European Maritime and Fisheries Fund agreement: investing in a sustainable future
Brussels -- The European Commission has welcomed the European Parliament's voted on October 23th on the 2014-2020 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). This vote is a crucial step to securing political agreement by the end of the year which would allow the fund to be in place as of January 2014.
The Commission is pleased to note that the European Parliament has rejected public aid to vessel construction and has set clear limits on the amounts of public funding Member States can spend on fleets.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, welcomed the outcome of the vote: 'I am pleased with the overall outcome of the vote. In particular, I welcome the decision to reject spending EU taxpayers' money on building new fishing vessels and to cap the amount of funds Member States can spend on fishing fleets. This will allow the EMFF to focus on funding projects which promote a sustainable future for the fishing industry and coastal communities. I also welcome that Parliament decided that all stakeholders should be able to benefit from support contributing to their participation in Advisory Councils'
The EMFF will support the implementation of the recently adopted reform of the CFP, in particular the rebuilding of fish stocks, reducing the impact of fisheries on the marine environment, and the progressive elimination of wasteful discarding practices. It will increase investment into small scale fisheries and aquaculture as sources for future growth and will support the improvement of fisheries data collection to allow decisions to be based on robust evidence. The fund will also increase EU support to fisheries control programmes to ensure that the rules on responsible and sustainable fishing are respected and complied with.
The EMFF will co-finance projects alongside national funding streams with each Member State receiving a share of the total budget. Member States will draw up an operational programme, specifying how they intend to spend the money thus allocated and, once approved by the Commission, the national authorities will decide which projects they wish to support.