NGOs and industry demand substantial reform of EU fisheries policy

Representatives from industry, fishermen and NGOs will present the case for substantial reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy at the informal meeting of agriculture ministers on 9 and 10 September in Denmark.

The 15 EU ministers of agriculture will discuss the role of innovation for the competitiveness of Europe’s farming and food sector at their informal meeting Nyborg, Denmark from 8 to 10 September.

NGOs and industrial associations will organise a hearing for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in Nyborg on 9 September.

The Danish Presidency has prepared a working document for discussion at the informal meeting about an enhanced innovation effort in Europe’s farming and food sector. The document states the need for a priority and focussed innovation effort in the following areas:

  • food safety;
  • traceability and documentation;
  • food quality;
  • new products and production processes;
  • working environment and;
  • animal welfare.


The following organisations will take part in the hearing: the European Anglers Alliance representing 6 million anglers, Unilever (Europe's largest fish processor), the World-wide Fund for Nature (WWF) with about 5 million supporters globally, Birdlife International with some 2.5 million members, the Danish Fishermens' Association, Seas At Risk (a federation of 15 national and international environmental organisations with about a million members), Dansk Fisk (producers association), Fiskemelsforeningen (Danish Union of Fish Meal Factories), the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements, Levende Hav and BFA-Fisheries (German Federal Scientific Research Institute for Fisheries).


The Commission made a proposal for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) on 28 May 2002. The reform aims to promote a more sustainable fishing and to reduce the current over-fishing by 40 per cent. The proposal states that 28,000 fishermen, representing 11 per cent of the industry, could be affected by the measures.

A 2002 mid-term review of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was foreseen in the Agenda 2000 decision at the Berlin Summit of 1999. The EU's planned eastward expansion, WTO objections to the current CAP, several food crises and the sustainable development strategy defined during the Gothenburg Summit raised the necessity to undertake a major review of the EU's farm policy.

On 10 July, Commission proposed a mid-term review of the CAP is to break the link between the amount of direct aid to farmers and the quantity of goods they produce. Farm subsidies are instead to be linked to environmental, food safety and animal welfare factors. Twenty per cent of the subsidies would be used to support rural development. Subsidies to individual farms would be capped at 300,000 euro per year.


The informal meeting of EU ministers of agriculture will take place from 8 to 10 September in Nyborg, Denmark.

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