what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

The external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy

EU fleets fish far beyond European waters and import so much fish from so far away that EU fisheries policy includes many dimensions, including aspects of foreign policy.

In order to clarify the political and legal issues related to EU vessels fishing abroad the Commission proposed a strategy paper.

The Commission's proposals were very restrictive and focused on two aspects: bilateral agreements with third countries to fish in their waters and international organisations to manage fisheries on the high seas.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe that the EU's external fisheries policy has broader implications than just the two aspects mentioned in the Commission proposal.

Given the extent to which the EU imports fish and the wide-ranging investments by EU companies, other issues that should be considered include foreign investment in fisheries, banking, illegal fishing, joint ventures, trade agreements in general as well as trade in fishery products, flags of non-compliance and many others.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

The resolution adopted by the Parliament recognised that the external fishery policy needs to be seen as a whole and not reduced to a few legal instruments.

It included many of the proposals by the Greens and especially insisted on the need to improve coherence between fisheries and other policies, including development, and the need to ensure environmentally sustainable activities.

Several of the positions on which we reached agreement were subsequently incorporated into the basic regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) so that the reformed CFP now includes, for the first time, a chapter on the external dimension.


Which points did the Greens lose?

The Greens were satisfied with the Parliament's resolution.

Unfortunately, in the legislative act, the Parliament was not able to persuade the Council to accept all of its proposals.

One of them concerns the problem of reflagging, the changing of flags of a fishing vessel in order to avoid regulation from the initial flag state.


Procedure:Own-initiative procedure


Lead MEP:Isabella Lövin (GREENS/EFA)

Green MEP responsible:Isabella Lövin


Staff contact:Michael Earle (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?