CFP Briefing No 3


Over the last few years, there have been growing demands for reform of EU fishing subsidies. The argument is that public aid should not be used simultaneously to build new vessels and to decommission old ones. The argument is particularly valid given the overcapacity in the EU’s fleets, ranging between 30 and 60 per cent depending on the fisheries.

Subsidy reform has gradually also risen up the Commission’s agenda and is now a core element of the 2002 reforms. Two specific changes are being proposed, as follows:

  • a) reform of FIFG – severely restricting public aid for investment in fishing vessels, and eliminating aid for the transfer of Community over-capacity to third countries; at the same time, the Commission is proposing to increase the amount of funding available for scrapping premiums – COM(2002)187; and
  • b) emergency aid for scrapping fishing vessels – introducing additional cofunding for 2003 for those vessels most affected by the multi-annual management plans – COM(2002)190.

These new financial incentives would effectively redirect funds towards fleet reduction and social measures, in order to implement long term stock management plans.

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