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EU Council Agrees Partial Approach for Maritime, Fisheries Fund

Sustainability Economics Politics +2 more

EU - Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki represented the Commission at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of October 2012, which takes place in Luxemburg on 22 and 23 October 2012, under the presidency of Mr Sofoklis Aletraris, Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.

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EU Ministers reached a partial general approach on the Commission's proposal on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

Commissioner Maria Damanaki commented on the Council outcome: "The Council has agreed a compromise which is less ambitious than what we have proposed. The original Commission proposal stands to be reviewed in a next stage by the European Parliament."

In her opening remarks, Commissioner Maria Damanaki highlighted in particular the need to support young fishermen's entrance into the profession: "In many regions of the Union, youngsters simply don't want to enter a business which is extremely hard work, dangerous and where your income can fluctuate so much. I want to give a positive signal and support aid to young fishermen to buy a second hand vessel with a maximum of 15% of the price of the vessel and 50 000 ."

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

The new Fund will help deliver the ambitious objectives of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and will help fishermen in the transition towards sustainable fishing, as well as coastal communities in the diversification of their economies. The fund will finance projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts. Red tape will be cut so that beneficiaries have easy access to financing. This fund will replace the existing European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and a number of other instruments. The proposed envelope amounts to 6.5 billion for the period 2014 to 2020. Commissioner Damanaki will focus on how the EMFF ensures the long-term environmental, economic and social sustainability of EU fisheries and the fishing communities that depend on these fisheries.

Other fisheries points

The Council will also exchange views with the Commission on the EU-Norway annual consultations for 2013 and on the upcoming annual meeting of ICCAT (the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas), to be held in Agadir, Morocco from 12-19 November.