The European Ombudsman reminds the Commission of its duties

On 6 November 2018, BLOOM announced that it had turned to the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, during a press conference at the European Parliament. We asked her to adjudicate on the maladministration of the “electric fishing” dossier by the European Commission. In fact, the Commission had one year to respond to our complaint registered on 2 October 2017 about the illegal status of most Dutch licenses. Over the past year, we have stressed that 70 of the 84 licenses granted to Dutch vessels to use electric fishing were illegal.

> As a reminder, the European regulation allows each Member State to equip up to 5% of its beam trawl fleet with electrodes to fish in the southern part of the North Sea. This should only correspond, according to official data, to 14 licenses for the Netherlands.

The European Ombudsman services informed us on 23 November 2018 that they were looking into the file and opened an investigation. The European Ombudsman contacted the Commission and asked it to inform us of the status of our complaint. We thank the Ombudsman for her prompt action and are thus awaiting a proactive handling of our complaint by the Commission. By refusing to handle this complaint, the Commission is concealing crucial information to European citizens and decision-makers. By not fulfilling its role as Guardian of the Treaties, it is complicit in the illegal extension of electric fishing by the Netherlands and is seriously hampering European negotiations on the future of electric fishing.

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