President,

The Community Fisheries Control Agency was established in 2005 to ensure better compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy by EU Member States.

The agency, which is based in Vigo in Spain plays an important role in strengthening fisheries control and ensuring co-ordination between EU Member States.

I welcome the recent adoption by the agency of a multi-annual work programme for the period 2011 to 2015 in line with the Europe 2020 strategy.

The multi-annual work programme will improve cost effectiveness through enhanced regional cooperation and pooling of means under joint deployment plans.

I welcome the approval by the Court of Auditors to grant discharge and this viewpoint is supported by my opinion which was adopted by the Fisheries Committee.

The European Commission will shortly publish its legislative proposals on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

A reformed CFP must standardise Member State compliance and enforcement regimes as there is no uniformity throughout the EU.

In this regard, I strongly urge the European Commission to introduce a system of administrative sanctions only for minor offences rather than the criminal sanction system that is currently employed in Ireland, for example.