EU enlargements and fisheries: a legal analysis steps towards the re-nationalisation of EU maritime waters.
The 2004 enlargement negotiations smoothly tackled the European Common Fisheries Policy. The reason is mainly to be found in the geographical transformation of ocean governance. The provisions regulating ’who should fish what and where’, underwent a substantial change by means of temporal derogations. On the one hand the equal access principle eroded, as fishing in waters within 12 miles off the baselines - where most commercial fish stock are situated - became reserved towards the nationals of the coastal State. On the other hand the competence to adopt conservation measures has followed this geographical appropriation of fishing grounds, as the exclusive Community competence in this field is pushed out beyond the coastal waters. A return to the original provisions seems Utopian, as evidenced again by the outcome of the 2004 enlargement negotiations. This paper analyses the process which led towards the re-nationalisation of EU maritime waters.
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