This Monday, MEPs expressed their views on the proposal for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) during a discussion with Commissioner Maria Damanaki in the European Parliament’s fisheries committee.
While many MEPs welcomed the efforts to keep the total level of funding above the current European Fisheries Fund, they were also critical to how these funds will be used.
Alain Cadec (EPP, France), the parliament’s rapporteur for the EMFF, said during the meeting that the EU has to consider the social protection for the fishermen and that in his view, the EMFF proposal brings an end to support for fishing activities.
In a press release, Alain Cadec later stated that he “refuses to sign the announced end to fisheries in Europe.” He considered that the European Commission is “subordinating the Common Fisheries Policy to dogmatic environmental measures.”
MEPs broadly welcomed proposals on conditionality of EU aid dependent on compliance with EU rules, sustainability and cooperation between fishermen and scientists. João Ferreira (GUE, Portugal) noted however that “some Member States have problems to finance” data collection, which was highlighted by Commissioner as one of conditions for EU aid. MEPs also asked for the fund to be more socially oriented, with namely specific support for new fishermen. Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE, Ireland) called for support for infrastructure works in small ports in order to compensate job losses and boost maritime tourism.