Bringing the Ocean to Society
6 May 2020
EU adopts emergency aid for fisheries and aquaculture
Learn how the EMFF's is being used to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

As reported by DG MARE, the European Commission welcomes the quick adoption by the European Parliament, with the Council following very soon, of its initiative to modify the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: "In these extraordinary times, our citizens count on our help, now more than ever. The market disruption caused by this crisis has hit European fisheries and aquaculture sectors particularly hard. Jobs, communities and food security are at stake. This is why it was important for us to act together, swiftly and effectively, and help our fisheries sector."

Part of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus, these exceptional measures include support for the temporary cessation of fishing activities due to coronavirus, financial compensations to aquaculture farmers and to processing enterprises, specific measures for the outermost regions and support to producer organisations for the storage of fishery and aquaculture products. Additional amendments to the EMFF Regulation allow for more flexible reallocation of financial resources within the operational programmes of each Member State and a simplified procedure for amending operational programmes with respect to the introduction of the new measures. Operations supported under the temporary coronavirus-related measures will be retroactively eligible as of 1 February 2020 until 31 December 2020. Therefore, Member States can already start selecting and supporting these operations.

Coronavirus: Commission launches 2020 EMFF pre-financing process

In order to quickly direct the available European public funds to address the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, under Article 139 of the ESIF Regulation, the Commission has waived this year the obligation to request the refunds of unspent pre-financing from the fund until programme closure.

In addition, starting on 30 March, the Commission has launched the 2020 annual pre-financing process for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in advance and paid a sum of up to €160.3 million. This allows the Member States to use the funds to accelerate investments in response to the coronavirus outbreak and ease the socio-economic burden caused by the crisis on the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

ESIF Regulation