EP: Fishermen need help with oil prices

17 May 2011
Emergency measures are needed to help fishermen suffering from high oil prices, says the EP

Emergency measures are needed to help fishermen suffering from high oil prices, says the EP

The European Parliament has said that emergency measures are needed to help fishermen suffering from high oil prices.

It believes the current ceiling on state aid should rise from €30,000 to €60,000 per company and new technologies should be used to improve energy efficiency.

The current high oil prices have had a severe impact on operating costs of fishermen, even forcing some to stop work. Parliament calls on the Commission to introduce emergency measures including raising the current ceiling for state aid from €30,000 to €60,000 per company for a transitional period of three years. These temporary measures should not result in unfair competition between Member States, says the resolution, which was tabled by several political groups and adopted by 369 votes to 203 with 27 abstentions.

The possibility should be explored of temporarily financing the support measures from margins of the EU fisheries budget for as long as no other type of measure is implemented, argues Parliament.

To avoid similar problems caused by oil price volatility in future, MEPs ask the Commission to come up with a medium and long-term plan for improving fuel efficiency in the fisheries industry and to promote investment in new technology at European and national level to increase energy efficiency and reduce the fishermen's dependence on fossil fuels.

Efforts to improve fuel efficiency should also become an integral part of the upcoming CFP (Common Fisheries Policy) reform, believes Parliament. The reform of the European Fisheries Fund should ensure that aid continues to be granted above all to small scale coastal and traditional fishermen.

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