The European Commission has approved the Operational Programme for the Slovenian Fisheries Industry for the period 2007-2013 (PDF ~ 2.3 Mb). The total eligible public expenditure of the programme amounts to around € 28.9 million, with EU assistance through the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) amounting to € 21.6 million.
The purpose and aim of the EU investment
During 2004-2006, Slovenia benefited from EU support under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) for approximately € 1.8 million. As a result the state of the sector has started showing certain improvements in competitiveness and sustainability, in particular regarding the sub-measure on aquaculture, processing and marketing, where almost three quarters of the funding were invested. Examples of successful implementation were the promotion of environmentally friendly aquaculture, encouraging a higher per capita consumption of fish as part of a healthy diet for the Slovenian population and diversifying the offer of fish on the market.
The new EU programme for 2007-2013 aims to build on the success of the previous programme as well as to guarantee necessary continuity of support, to ensure sustainable and competitive fisheries in balance with available resources and to offer fishers adequate working conditions. It also aims to consolidate conditions for a thriving aquaculture and processing sector that respects the environment and meets the demands of consumers and the food industry.
Priority 1: Adaptation of the EU fishing fleet
The objective of this axis is to promote profitable and sustainable fisheries in maritime areas. Measures are particularly targeted at adjusting fishing capacity to fishing possibilities, strengthening navigation security and improving working conditions as well as quality of catches. As more than 85 % of vessels in the Slovenian fleet are less than 12 m long, small scale coastal fishing will be granted special attention with operators potentially benefiting from increased funding and more favourable grant rates for investments. Socio-economic measures are foreseen to increase diversification of activities for fishermen and provide training.
Priority 2: Aquaculture, inland fishing, processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products
This axis aims to contribute to the development and sustainability of the aquaculture, processing and marketing sectors. Measures will aim in particular to produce a wider range of valuable fish products with good market perspectives and to provide greater diversity of fish supply. Measures will also aim to develop the use of extensive and environmentally friendly methods of production through productive investments in aquaculture and aqua-environmental measures.
Priority 3: Measures of common interest
This axis aims to support measures of common interest with a broader scope than measures normally undertaken by private enterprises, which help to meet the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy. Measures will include: improvement of facilities in Slovenian fishing ports and modernisation of landing sites and fishing shelters, investments to improve safety, support to the development of new markets and promotional activities.
Priority 4: Sustainable development of fisheries areas
The objective of this axis is to facilitate the sustainable development of areas with a significant level of employment in the fisheries sector and to improve the quality of life in these areas through actions implemented on the initiative of local fisheries groups. As the Slovenian coast is less than 50 km long, measures under this axis will concentrate in one single area, covering the three coastal municipalities of Piran, Koper and Izola. Measures will aim in particular to preserve the economic and social welfare of the area by maintaining jobs and diversifying activities.
Priority 5: Technical assistance
This axis aims to support the efficient implementation of the operational programme by building up and reinforcing administrative capacity.