Help Print this page 

Summaries of EU Legislation

Title and reference

Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

This summary is archived.
Languages and formats available
HTML html ES html DA html DE html EL html EN html FR html IT html NL html PT
Multilingual display
Miscellaneous information
  • Archived: true



Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2006 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(98) 705 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(1999) 504 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2000) 704 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1747 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1403 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1201 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]


In its July 1997 Opinion, the European Commission concluded that Estonian efforts to align its legislative framework with that of the EU were far from completion, although progress had been made in adopting the measures listed in the 1995 White Paper. In fisheries, much work remained on modernisation and adopting EU legislation, although the Commission did not ultimately envisage any major problems integrating Estonia into the common fisheries policy.

The November 1998 Report acknowledged the progress made in the farming sector, with Estonia taking steps towards meeting the short-term priorities of the Accession Partnership. More work was needed, however, in particular an increase in administrative capacity. In the field of fisheries, by contrast, no specific legislation had been adopted.

The October 1999 Report recorded slow progress in the farm sector. Preparations for introducing the mechanisms and institutions of the CAP were continuing, although greater urgency was needed in applying the relevant legislation. In the fisheries sector, no significant progress had been made.

The November 2000 Report noted that the previous year had seen Estonia make its most concerted effort yet in the farm sector. However, much work remained as regards land reform, restructuring the agri-food industry, rural development, forestry and market organisation. The structures through which the trade aspects of the CAP could be implemented were yet to be created. Numerous deficiencies remained in the areas of veterinary control and animal welfare. Regarding fisheries, a Fisheries Act had been adopted, but greater effort was now needed to expand both the legislative framework and administrative capacity.

The November 2001 Report highlighted the steady progress made by Estonia in the farming sector, especially in adopting EU legislation and expanding administrative capacity. Progress in the veterinary field had been less impressive however.

In fisheries, notable improvements were evident in the country's administrative infrastructure. For example, responsibility for fisheries was now shared by the Ministries of the Environment and Agriculture. The introduction of a Vessel Monitoring System, with an accompanying legal requirement on vessels to provide data, marked a major step forward in vessel monitoring. Steady progress was also made in implementing the Fishing Vessel Register, and in May 2001, the Ministry of the Environment finalised its revised sectoral plan for fisheries. From July, producer organisations had been able to claim financial assistance under the Rural Development and Agricultural Market Regulation Act. And the Veterinary and Food Board was now responsible for monitoring compliance with common marketing standards.

The October 2002 Report noted Estonia's progress in aligning its legislation and reinforcing administrative capacity in the agriculture field. On fisheries, it recorded a number of steps forward, including on resource management, inspections and controls.

The November 2003 Report found that Estonia had, in general, complied with its obligations and met the bulk of its commitments as regards fisheries. It merely needed to step up its efforts to establish administrative structures.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.


The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is designed to maintain and develop a modern farming system that ensures both a fair standard of living for farmers and a supply of food at reasonable prices for consumers, as well as guaranteeing free movement of goods within the EU.

The Europe Agreement, which provides the legal basis for agricultural trade between Estonia and the EU, aims to promote cooperation on modernising, restructuring and privatising Estonia's farming and food sectors and its plant-health standards. The 1995 White Paper on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Internal Market covers legislation on veterinary, plant-health and animal-nutrition controls, as well as marketing requirements for individual commodities. The purpose of this legislation is to protect consumers, public health and animal and plant health.

The Common Fisheries Policy covers market-organisation regimes, structural policy, agreements with non-member countries, management and conservation of fish stocks and scientific research in support of these activities.

Trade with the EU in fishery products is covered in the Europe Agreement but not the White Paper.



Estonia has met its commitments in certain specific areas, initially quality policy and organic farming, the agricultural accounting network and State aid. Of the market organisations, only measures for milk products remain to be adopted. In the veterinary sector, Estonia has met its obligations as regards the inspection of animal diseases, animal welfare and zootechnics. Efforts must be made rapidly in the other veterinary fields because there is a risk of Estonia not being ready in time. Public health protection requires more attention and greater efforts.

Efforts must also be made in the fields of plant and public health, paying agencies, the administration and control system (IACS) and the implementation of trade measures.


Estonia has met its obligations as regards State aids and international agreements but only some of its commitments in other fields such as the management of fleet resources, the inspection of structural measures and market policy. It must ensure cooperation among the various bodies responsible for administering fisheries.

Last updated: 27.02.2004