Has the Commission verified whether the UK has fulfilled its responsibilities under Article 18(1) of Regulation (EU) 1379/2013 of 11 December 2013 and carried out checks at regular intervals to verify that producer organisations (POs) and inter-branch organisations comply with the conditions for recognition laid down in Articles 14 and 16 of that regulation?
Is it aware that there are POs that are constituted by a single company or by groups owned by the same company?
Does it consider this to be in violation of the regulation, which says that ‘such organisations should be partnerships that seek to lay down common and binding rules and to provide a level-playing field for all stakeholders that are engaged in the fishery’ (Preamble, paragraph 12) and refers to their members in the plural (Article 14(1)), as does the guidance published by the responsible UK ministry, DEFRA?
The Commission is aware of the situation addressed by the Honourable Member. It is currently investigating whether the United Kingdom has carried out checks at regular intervals to verify that producer organisations and inter-branch organisations comply with the conditions for recognition laid down in Articles 14 and 16 respectively of Regulation (EU) No 1379/2013* with the relevant national authorities.
Should the legal assessment reveal bad application of Union law, the Commission recalls that, in its role as Guardian of the Treaties, it may take the necessary action, including where appropriate infringement procedures.
*REGULATION (EU) NO 1379/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL OF 11 DECEMBER 2013 on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1184/2006 and (EC) No 1224/2009 and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 104/2000, OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, pp. 1-21.