fisheries management. Attendance of external meetings has the dual purpose of both representing the agreed BSAC position to a wider group of stakeholders and providing the opportunity for members of the advisory council to broaden their knowledge base and thereby improve the advice provided by the organisation.
What has been observed over the past seven years is that there is a significant imbalance of representation. The Other Interest Group (OIG), of which FishSec is a founding member, holds 40% of the seats and yet attends 17% of the meetings on an annual basis. By contrast the fishing industry attends 58% of meetings and the Secretariat 25%. Since the reform of the CFP in 2014 which saw the OIG expand their proportion of seats, the balance of representation has worsened.
FishSec will continue to advocate for the adoption of the external representation protocol and feel that it is in the interests of its members as well as the Commission and Member States who are responsible for funding the BSAC. We strongly believe that a fair and balanced external representation will both improve the credibility of the BSAC and raise the quality of advice provided.
External representation from BSAC
|Year||Industry (incl. Chair)||OIG (Incl. Vice-chair)||Secretariat|
|2010||59% (34 meetings)||16% (9 meetings)||28% (15 meetings)|
|2011||59% (41)||19% (13)||23% (16)|
|2012||51% (32)||19% (12)||30% (19)|
|2013||57% (42)||15% (11)||28% (21)|
|2014||62% (48)||19% (15)||19% (15)|
|2015||65% (44)||19% (13)||16% (11)|
|2016||55% (36)||15% (10)||30% (20)|