Hudghton (Greens/EFA), draftsman of the opinion of the Committee on Fisheries - Mr President, Members of the Committee on Fisheries are well attuned to opinion in Europe's coastal and island communities. That committee, in a near unanimous decision, endorsed my opinion on this Constitution. The most important paragraph in that opinion, which will be retabled tomorrow for voting as Amendment No 13 on behalf of my Group, refers to exclusive competence. It 'considers that within the context of the other exclusive competences of the EU, which are detailed in the Constitution, the inclusion of the conservation of marine biological resources is anomalous and unjustified'. The common fisheries policy has not been one of the European Union's success stories. Decision-making is too centralised, too inflexible and too remote from the communities that it affects. To entrench the CFP effectively in primary constitutional law is a major step in the wrong direction and one that will – I believe – be an obstacle to the kind of major reforms demanded by the fishing communities that I am familiar with. Exclusive competence takes the CFP outwith the principle of subsidiarity, ensuring that regional advisory councils can never evolve into management bodies. I hope that colleagues will support Amendment No 13 tomorrow and support the fishing communities, as the Fisheries Committee of this Parliament has done. These communities strongly believe that exclusive competence is not only unnecessary but is indeed anomalous and unjustified.

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