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Federica Cacciatore and Mariolina Eliantonio

The management of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has been one of the earliest concerns of the EU. While establishing a decentralised system with most responsibilities falling within the competence of Member States’ authorities, the EU also felt the need to create a dedicated agency, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), endowed with mostly coordinating and some enforcement powers. This chapter seeks to examine the shared enforcement mechanisms between EFCA and the NCAs in the CFP and assess whether they are supported by adequate accountability mechanisms. In order to do so, we examine the relationship between EFCA and two selected MS, Italy and the UK. The chapter shows that there exist two shared enforcement mechanisms, one concerning the formulation and development of the general inspection policies, another referring to the cooperation between EFCA, which has the power to carry out inspections on EU vessels in international waters, and the NCAs, which are in charge of the sanctioning phase. Such mechanisms show some gaps of judicial accountability, which however could be considered as compensated for through a complete system of political accountability.

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Federica Cacciatore and Mariolina Eliantonio

The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) was established in 2005 to promote the highest common standards for control, inspection and surveillance under the Common Fisheries Policy. To this aim, EFCA carries out, among other things, various inspection-related tasks involving different actors both at EU and national level. These tasks range from coordination of and assistance in national inspections, to training of inspectors, to direct inspections and inspection operations involving third countries. This chapter focuses on EFCA’s inspection-related tasks in order to assess the systems of controls therein. Through the analysis of personal, institutional, financial, judicial and public accountability it is shown that, while financial accountability is a crucial means for the EU’s oversight activity on EFCA, judicial control is almost entirely lacking, except, in part, for direct inspections. On this basis, it is concluded that specifically the participation of EFCA staff members in joint inspection teams should be the subject matter of further research.