Fisheries Committee requests urgent procedure to swiftly amend the European Fisheries and Maritime Fund, to better support the sector in “public health crises”.

The Fisheries Committee agreed to speed up the legislative process by referring the proposal to be adopted directly by plenary via the “urgent procedure” (defined under Rule 163), in a joint request with the Regional Development Committee. This would help provide a quick response to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic on the fisheries industry.

The specific amendments to the EMFF would add “public health crises” to the list of circumstances under which the fund may support mutual funds and stock insurance to safeguard the income of fishermen and aquaculture farmers affected.

EP Fisheries Chair, Pierre Karleskind (Renew Europe, FR) said: “With the agreement of the political groups in the Committee on Fisheries, I asked President Sassoli to deal with this important file under urgent procedure. This unprecedented crisis requires swift action. Together with the representatives of the groups, we will carry on working to put in place rapid and effective measures to help the aquaculture and fisheries sectors impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.”

Next steps

Amending EU funding rules falls under the co-decision procedure, so both Parliament and Council will need to adopt them. The Parliament will shortly announce the details of the urgent procedure.

Background

A legislative proposal to amend the Common Provisions Regulation, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund regulations was published on 13 March. The Commission proposed to relinquish its obligation this year to request that pre-financing for several structural funds be returned, including the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).