IATE Term of the Week: Common Fisheries Policy

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The CFP is a set of rules that aims to ensure sustainable fisheries in the European Union.

Originally linked to the common agricultural policy (CAP), the common fisheries policy (CFP) was included in the Treaty of Rome in 1957. It became a separate policy in 1970 when the Council adopted a new legislation in order to establish a common organization of the market for fishery products, putting in place a Community structural policy for fisheries.

The aim of the first regulation was to create a common area in which all European fishers could have free access to Union waters, with the possibility of trading under common rules.

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With the latest reform from 2013, the Common Fisheries Policy became the first comprehensive legal framework featuring a long-term approach to fisheries management, landing obligations, and multiannual ecosystem-based management plans for stocks.

However, the reform did not live up to expectations in the short term as the deterioration of some stocks continued to increase. Indeed, developments in societies and in related policy areas highlighted that sustainable fishing requires a broader approach.

By the end of this year, the European Commission will publish a report based on questionnaires that involved the participation and consultation of targeted stakeholders. The enquiry launched in December 2021 has helped the Commission to collect information on CFP. The objective of the 2022 report is to address the functioning of the CFP and look at how its implementation across and among Member States can be strengthened.

The new CFP of 2022 will also ensure that the activities of the fishing and aquaculture sectors are environmentally sustainable in the long term and are managed in a way that is consistent with the objectives of achieving economic, social and employment benefits.

On Tuesday, November 22, the European Parliament will discuss further restrictions to the access to Union waters.


BREUER, M.E.G. (2022). The Common Fisheries Policy: origins and development | Fact Sheets on the European Union | European Parliament. [online] www.europarl.europa.eu. Available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/factsheets/en/sheet/114/the-common-fisheries-policy-origins-and-development.

KARLESKIND, P. (2022). REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013, as regards restrictions to the access to Union waters | A9-0206/2022 | European Parliament. [online] www.europarl.europa.eu. Available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-9-2022-0206_EN.html [Accessed 16 Nov. 2022].

SYMES, D. (2007). REFLECTIONS ON THE COMMON FISHERIES POLICY REPORT TO THE GENERAL DIRECTORATE FOR FISHERIES AND MARITIME AFFAIRS OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION Michael Sissenwine. [online] Available at: http://archivo-es.greenpeace.org/espana/PageFiles/182401/reflections-on-the-common-fish.pdf.

Written by:

Pietro Chittolini

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Born in Italy in 1994, Pietro Chittolini holds a Master’s degree in International Management at the University of Modena. During his Master’s studies, he was selected for a Double Degree Program at Hochschule Bochum in Germany, where he graduated in 2018. Since 2018, Pietro works in the department of Procurement and Purchasing in an Italian logistics company, a market leader in the FMCG sector. He has developed an interest for sustainability and environmental fields in logistics business.