Following the request for documents held by DG-MARE last year on EU fisheries access agreements, ClientEarth and TransparentSea made a follow-up application. This time we narrowed the request to 6 evaluations to make life easier for DG-MARE and preempt their argument that our request was too time consuming to respond to (which was the case last time).
The Director of DG-MARE, Ms Lowri Evans responded positively to our request and provided all the documents we asked for within 3 weeks. However, she did say that we have received ‘edited versions’; with the sensitive parts deleted. As far as I can see this is not true and we have unedited copies, but it is difficult to be sure on this. If you notice any parts that have ben edited, please let me know and I will follow up with DG-MARE to challenge this censorship.
The evaluation documents are below.
To what extent publishing these evaluation reports here is useful or not is hard to tell. However, several researchers, NGOs and donors have accessed these documents for the first time. We were also able to send the latest evaluation report on Mozambique to the European Parliament’s committee on fisheries in advance of their meeting to discuss a new proposal for a fishing agreement with Mozambique – apparently members of this committee were only allowed to read the evaluation report in a room in the parliament building, without being able to take notes or make copies. Now they have an electronic version to study in depth.
The next task is to do an evaluation of the evaluations – to analyze what they tell us about the EU’s involvement in the fisheries sector of developing countries. A report will be published on this soon between TransparentSea and the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements. In the meantime if anyone has used these documents for research or advocacy, it would be fantastic if you could leave a comment describing this.