The JDPs are established for fisheries/areas that are considered a priority by the European Commission and the Member States concerned. They can refer either to European Union waters for which a Specific Control and Inspection Programme (SCIP) has been adopted by the Commission in concert with the Member States, or to International waters under the competence of a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO), where EFCA is requested to coordinate the implementation of the European obligations under an International Control and Inspection Scheme.
The JDPs consist of three phases: planning, implementation and assessment:
EFCA JDPs are a year-round activity covering a wide range of fisheries with the permanent exchange of information and intelligence and control activities planned on the basis of risk assessment results. Member States assess the risks with regard to the stocks and areas in accordance with the regional risk assessment (RRA) methodology established in cooperation with EFCA.
The EFCA RRA aims for cost-efficient planning of future inspection activities and is used at three levels during the life cycle of JDPs:
- strategic planning — to facilitate long-term (yearly) spatial and temporal planning for deployment of control resources and identify specific objectives and actions of JDP campaigns;
- priority risk management — to identify priority fisheries and fleet segments under a specific threat analysis;
- work at operational level — to facilitate the exchange of best-practices and targets between different Member States on a short-term tactical level.
The JDPs establish that the deployment of pooled national means is coordinated by EFCA in cooperation with the Member States and frequently with the presence of national coordinators at EFCA premises. It is implemented through two common groups:
- A Regional Steering Group (RSG) composed of Commission, Member States and EFCA representatives, that is in charge of ensuring the proper implementation of the plan.
- A Technical Joint Deployment Group (TJDG), composed of Member States and EFCA staff, that is in charge of follow-up daily the control activities and adopts the decision needed to guarantee an effective deployment of the means.
EFCA assesses the effectiveness of the JDPs on the basis of performance indicators and benchmarks in a common evaluation in cooperation with the Member States, including the common reporting of joint control activities at regional level. The JDP annual assessment reports are sent to the European Parliament, the European Commission and Member States.
Through the JDPs, different elements to improve the control and inspection at a regional level are discussed and implemented. The Steering Group serves as a forum for discussion and exchange of best practices at a regional level. It includes the implementation at a regional level of projects concerning regional risk analysis, best practices for coordination and the optimum use of information tools, and the assessment of cost effectiveness of control operations.