Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations
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Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations

Edited by Ramses A. Wessel and Jed Odermatt

Over the years, the European Union has developed relationships with other international institutions, mainly as a result of its increasingly active role as a global actor and the transfer of competences from the Member States to the EU. This book presents a comprehensive and critical assessment of the EU’s engagement with other international institutions, examining both the EU’s representation and cooperation as well as the influence of these bodies on the development of EU law and policy.
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Chapter 22: Regional Fisheries Management Organisations

Paul Heckler


The European Union has long had a vested interest in fisheries and, consequently, in their management and conservation. It is therefore unsurprising that it has sought – and obtained – a status in a series of international organisations set up for this specific purpose and collectively known as regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs). What is interesting, however, is that RFMOs are among the rare institutions in which the EU can enjoy full membership to the exclusion of its Member States. This specificity raises important institutional questions and leads to redefining the EU and Member State roles both externally and within the European legal order. Through analysis of the Union’s participation in RFMOs, this chapter aims to highlight the advantages as well as the limitations of the status that it enjoys in these organisations.

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