Ministers divided over future fisheries policy

EU fisheries ministers remain deeply divided over the future of the Common Fisheries Policy

Th most controversial issues in the debate are:

  • the future fleet policy, the multi-annual guidance programmes (MAGP) and public aid for the construction and modernisation of ships
  • conservation measures
  • Mediterranean fisheries
  • monitoring, control and enforcement


EU fisheries ministers remained deeply divided over the future of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) on Monday 18 June. In a policy debate on the Green Paper on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy, Member States disagreed on several aspects of the Commission's proposals.


With its Green Paper published in March 2001, the Commission started a stakeholder consultation to prepare a radical overhaul of the EU common fisheries regime in an attempt to deal with problems of vulnerability of valuable fish stocks as a result of overfishing.

Main elements of the Green Paper are:

  • current annual national fishing quotas (Total Allowable Catches - TACs) will be replaced by a system of multi-annual and multi-species quotas
  • EU-wide sanctions for fishermen breaking the rules on allowable quotas
  • greater involvement of stakeholders
  • initiatives to create alternative sources of employment for job losses as a result of fleet reductions.


The coming Belgian Presidency was asked to take the matter forward during the second half of 2001. The Commission is expected to announce concrete reform proposals before the end of the year. The revised CFP should enter into force on 1 January 2003.


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