Primary objecive of the opinion is to offer input to the Euroepan Commission that ideally would be taken over in the Draft Regulation on the EMFF for the periode 2021-2027
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- considers, in view of the small average size of fishing businesses, direct public support in the form of a grant to be the best option and stresses that this model guarantees control over the destination and use of funds;
- reiterates the general call to support and encourage the renewal of the fishing fleet in order to avoid losses caused by ageing, as the average age of a fishing vessel in the EU is 22.6 years. This renewal must be promoted without increasing the fishing effort and focus on improving safety (for example, fire safety) and working and living conditions on board vessels;
- supports strengthening the territorial focus of the fund, through sea basin strategies, thereby offering solutions tailored to different circumstances and challenges in the European regions and avoiding a "one size fits all" proposal;
- considers that this simplification should include providing fewer and simple requirements and forms to apply for funding and stresses that the application process should be suitable for management by a single body, without resorting to specialist help and third-party advice;
- calls for increased training, particularly in relation to the generational renewal. And also the importance of promoting and achieving a successful handover to the next generation must be stressed, and to ensure this, budgetary support for training and access to the sector via the purchase or replacement of vessels must be prioritised, as this does not generate an increase in fishing effort;
- lends its support to the widespread demand for the new EMFF to reach a minimum threshold of 1% of the MFF post-2020 , by adding an increase of 0.47% for the IMP to the current allocation to fisheries and aquaculture of 0.53%. Firmly believes that the United Kingdom's decision to leave the EU should not be used as a pretext to cut future funding to the EMFF, given the important challenges for environmental protection, production and trade created by this process.