What is a European Unio Agency?
A European Agency is a body of the European Union distinct from
the Community Institutions like the Council, Parliament and Commission
and has its own legal personality. Each Community Agency is established
by the Community legislature in order to deal with a very specific
technical, scientific or managerial task.
At present, there are 25 established European Community Agencies.
The EFCA in Vigo is one of three European Union agencies located
Why has the EFCA been established?
In the framework of the reform of the Common
Fisheries Policy (CFP) in 2002, it was concluded that the CFP
had been poorly implemented and that control measures were not
systematically implemented by Member States. Fishermen felt not
treated on an equal footing when operating in Community waters
and sometimes even discriminated. The fishing industry pleaded
for reinforcement of control and enforcement arrangements in order
to ensure a level playing field on Community level.
In fact the European fishing industry felt that the Community
institutions should assume direct responsibility for the proper
implementation of the CFP and establish European controls.
From an institutional point of view the Commission should not
carry out tasks in the place of Member States and did not have
the means to do so. Therefore it proposed to establish an Agency
independent from Member States and the Commission which should
organize operational cooperation between Member States and coordinate
the deployment of control means pooled by Member States. The Agency
together with the national specialized services of the Member
States should ensure uniform and effective application of the
rules of the CFP.
What are the working methods of the EFCA?
The EFCA works closely with the European Commission and the Member
States in certain regions and areas concerned by specific fisheries.
The Commission will adopt the objectives for control and inspection
in specific fisheries, as well as the priorities and benchmarks.
The Agency brokers operational cooperation between Member States
concerned and seeks to ensure that Member States pool sufficient
means (inspection vessels, surveillance aircraft and inspectors).
The deployment of the pooled national means is coordinated by the
EFCA through so called "Joint Deployment Plans" in cooperation
with the Member States concerned and the Commission. To this end
the EFCA establishes a Steering Group where representatives of Member
States, the Commission and the EFCA are seating supervising the
whole project and Technical Joint Deployment Groups consisting of
national coordinators seconded to the EFCA by the Member States
In this context, the EFCA contributes to a harmonization of the
procedures and training of the inspectors involved in the project
in order to ensure uniform and effective application of the rules
of the CFP.
How is the EFCA organized?
The Administrative Board, in which each Member State nominates
a member and the European Commission nominates 6 members including
the Chairman, adopts each year an annual work programme and the
budget of the Agency. The Executive Director, nominated by the
Board, has to implement the annual work programme. He is also
the chairman of the Advisory Board in which one representative
of each Regional Advisory Council is seating. The Advisory Board
elects one representative which may participate to the meetings
of the Administrative Board without the right to vote.
programmes of the EFCA as well as its budget are published on
its web site.
What is the origin of the EFCA's resources?
The budget of the EFCA (including the establishment plan of its
staff) is authorized by the Community Budgetary Authority and integral
part of the Community budget. In the case where the EFCA provides
contractual services to Member States it receives the correspondent
funding from Member States concerned.
Why is the EFCA established in Vigo?
The seat has been laid down in the Council Regulation establishing
the EFCA, in line with the agreement on the seats of agencies reached
by the heads of State and Government leaders in December 2003.
Vigo is the biggest fishing port in Europe in terms of landings
of fishery products. It is, therefore, a very appropriate place
for the seat of the EFCA.
In the future, Vigo will not only be known in Europe as a large
industrial and fishing port but also as the home of the EFCA. In
this sense, the EFCA will contribute to the international image
What are the core tasks of the EFCA?
The core tasks of the EFCA are the organization of operational cooperation
between Member States in the area of the implementation of the CFP
and the coordination of the deployment of pooled national means
of control, inspection and surveillance in specific fisheries such
• The cod recovery plans in the North Sea, Western Watersv
and the Baltic Sea;
• The NAFO and NEAFC fisheries;
• The blue fin tuna fisheries in the Mediterranean and the
Moreover, the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported
fishing activities (IUU) will be coordinated by the EFCA.
Furthermore, the EFCA actively contributeS to the Commission and
Member States in the creation and strengthening of their control
and inspection capacities in areas such as control methodology and
applied technologies, processing of statistics and reporting of
information and training of inspectors.
How many persons are working at the EFCA?
At present, 56 staff members of 18 different nationalities are working
at the EFCA.