CFP Reform

15th May 2009 in Europe / Common Fisheries Policy

The publication of the Commission’s Green Paper on CFP reform has started a process of intense engagement by the Federation.

The Green Paper is remarkable for its suggestion that the forthcoming reform should be both radical and deep and should put European fisheries on an entirely different footing, including a transfer of decision-making responsibility away from Brussels towards regional management bodies and the fishing industry itself. If the Federation is to influence the debate on CFP reform that will rage until the end of the year, it will have to be extremely active in both defending our members’ interests and advocating change in a positive direction.

The main areas of this engagement are:

  • CFP conference in Rome in March which the NFFO and other member state fishermen’s organisations discussed with senior Commission officials the main themes of the reform
  • A seat on the “Ad hoc” Committee established by the Advisory Council for Fisheries and Aquaculture to act as the main forum for discussions on CFP reform. The most recent meeting was on 13th May.
  • A series of meetings have been set up between Defra officials and the NFFO on the UK’s position on CFP reform. These will cover a reformed decision making process, fleet capacity issues, Relative Stability , the future of inshore and offshore fisheries, and fisheries science.
  • Working with the RACs to define their advice on the direction of CFP change. Most recently the Federation chaired a North Sea RAC meeting in Brussels on self-regulation
  • A presentation to a policy forum in June in Brussels at which EC Commissioner Joe Borge will be the keynote speaker

The Federation has until the end of the year to influence the Commission’s thinking on the main areas of CFP reform. After that, in the first quarter of the 2010, the Commission will prepare formal positions that will in turn become formal proposals for decision by the Council of Ministers (and possibly by the European Parliament).