Since founded in 1962, Europêche, the Association of National Organisations of Fishery Enterprises in the European Union, participates in the elaboration and implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy and defends the interests of the fishing enterprises of which the vessels are listed in the Community logbook, regardless of their length, volume or power. Europêche is a European organisation of shipowners, fishermen and employers that today counts 17 member organisations from 11 European countries and pursues diversified objectives and activities, such as:
promote the relationships between the member organisations by creating co-operation and collaboration links between them;
adopt common position papers and draw up proposals for actions, reform or measures envisaging the improvement of the activities of the fisheries enterprises represented by the national organisations;
keep their members informed about draft Community regulations, dossiers, events, studies and orientations that might directly or indirectly affect the fishing industry.
In order to influence the decisional process of the Community in the field of fisheries, Europêche is represented in the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA), the sole formal consultation body at European level of the European Commission for the stakeholders in this field. It draws up proposals for recommendations, directives, regulations, etc. These are presented at the Council of the EU for adoption and the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament and, in most cases, in the European Economic and Social Committee and in the Committee of the Regions for advice. The Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture is made up of a Plenary, an Executive and 4 Working Groups:
Access to fisheries resources and management of fishing activities;
Aquaculture: fish, shellfish and molluscs;
Markets and trade policy;
General questions: economics and sector analysis.
For questions relating to the social sector, Europêche is represented as employers’ organisation alongside COGECA (European Agri-Cooperatives) and opposite the European Transport Worker's Federation (ETF) in the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Sea Fisheries that is part of DG EMPL. In this Committee, the social partners deal with questions especially related to professional training, social harmonisation and employment, health and safety at work and enlargement of the EU.
Europêche also follows the work in the seven Regional Advisory Committees created by a Council Decision of 2004 (Commission Decision 2004/774/EC of 9 November 2004).
Over the last few years, the fisheries issues have become a priority in all international conventions and organisations such as CITES, CBD, IUCN. Likewise, the environmental aspects cannot be ignored in the management of the fisheries at national, regional and international level. A large priority is also granted to organisations such as the United Nations, the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations of the FAO (GFCM, ICCAT, NAFO, NEAFC).
Finally, Europêche is represented in various commissions and international organisations such as the OSPAR Commission, FAO (COFI, Fisheries Committee), the General Assembly of the United Nations and ICFA (International Coalition of Fisheries Associations).