WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies are now entering the final stage. After two decades of dialogue, trade ministers from 164 countries are resolved to secure an agreement ahead of the ministerial conference of 15 July this year. The European fishing industry represented by Europêche fully sustains the need to curb harmful subsidies globally, similarly to what has been done in the EU in the early 2000’s. In this direction, the fishing sector calls on EU institutions and Member states to defend the public aid system established under EU legislation, including the newly adopted Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFAF). Likewise, the sector urges the EU not to succumb to external pressure and defend fuel tax relief schemes. The opposite will drive the fleet to ruin.
Following a marathon meeting last night, EU decision-makers agreed on the new European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) as part of the package of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The new fisheries fund will cover the budgetary period 2021-2027 with a financial envelope of €6.108 billion (in current prices). Europêche welcomes the timely consensus on the new regulation before the end of the year as well as the simplification and flexibility offered by the new fund. However, the sector regrets the budget decrease.
The sector calls on Member States to speed-up access to financial aid.