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Fisheries: Regional Advisory Councils

Volume 469: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding he plans to give to (a) the North Sea Regional Advisory Council, (b) the North Western Waters Regional Advisory Council, (c) the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council and (d) the Long Distance Regional Advisory Council in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. (170901)

On 11 July 2007, Council Regulation 2004/585 was introduced to simplify the funding arrangements for all regional advisory councils in order to provide them with sufficient and permanent funding to allow them to continue their advisory role within the Common Fisheries Policy. Under these new funding arrangements, the Commission's allocated grant "shall not exceed 90 per cent. of the operating budget" of each regional advisory council, on an annual basis.

In addition, the UK and other member states contribute an annual membership, which varies from year to year. For the financial year of 2007-08 the UK membership is:

(a) 2,450 Euros to the North Sea RAC;

(b) 3,700 Euros to the North-Western Waters RAC;

(c) 2,222 Euros to the Pelagic RAC.

The Long Distance RAC has been established recently and the UK membership contribution has yet to be agreed.

In 2008, the Commission intends to review the function of regional advisory councils and that may include funding provisions.