Delayed funding blocking CFP objectives

18 Sep 2017
Javier Garat

Javier Garat spoke at a public hearing in the European Parliament (EP)

Slow implementation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) has been raised as a concern to the European Parliament (EP).

The 2014-2020 EUR6.4bn fund has not been operational for more than three years after its adoption (15 May 2014) and up until September 2017, only 1.4% of the fund has been used by the Member States, said Europêche.

Europêche president, Javier Garat, said this is hampering achievement of the objectives set out in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the delayed allocation is a result of the delay in the adoption of the EMFF Regulation itself; the excessive time taken by the EU Member States to prepare the national operational programmes; and the excessive bureaucratic obstacles encountered by intermediate management bodies.

Red tape

“In short,” Garat stated, “there is too much red tape, too many controls and a lot of fear from governments of making mistakes that may lead to the withdrawal of these funds. This means that the sector is not receiving funds on time or in sufficient quantity to be able to develop the necessary projects to make fisheries more sustainable and profitable.”

Mr Garat was speaking at a public hearing in the European Parliament (EP) organised by the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) on the EMFF.

Garat called for a specific fisheries fund, with a larger budgetary allocation incorporating flexible financing mechanisms. He also said that operational programmes should make the mechanisms for financing arrangements such as loans, endorsements and guarantees more flexible.

He stressed the need to adopt a substantial financial envelope to finance both small and large projects. Additionally, he highlighted the need to finance temporary cessations of fishing activities caused by extraordinary circumstances such as biological standstill, closure of a fishery or breach of a fishing protocol with a third country.

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