The Common Fisheries Policy of the European Union: Restructuring of the Fishing Fleet and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance

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This article is a study of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, focusing in particular on the restructuring of the European fishing fleet and the EU's structural fund aid made available to the fisheries sector to help deal with the problem of over-capacity. Four generations of Multi-Annual Guidance Programmes (MAGPs) for the fishing fleet have been adopted, which cover the period between 1983 and 2001, to deal with the problem of "too many fishing boats chasing too few fish" in the EU's maritime waters. By the end of 1996, only the UK and the Netherlands failed to meet their fleet-cutting target in terms of tonnage. Although the percentage of the structural funds provided by the EU to its Member States has been relatively small, the funds made available under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) has been used by the European Commission to compel certain Member States to meet the EU's fleet-cutting plan under MAGP.

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