Fisheries and aquaculture: Emergency amendment to unlock support needed due to Russian invasion of Ukraine to enter into force tomorrow
Today, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the crisis measures proposed by the Commission on 13 April to support the fisheries and aquaculture sectors whose activity has been seriously disturbed by the Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The legislative amendment to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Regulation enters into force tomorrow. Welcoming the news of the adoption, Virginius Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: “The quick action from the Commission and rapid adoption of the EMFF amendment by co-legislators have been fundamental in unlocking remaining funding for emergency support to the fisheries sector impacted by this crisis. I call now on the Member States to quickly put in place these measures and ensure continuity of fishing and other economic activities as much as possible in these exceptional circumstances. Guaranteeing seafood supply for our consumers and maintaining the employment and economic viability in the sector should be our priorities.” In the following weeks, Member States planning to use these crisis measures under the EMFF will be able to submit requests to modify their EMFF operational programmes to the Commission. Given the urgency of the situation and based on best practices from the COVID-19 EMFF emergency measures, Member States may already start implementing the new measures by selecting operations before the formal approval by the Commission. Member States will be able to reallocate financial resources under the EMFF to foster their emergency response capacities and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis on the sector. In particular, they will have the possibility to grant financial support for the additional operating costs and economic losses suffered by fishery, aquaculture and seafood processing operators, as well as help those fishers who had to temporarily interrupt their operations due to the impact of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.