Ministers start debate on future of EU Fisheries policy

EU Fisheries ministers launch debate on future of Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) during Council meeting in Luxembourg on 25 April

In its Green Paper, the Commission recommends a radical overhaul of the EU 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.

France, Spain and Portugal criticised the lack of a social dimension in the Commission’s plans. The UK, Denmark and Germany on the other hand praised the Commission for having introduced a strong environmental dimension into the proposals.


EU Fisheries ministers launched a debate on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) during their Council meeting in Luxembourg on 25 April. They welcomed the Commission's Green Paper on a fundamental reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) as a "good basis for discussion".


The Green Paper is the basis of consultations with industry and NGOs over the next six months. From 5-7 June, a public hearing will give all stakeholders the opportunity to present their opinions on the issue. The Council will have an in-depth policy debate on 18 June.

The Commission wants to publish concrete reform proposals in 2002. The revised CFP should enter into force on 1 January 2003.

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