The European Commission today published a legislative package in response to the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fishing industry. The proposed framework unlocks existing EU funding and market schemes to support affected fishers. The EU fishing industry welcomes the emergency measures proposed by the Commission to try to mitigate the adverse effects of those who are being directly threatened by the crisis and to calm the tension in our markets. The sector looks forward to a quick adoption by EU authorities allowing a speedy and flexible implementation of the provisions in the Member States. The Industry is disappointed that no extra-funding is included and is calling that this be addressed as a matter of urgency in light of the fact that otherwise the measures proposed will not be effective to cope with the unprecedented crisis.
The Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament has voted yesterday on the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) that will cover the budgetary period 2021-2027. Europêche appreciates the strong stand of the Parliament against the 5% budgetary cut proposed by the European Commission to compensate for the upcoming Brexit gap in the EU budget. The Parliament has called instead for a 10% budget increase (total envelope of €7.74 billion in current prices) compared to the Commission’s proposal to face the many upcoming challenges for the sector. Furthermore, Europêche welcomes the efforts made by the Committee to deliver their position on the new fund before the end of the current legislative term to avoid any delays as well as their focus on the socio-economic sustainability of the fishing fleet.