05 April 2023
The European Commission trumps its environmental and humanitarian mandate and acts as an industrial lobbyist in Africa
05 April 2023
The EU’s anti-democratic use of objections
The European Commission’s objection proposal is a shame on the EU
The role that the EU has been playing is incredibly harmful as the annulment of the FAD ban will put tuna populations and entire coastal economies at risk of collapsing. We urge EU Member States to reject the Commission’s objection proposal, for the sake of marine ecosystems and coastal communities in the Indian Ocean, but also to signal to industrial lobbies and their political allies that the era of impunity is over for them and that EU institutions will now be on the side of the climate and citizens. European citizens need to regain trust in their democratic regimes which are under the constant assault of industrial lobbies. EU institutions should stand firm on their ethical principles. The stakes are too high in Africa and Europe.
How industry lobbies have ‘lined up their ducks’
In a new report entitled ‘Lining up the ducks’, BLOOM decodes how industrial tuna fishing lobbies line up their political allies to defend their destructive practices in Africa. We have delved into ‘behind the scenes’ politics to debunk the false arguments put forth by industrial lobbies, the European Commission, and parliamentarians.
A series of lies
To justify the unjustifiable, the European Commission and several parliamentarians from France, Spain, and the Netherlands, have indeed been parroting the lobbies’ semantics, deceiving other parliamentarians, Member States, and 447 million citizens for the benefits of a handful of private companies. In a cynical paroxysm, Spanish parliamentarian Gabriel Mato (European People’s Party; EPP) even said that the fact that the IOTC proposal was put to a vote — which it won with a two-third majority — was anti-democratic!(4) When it is rather the fact that countries can avoid a resolution by objecting to it after a democratic vote which strikes as the ‘anti-democratic’ process here, as it allows for hidden, undue and unspeakable pressures and blackmailing.
A headless European Commission and corrupt Member States
- France has so far completely failed to comply with its obligations to control its tuna fleets, as per the 2009 ‘Control Regulation’. In fact, France had not set any control objectives for these fleets in 2022 and 2023. On 6 March 2023, BLOOM sued France before the Administrative Court to obtain key data on the control of its fleets.(6)
- In 2015, France issued an illegal derogation to its tuna fleets, allowing them to disregard the EU legal framework. In particular, France allowed its fishers to report their catches with a margin of tolerance of 10% of the overall catch, rather than by species, as mandated by the 2009 ‘Control Regulation’. Although this might seem as an innocent difference to non-experts, it bears massive consequences for the quality of the collected data, and hence threatens basic principles of the Common Fisheries Policy, such as quotas.(7) On 6 March 2023, BLOOM also sued France before the State Council to obtain that this illegal derogation be withdrawn.(8)