|Employees' organisations||Employers' organisations|
|European Transport Workers' Federation||Association of national organisations of fishing enterprises in the EU|
|Fisheries section of COGECA - General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the European Union|
A joint committee was established in 1974 and the sea fisheries sectoral social dialogue committee in 1999.
Visit the library of work programmes, agendas, minutes and other documentation from the sectoral social dialogue committee.
The European Union has developed a Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to allow for the continuous renewal of stocks and the protection of marine ecosystems. Common measures are agreed in the areas of conservation, markets, relations with the outside world and action to help the industries adapt their equipment and organisation.
Balancing fishing capacity with the available resources is a priority to ensure sustainable fishing. Funds are made available through the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) for ending the fishing activities of vessels and for scrapping or reconverting fishing vessels. Grant aid can also be allocated for the construction and modernisation of fishing vessels to ensure that the Community fleet remains competitive, to improve safety on board and to encourage the use of more selective fishing techniques.
In 2000, the social partners developed, with the support of the European Commission, the European Network for Fisheries Training and Employment (REFOPE), which connects training institutes in the sector in order to promote employment and access to the profession to young people, in particular through an information service and training activities. REFOPE brings together a list of fisheries’ training courses in the various Member States, provides a directory of training institutes, facilitates the exchange of teaching materials and supports the training of teachers.
In 2001, the social partners issued an opinion inviting EU authorities to insert a social clause in the fishing agreements with third countries. This clause states the right of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, the principle of non-discrimination, and the right to certain social security benefits and appropriate remuneration levels.
In 2002, ETF, Europêche and COGECA-Fisheries adopted a joint opinion on the Commission action plan for monitoring the socio-economic consequences of restructuring. The sectoral social dialogue committee considered that more attention should be paid to social considerations and proposed a series of measures such as the promotion of training, sustainable employment objectives, compensation linked to loss of income, health and safety, the modernisation of vessels, combating flags of convenience and illicit practices, and the improvement of retirement conditions. Currently, the social partners are working on the image and social revaluation as well as on a contribution to the Green paper "Maritime policy".
In October 2007, the social partners finalised their handbook "Prevention of accidents at sea and the safety of fishermen". It is free accessible for everybody on the internet and aims to reduce the high number of accidents at sea and to increase fishermen's safety onboard by raising awareness to risks onboard. There are good procedures and measures described to manage difficult and life-threatening situations such as drowning, hypothermia etc. To limit language problems it contains a lot of pictures and only short text elements that can easily be understood.