Sustainable management of external fishing fleets: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment

15-04-2016

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying its proposal on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, repealing Council Regulation (EC) 1006/2008. The proposal, adopted on 10 December 2015, was referred to the Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries. Overall, the impression is that the IA has made a genuine attempt to articulate what it perceives to be the problems necessitating action and to define the objectives of the initiative. The outcome of the stakeholder consultation, albeit rather limited, is clearly presented and appears to have been integrated into the analysis with a transparent presentation of the stakeholders' views throughout. Nevertheless, the IA has a number of shortcomings. The problem definition lacks the hard evidence required to be entirely convincing. The assessment of impacts is largely qualitative and is focused on benefits with hardly any reference to potential costs. The report would have been more persuasive had it provided stronger arguments and clearer quantitative evidence to prove that the expected benefits outweigh the costs. Generally, the information could have been better structured throughout and a more solid analysis of the compared options would have strengthened the IA.

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying its proposal on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, repealing Council Regulation (EC) 1006/2008. The proposal, adopted on 10 December 2015, was referred to the Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries. Overall, the impression is that the IA has made a genuine attempt to articulate what it perceives to be the problems necessitating action and to define the objectives of the initiative. The outcome of the stakeholder consultation, albeit rather limited, is clearly presented and appears to have been integrated into the analysis with a transparent presentation of the stakeholders' views throughout. Nevertheless, the IA has a number of shortcomings. The problem definition lacks the hard evidence required to be entirely convincing. The assessment of impacts is largely qualitative and is focused on benefits with hardly any reference to potential costs. The report would have been more persuasive had it provided stronger arguments and clearer quantitative evidence to prove that the expected benefits outweigh the costs. Generally, the information could have been better structured throughout and a more solid analysis of the compared options would have strengthened the IA.