Fisheries in Community waters are regulated under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). According to the revised decision-making procedure under the Lisbon Treaty, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament share the decision-making power and jointly decide on legislation in the framework of the CFP, based on legislative proposals from the European Commission.
 
 
Fisheries in Community waters are regulated under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). According to the revised decision-making procedure under the Lisbon Treaty, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament share the decision-making power and jointly decide on legislation in the framework of the CFP, based on legislative proposals from the European Commission.

Despite a comprehensive set of regulations, the CFP is greatly lacking from an environmental perspective. In autumn 2008 the European Commission published a working paper showing that over 80% of the assessed fish stocks are overfished, that catch limits are frequently set too high, that fishing fleets are much larger than they need to be to catch the available fish, that profitability in the fishing sector is low, and that consumers are generally dissatisfied with the environmental aspects of the policy.

Influencing decisions relating to the implementation of the CFP is usually very difficult. National short-term priorities, rather than the goal of sustainable management, govern many decisions made by the Council of Ministers. The issues are complex and often technical, and easily become heavily politicised.

Seas At Risk, together with the Fisheries Secretariat (a Swedish NGO), is working towards “greener” decisions in the Council of Ministers and in the European Parliament by producing Fisheries Council and Parliament briefings. These comprise of analyses and comments from an environmental perspective on key proposals on each Fisheries Council agenda, which are sent to Ministers, relevant Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and their advisory staff, as well as to officials and MPs at national level, NGOs lobbying their national politicians on an issue, and other actors who take part in the political process. Links to our briefings can be found at the bottom of this page.


Fisheries decision-making under the Lisbon Treaty:

Until the 1st of December 2009, EC legislation on fisheries and aquaculture were adopted under the consultation procedure: the Council of Ministers adopted legislation on CFP matters based on a proposal from the European Commission and after consultation with the European Parliament. However, the Parliament’s opinion was not binding on the Council.

With the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the decision-making procedure under the CFP has changed significantly. From 1st December 2009, most matters falling under the CFP have to be adopted in accordance with the co-decision procedure. This means a proposal from the Commission is negotiated and adopted jointly by the Council and the Parliament. This places the European Parliament on an equal footing with the Council in the decision-making process.

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