FEAMPA: how will the new European fund for fishing and the sea work?

How will the new Fisheries Fund for the period 2021-27 work? Here is a presentation by the Honorable Rossana Conte (ID – Lega) who has followed his evolution in the Parliamentary Commission and can therefore provide some anticipation on the matter.

The European Parliament's Fisheries Commission approved by majority the provisional agreement on the European Fund for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture , the so-called FEAMPA, for the years 2021-2027.

The negotiations on this regulation – which I followed as shadow rapporteur for my Identity and Democracy Group – lasted almost two years and resulted in an improvement over the initial proposal from the European Commission.

Before entering into force, the text must be approved in Plenary by the European Parliament itself and must also be validated by the European Council.

The overall budget available to this Fund – which I remember being the smallest of the European Union funds – was reduced from 829 million euros to 797 million euros , thanks to Brexit, but also to the partial use of previous funds. The old EMFF, in fact, was difficult to implement precisely because of the bureaucratic complexities it contained. We have worked to make the new Fund easier , but a strong commitment from all operators in the sector will be required to be able to use the new funds thanks to innovative projects and in line with the new requirements (and conditionalities) set by the European Commission.

The new architecture of the FEAMPA will be based on four priorities focused on the promotion of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and the conservation of resources, the blue economy and the international governance of seas and oceans.

The first big news that can already be seen from the name of the Fund, which from EMFF becomes FEAMPA, is the greater importance given to Aquaculture , including freshwater, and to the marketing of its products, in order to make this activity more flourishing and competitive.

Space is also given to the processing industry : in fact, processing SMEs will receive more aid and support will come through grants or financial instruments . Larger companies, on the other hand, will be supported through financial instruments or InvestEU.

Given the crisis experienced in the last year, another important point is that linked to the support for storage in the event of exceptional events that generate a significant disturbance of the markets. In such cases, operators in the fishery and aquaculture sector will be compensated for the lost income or additional costs.

With regard to fishing , which remains the center of this Fund, there are many provisions, especially in aid of small-scale artisanal fishing , which will benefit from specific support and simplified application forms.

An aspect of great interest to our fishermen is the support for the temporary arrest during periods of non-fishing, which has been extended from 6 to 12 months. On the other hand, as regards the definitive shutdown for the decommissioning of vessels , we managed to keep co-financing at 50%, avoiding excessive dismantling of the fleet and the risk of an increase in illegal fishing.

A point that has been the subject of strong debate not only at the EU level, but also within the World Trade Organization is that relating to subsidies or investments to renovate boats . The future FEAMPA will support investments for vessels up to 24 meters and over 10 years of age even if these will lead to an increase in gross tonnage for the purposes of safety, working conditions and energy efficiency. The boats can, therefore, be renewed on condition that the fishing capacity of the single boat is not increased . Otherwise, the withdrawal of equal capacity of a vessel belonging to the same fishing segment or a segment where the stock is in distress will be necessary.

It will also be possible to replace and renew engines , as long as they consume less or emit less CO2.

News also for young fishermen under the age of 41, who will be able to buy small three-year-old fishing boats or five-year-old fishing boats up to 24 meters. Unfortunately, FEAMPA's support will only be 40%, but it is still a help for those who are willing to invest and start this adventure at sea.

Other new provisions on which I worked and fought personally were also the promotion of social dialogue and the introduction of insurance and financial instruments ah hoc . Fishermen and aquaculture farmers are in fact exposed to increasing economic and environmental risks, for which the FEAMPA will have to strengthen the resilience of the sector also through mutual funds, insurance instruments, facilitated access to credit or other collective systems that increase the sector's ability to manage risks and respond to adverse events. This support can also be provided for individual fishermen , not necessarily associated, and this represents a great new element.

Finally, we come to the beneficiaries: who will be able to apply and access the FEAMPA ? All operators, except those who have committed serious infringements to the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy . There is therefore talk of withdrawal of financial aid already granted, but proportionate to: nature, gravity, duration and repetition of serious infringements committed during the period between the presentation of the application and five years after the final payment. The problem that will arise in some Member States, such as Italy, marked by frequent delays in payments, will be that the time period could be much longer than usual.

These were just some of the provisions in the new FEAMPA, which appears to be an overall balanced regulation between the environmental, social and economic issues, in compliance with the three pillars of the Common Fisheries Policy.

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The FEAMPA article : how will the new European fund for fishing and the sea work? comes from ScenariEconomici.it .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL https://scenarieconomici.it/feampa-come-funzionera-il-nuovo-fondo-europeo-per-la-pesca-ed-il-mare/ on Tue, 09 Mar 2021 10:00:54 +0000.