A new organisation will boost implementation of EU integrated maritime policy and Common Fisheries Policy
27 March 2008, adapted from European Commission Press corner

The European Commission has decided on a far-reaching reorganisation of the Directorate-General in charge of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. The former “DG FISH” becomes the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and will now be known as DG MARE. The main change involves the setting up of three geographic Directorates that will be responsible for managing both the Common Fisheries Policy and the new EU integrated maritime policy (IMP) in Europe’s three main maritime regions. These will be complemented by a new Directorate in charge of co-ordination and policy development. The other two Directorates (External Policy, and Resources and Legal Affairs) will remain largely unchanged. There will be greater focus on Mediterranean fisheries and on control in international waters in line with the EU's commitment to fight illegal fishing. The new set-up takes effect on 29 March.

Commission President, José Manuel Barroso commented: "The new set-up in DG MARE highlights the Commission's determination to conduct an integrated and tailor-made maritime policy. It will allow the Commission to address in a consistent way all the issues pertaining to each of Europe’s main maritime regions and to the seas in general."

Joe Borg, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries added: "The new set up will also boost the implementation of the new EU integrated maritime policy. This will facilitate the use of all the instruments under the Common Fisheries Policy to achieve sustainability in European fisheries."

The three geographical Directorates will be in charge of:
- Arctic, Atlantic and outermost regions;
- Mediterranean and Black Sea;
- North Sea, Baltic Sea and landlocked countries.

These will be complemented by a horizontal Directorate ensuring coordination and policy development.  An international Directorate will retain responsibility for external policy for both fisheries and maritime affairs and for market-related issues.  The last of the six Directorates making up DG MARE will be in charge of legal issues, resources, communication and relations with other institutions and stakeholders.

The new organisation should reinforce the Commission’s capacity to develop and implement policy for maritime affairs and fisheries alike. It will also allow for the co-ordinated use of all resources and policy tools in relation to each maritime region: maritime policy, conservation of fish stocks, fisheries control and enforcement, and structural policy.