The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), amounting to EUR 6.3966 billion, is one of the European Structural and Investment Funds for the 2014-2020 period, and is the main financial tool in support of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Two major events that both fall in 2020 have the potential to significantly change the EMFF allocation: the entry into force of the European Union’s new Multiannual Financial Framework, and the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, one of the effects of which is an unexpected budget gap.

The rapporteur therefore stresses the need for continuity and better use of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the benefit of the maritime and fisheries sector, the Blue Economy and maritime employment. He believes that, given the European fisheries sector’s considerable socio-economic impact, a specific fund is required in order to help meet its objectives. The opinion calls for a new financial tool to promote shared governance and assistance for small coastal communities, to help create new businesses and support training and generational renewal, to enable maritime industries to diversify, to contribute to the conservation of marine resources and help improve environmental sustainability, to promote the competitiveness of the processing and marketing industry and to establish synergies with other European funds (EAFRD, ERDF and ESF). At the same time, the opinion points out that the new EMFF should be based on concepts such as administrative simplification and flexibility, the ability to adapt to the objectives and targets of the Common Fisheries Policy and opening up financial support to include all maritime and fisheries sectors, irrespective of their size or turnover. Finally, the opinion calls for the post-2020 EMFF to include and strengthen the territorial dimension of policies, to help European coastal communities build a marine economy, and support job and wealth creation relating to the sea.

Adoption timetable:

  • 1st discussion and adoption in NAT on 24-25 May 2018
  • Final adoption in Plenary session of July 2018

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