Baltic Sea RAC prepares its formal establishment

Published on November 21, 2005

In late October, the interim Executive Committee of the Baltic Sea RAC met to discuss issues related to its formal establishment.

On 26 October, organisations that had flagged an interest for participating in the work of the interim Executive Committee of the Baltic Sea RAC met in Copenhagen to discuss a number of issues that needed to be resolved before an application for formal establishment can be sent to the Commission and the concerned Member States.

On the agenda were the draft statutes of the RAC as well as a first budget. The draft statutes had been revised since the first meeting on 22 June, and further improvements were agreed upon. After a discussion about different budget options, it was decided that it would be sensible to keep a low budget with minimal membership fees for the first year, and then gradually change this over the coming years.

A provisional timetable for the formal establishment of the RAC was presented by the Secretary, aiming for submission to the Commission and concerned Member States in November. The Commission may then take up to three months to respond to the submission. Therefore, the first General Assembly is not likely to take place until early March next year.

The participants also discussed the number of member organisations in the future Executive Committee, and again registered interest from organisations belonging to the two stakeholder groups: 2/3 sector interests and 1/3 other stakeholders. It was agreed that the Executive Committee is likely to consist of 24 members, making it possible for 16 representatives of the catching sector and 8 other interest groups to take part. In addition, a preliminary list of all the member organisations of the Baltic Sea RAC was presented.

The formal establishment of the RAC is now aided by a new Secretary, Tobias Kerrn-Jespersen, who has replaced Sally Clink. He was previously with the Danish Ministry of Agriculture. He will be establishing the Secretariat in the “House of Fish” in Copenhagen, sharing the building with the Danish Fishermen’s Association, the Baltic Fishermen’s Association, the Association of Danish Fish Processing Industries and Exporters, as well as the Association of Fish meal and Fish oil Manufacturers in Denmark.

Organisations that have not yet registered an interest to become members of the Baltic Sea RAC should notify the Secretariat before the 1 January 2006. The first General Assembly is likely to be held in Copenhagen one of the first two weeks in March.