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Regional Dimension at Heart of Maritime Policy

EU - European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Joe Borg has said that the regional dimension lies at the heart of Europe's new integrated maritime policy.


Joe Borg, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Photo: Europa

Joe Borg arrived in Galicia last night to commence a two-day visit to the region to discuss the latest developments in fisheries and maritime policy with regional decision-makers and stakeholders.

His schedule will take him to the cities of A Coruna, Santiago de Compostela, and Vigo, seat of the Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA), where he will conclude his trip Tuesday at the inauguration of the annual Conxemar exhibition.

Topics for discussion during his stay in the region will include the next reform of the Common Fisheries Policy which was endorsed last week by Council, the role European Fisheries Fund financing can play in supporting coastal development and the role that the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy can play in areas such as spatial planning.

"It should be increasingly important in the future of the Common Fisheries Policy if we are to achieve our goals of not only simplifying regulation, but also giving stakeholders a real sense of ownership in the future of our fisheries. The support of Europe's historic maritime regions, such as Galicia, will be crucial in achieving our vision of a vibrant maritime economy. I hope that a visit such as this one can show that they, too, have everything to gain from seeing the Commission as a partner in the fullest sense of the word," Joe Borg commented.

Commissioner Borg's visit began this morning with a tour of the fish market in A Coruna in the company of Regional Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Ms Carmen Gallego. He then travelled on to Santiago de Compostela, where he was welcomed by President of the Region of Galicia Mr Emilio Peréz Touriño. The rest of the morning was spent with the Coastal Action Groups of Galicia, who will be the designated beneficiaries of Axis 4 funding (sustainable development of fisheries areas) under the European Fisheries Fund. Galicia is one of the major beneficiaries of Axis 4 funding in Spain, with an allocation of EUR 40 million, which will be shared between seven sub-regions.

This afternoon Mr Borg will tour the Galician Institute for Aquaculture Training on the island of Arousa, where he will be briefed on Institute's work on restocking the Galician coast with native species and in the field of development cooperation. The visit will conclude with a joint press conference with the Regional Minister at 6pm, after which the Commissioner will depart for Vigo. Following a reception tomorrow morning hosted by Mayor of Vigo Mr Abel Caballero Alvarez, Mr Borg will meet with representatives of the Galician fisheries sector. He will then have a working lunch with senior administrators from the Regional Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs.

The Commissioner's visit will conclude with the inauguration of the Conxemar Exhibition, an annual frozen fishery products trade show. Mr Borg will give one of the welcome speeches, alongside Spanish Minister of Environment, Rural and Marine Environment Elena Espinosa, President of Conxemar Jose Luis Freire, Mayor Caballero, and Regional Minister Gallego.

This is the second visit Commissioner Borg has made to Galicia this year. In July, he was in Vigo to celebrate the inauguration of the CFCA's move into its new headquarters.

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Ellen Hardy

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