Reforming the Common Fisheries Policy

Reforming the Common Fisheries Policy

Jill Wakefield

This book takes a critical view of the policy and law governing EU marine fisheries and the effect of the 2013 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Reforms to the CFP are impeded by Treaty-guaranteed concessions, exemptions from general environmental legislation and the Court of Justice’s creation of principles unique to the sector. The author discusses how damaging effects of fishing could be ameliorated if the Court were to align fisheries principles with general principles of law, and considers the institutional and regulatory frameworks needed to encourage prudent resource use.

Chapter 4: The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy: Good governance

Jill Wakefield

Subjects: environment, energy policy and regulation, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law, maritime law, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy


This chapter considers the good governance principles that have been introduced to the CFP in the 2013 Fisheries Regulation. Following the direction under the TEU that the division of responsibilities at Union, national and local level should be clarified, the institutional structure of the CFP has been overhauled so that decision-making will operate at Union, regional, national and local level. To replace the centralised model that predominated under earlier policy, a new cross-border regionalisation has been introduced in order to achieve more effective regulation through the tailoring of policy to respond to the specific circumstances of geographically defined areas. Greater participation and stakeholder involvement in determining the implementation of policy is envisaged. Provision is made for ‘appropriate stakeholder’ involvement through Advisory Councils and no fisheries measure may be adopted without reference to the relevant Advisory Council. Although democratisation in decision-making may have been intended, membership of the Advisory Councils is weighted to give a majority voice to the fishing industry. Absent from the reform is any provision to protect the interests of coastal communities that are particularly dependent on fishing. There has been a failure to institute safeguards to prevent regulatory capture of the participatory process which has severe implications for actual democracy, competition and sustainability.

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