Key legislation and documents

THE NEW REFORM, 2011-2013

On July 13, 2011, the European Commission presented its proposal for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The final part of the reform package, the proposal for a new maritime and fisheries fund, was presented on 2 December 2011.

>> The European Commission’s reform proposal

The information below regards the Common Fisheries Policy that is currently in place (2012), before the current CFP reform has taken place.


CFP Framework Regulation Council Regulation No 2371/2002 of 2002 on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources under the Common Fisheries Policy.
Basic framework for the CFP, setting out basic objectives and instuments, focusing on conservation of fish stocks, limiting impact of fishing activities on the environment and measures to control fishing capacity. Up for review in the CFP reform – will be replaced by the so-called new “Basic regulation”.

Fisheries Control Council Regulation No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community Control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Sets out the fisheries control system in the EU, which is intended to make sure that the rules in the CFP are followed in practice. Not being reviewed in the CFP reform.

Illegal Fisheries Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29 September 2009 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Establishes a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Community and international waters. Not being reviewed in the CFP reform.

Funding for fisheries Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006 on the European Fisheries Fund.
The rules by which the EU public funding for fisheries can be spent in order to meet the economic, environmental and social goals of the CFP. The European Fisheries Fund (EFF), runs from 2007 to 2013 and has a budget of €3 849 million. Up for review in the CFP reform – will be replaced by the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Common organisation of the market Council Regulation (EC) No 104/2000 of 17 December 1999 on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products.
The EU regime for managing the market in fisheries products was established in 1970, originally as part of the common agricultural policy. It also regulates how fishing quotas are divided among fishermen’s organisations. Up for review in the CFP reform.

Technical measures Council Regulation (EC) No 850/98 of 30 March 1998 for the conservation of fishery resources for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms.
Technical measures is a catch-all term for the whole range of rules governing how and where fishing may take place and with what gear. Discussions on a new regulation to update the current one have been taking place for many years but nothing has been agreed yet. Not being reviewed in the CFP reform, but may be rendered obsolete if the Commission’s proposal for a more regionalised decision-making process is adopted – in that case, technical measures might be decided on a regional level.

Marine Strategy Framework Directive Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy.
Aims to protect the marine environment across Europe. Member States should achieve good environmental status of the EU’s marine waters by 2020 and are required to develop strategies for their waters. Not being reviewed in the CFP reform.

The Habitats Directive Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
The cornerstone of Europe’s nature conservation policy, built around two pillars: the Natura 2000 network of protected sites and a system of species protection. Requires Member States to protect specific habitat types and species, including marine habitats and species, as listed in the Annexes. Not being reviewed in the CFP reform.


Fisheries Partnership Agreements Commission communication COM (2002) 637 of 23 December 2002 on an integrated framework for fisheries partnership agreements with third countries.
Part of the 2002 CFP reform, a communication reviewing Community policy on fisheries agreements with non-EU countries in order to contribute more effectively to the sustainable development of fisheries while protecting the interests of the European fisheries sector. Up for review in the CFP reform – will be replaced by the so-called communication on the External dimension of the CFP.

Reducing discards Commission Communication COM (2007) 136 to the Council and the European Parliament of 28 March 2007 on a policy to reduce unwanted by-catches and eliminate discards in European fisheries.
Outline plans to draw up a long-term policy to encourage the reduction of by-catches and the elimination of discards in European fisheries. Not being reviewed per se in the CFP reform, but the new Basic regulation is proposed to include a partial discard ban.


Commission mid term review of CFP Reflections on further reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, Commission Working Document, 2008 (report in pdf)

CFP Reform Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, 22 April 2009, COM(2009) 163. Discussion paper analysing the shortcomings of CFP, which launched a public consultation on the CFP reform

Commission internal document to prepare the reform (informally called the “Frankenstein Report”)
A 393 page diagnosis of the EU fisheries sector so far. Not officially published, but here we can present the 20 chapters:

Index and introduction (link to pdf)

A   Recent trends and status of EU fisheries

1    Ecological sustainability of European fisheries (link to pdf)
2    The Economic performance of fisheries and aquaculture in the EU (link to pdf)
3    EU demand, markets and trade (link to pdf)
4    Social and regional issues (link to pdf)
5    Resource rent, subsidies and cost of management (link to pdf)

B   Performance of instruments in the CFP

6    The objectives of the CFP (link to pdf)
7    Stock management (link to pdf)
8    The environmental performance of the CFP (link to pdf)
9    Control and enforcement (link to pdf)
10  Fleet capacity (link to pdf)
11  Structural policy and state aid (link to pdf)
12  Markets and trade policy (link to pdf)
13  International fisheries and EU external fleet (link to pdf)
14  Allocation of access to fishing (link to pdf)
15  The scientific basis for decision making (link to pdf)
16  The inter-institutional decision making process (link to pdf)
17  Integration across the pillars of the CFP (link to pdf)
18  Integration with cross sectoral policies (link to pdf)
19  Regional issue (link to pdf)
20  External challenges: Climate change (link to pdf)


Reflections on the Common Fisheries Policy: A Report to the General Directorate for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs of the European Commission, Symes and Sissenwine (report in pdf)

EU Court of Auditors report on the control, inspection and sanction systems relating to the rules on conservation of Community fisheries resources, 2007 (report in pdf)

To Draw the Line: EU fisheries agreements in West Africa. Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, 2009 (report in pdf)


Fishbase – comprehensive database of information about fish in many languages - Information on who receives EU fishing subsidies

Be Sociable, Share!

The Common Fisheries Policy

  • What is the CFP?
  • Prelude to the 2012 reform
  • Decision making
  • Key legislation and documents
  • Scientists and stakeholders

« Newer items | Older items »