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Conclusion of SECWEB Project: Progressing towards a Permanent Secretariat for Regional Coordination Groups

In a significant development for the European Commission DG MARE and its efforts to enhance the Regional Coordination Groups (RCGs) under the Data Collection Framework (DCF) for Fisheries, the SECWEB project has concluded with notable achievements. This initiative aimed to support RCGs in administrative tasks, branding, and online visibility, culminating in the successful establishment of a Pilot Secretariat, a crucial step towards establishing a permanent support structure.


The DCF is indispensable for the implementation of the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy, which requires Member States to coordinate data collection at regional and pan-regional levels through RCGs. These groups, comprising national correspondents, experts, and EC representatives, play a pivotal role in standardizing procedures, ensuring quality control, and adopting emerging technologies for efficient data collection.

SECWEB Project Achievements:

The SECWEB project carried out as a result of DG MARE’s Call for Proposals 2020/08, made substantial progress from January 2021 to February 2023, achieving key milestones:

  • Visual Identity Enhancement:
    Developed a common visual identity for all RCGs, incorporating harmonized logos and templates into working procedures.
  • Website Development:
    Established a professional website, “Fisheries Regional Coordination Groups,” serving as a centralized hub for RCG information, activities, and outcomes.
  • Communication Materials:
    Produced various communication tools, including videos, infographics, e-newsletters, databases, and repositories for ongoing use.
  • Pilot Secretariat Implementation:
    Co-designed and implemented a Pilot Secretariat structure, testing its functionality and gathering valuable insights for potential long-term establishment.

Progressing towards a Permanent Secretariat for Regional Coordination Groups

In alignment with the unwavering commitment of the European Commission and Member States, the continuity of the RCG Secretariat was guaranteed for a period of one year after the end of SECWEB project. Cetmar, a pivotal member of that project, continues leading the provision of Secretariat services, ensuring the seamless organization of Liaison Meetings, efficient maintenance of tools and databases, and fostering smooth communication within the RCG network. This partnership is dedicated to upholding the high standards set by SECWEB, recognizing that the continued success of the RCGs directly contributes to improved data collection activities and the reliability of data collection methods.

Recognizing the multifaceted nature of RCGs’ responsibilities, which encompass coordination with scientific bodies, collaboration with end-users and stakeholders, and the mobilization of over 300 experts across six operational RCGs, the necessity for a dedicated Secretariat became paramount. The RCGs play a central role in standardizing procedures, implementing quality assurance mechanisms, exploring emerging technologies, and fostering consensus for regionally coordinated data collection. Underlining the significance of effective communication and coordination, the annual Liaison Meeting stands as a cornerstone in this intricate process. The outputs of the SECWEB project not only signify achievement but also the commencement of a new phase in sustaining and fortifying the vital work of the RCGs in the context of the Data Collection Framework.