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Ημερομηνία

European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund

23-09-2021

As part of the budget framework for the 2021-2027 period, the European Union has adopted new rules on funding dedicated to the Common Fisheries Policy and the Integrated Maritime Policy. Based on a Commission proposal of June 2018, Parliament adopted its first reading position in April 2019. After lengthy interinstitutional negotiations, started after the 2019 elections, political agreement was reached on 4 December 2020. Compared to the previous period, the new fund gives Member States more flexibility ...

As part of the budget framework for the 2021-2027 period, the European Union has adopted new rules on funding dedicated to the Common Fisheries Policy and the Integrated Maritime Policy. Based on a Commission proposal of June 2018, Parliament adopted its first reading position in April 2019. After lengthy interinstitutional negotiations, started after the 2019 elections, political agreement was reached on 4 December 2020. Compared to the previous period, the new fund gives Member States more flexibility in defining their own measures, as long as they support the priorities and are not part of a list of ineligible measures. Departing from the Commission proposal, the co legislators have extended support for the small-scale fleet to vessels between 12 and 24 metres in length. The fleet aid provisions allow support for the first acquisition of a vessel by a young fisherman, for the modernisation of engines, and for operations that improve safety, working conditions or energy efficiency. A greater focus on aquaculture is reflected in its inclusion in the name of the fund. Preferential aid is provided for outermost regions. At least 15 % of Member States' allocations should be spent on control and data collection. Following its adoption by the Council, Parliament adopted the agreed text in plenary on 6 July 2021, closing the procedure at second reading. The new regulation entered into force on 14 July and applies retroactively from January 2021. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure

Charting a course through stormy waters: The EU as a maritime security actor

25-02-2021

The European Union (EU) is a one-of-a-kind maritime actor, which brings both opportunities and responsibilities. It is argued that if the EU-27 were to combine the capacities and capabilities of their navies, they would form one of the world's largest maritime powers. There is therefore space for better integration of capabilities and for greater coherence among the EU's tools to promote its multi-dimensional strategic maritime interests. As around 90 % of global goods are traded via maritime routes ...

The European Union (EU) is a one-of-a-kind maritime actor, which brings both opportunities and responsibilities. It is argued that if the EU-27 were to combine the capacities and capabilities of their navies, they would form one of the world's largest maritime powers. There is therefore space for better integration of capabilities and for greater coherence among the EU's tools to promote its multi-dimensional strategic maritime interests. As around 90 % of global goods are traded via maritime routes, freedom of navigation, security, sustainability and respect for international law are crucial for the EU. These routes are however becoming increasingly contested and restricted, reflecting new patterns of global power distribution. In the security and defence field, the EU's common security and defence policy instruments, particularly its missions and operations abroad, are the most visible manifestation of its maritime actorness. The maritime dimension of the EU's security and defence policy has been put in the spotlight by Portugal, the holder of the EU Council presidency in the first half of 2021. Two of the 17 EU missions and operations are naval military operations: EUNAVFOR Somalia Atalanta in the western part of the Indian Ocean, and EUNAVFOR MED Irini in the central part of the Mediterranean Sea. EU Member States also participate in multinational maritime coalitions as well as in NATO's own maritime operation, Sea Guardian, patrolling the entire Mediterranean Sea. In following the orientations provided by its maritime and global strategies, the EU is aiming to increase its capacity and reliability as a maritime security actor. One example is its coordinated maritime presences, launched in January 2021 with a pilot case in the Gulf of Guinea to boost the EU's maritime capacity and global outreach. Another is the EU's action to boost its maritime defence capabilities through the various post-2016 initiatives that aim to incentivise collaborative projects. Finally, the EU has also enhanced its cooperation with NATO in ensuring maritime security in the transatlantic space, although political obstacles remain.

Search and rescue in the Mediterranean

12-01-2021

International law imposes an obligation to render assistance to persons and ships in distress at sea, which must be provided regardless of the persons' nationality or status or the circumstances in which they are found. These rules have to be applied without prejudice to the obligations deriving from international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including in particular the prohibition of refoulement. Search and rescue (SAR) and disembarkation activities of EU Member States are ...

International law imposes an obligation to render assistance to persons and ships in distress at sea, which must be provided regardless of the persons' nationality or status or the circumstances in which they are found. These rules have to be applied without prejudice to the obligations deriving from international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including in particular the prohibition of refoulement. Search and rescue (SAR) and disembarkation activities of EU Member States are currently not covered by a common EU legal framework, except for those activities carried out in the context of Frontex-led joint operations at sea. In recent years, a significant proportion of migrants and asylum-seekers in distress at sea have been rescued by EU naval operations, EU agencies and non-governmental organisations in the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, over the last couple of years, the Mediterranean Sea has also been the backdrop for the largest number of casualties and missing people. Lack of coordination in search and rescue activities, solitary action by individual countries and criminalisation of non-governmental organisations active in SAR in the Mediterranean lead to migrants being forced to stay for several days and sometimes weeks on boats. EU Member States and EU agencies (Frontex) have also been accused of pushbacks of asylum-seekers and other migrants to the high seas and towards Libya and Turkey. Individual actors dealing with boats of migrants have been a subject of strong criticism and legal action. Their accountability is, however, not always clear, the reason being varied application and interpretation of different bodies of international law. One solution, proposed by academics, could be the harmonisation of the fragmented legal regime for maritime interceptions.

Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea: EU and international action

12-03-2020

The Gulf of Guinea is framed by 6 000 km of west African coastline, from Senegal to Angola. Its sea basin is an important resource for fisheries and is part of a key sea route for the transport of goods between central and southern Africa and the rest of the world. Its geo-political and geo-economic importance has grown since it has become a strategic hub in global and regional energy trade. Every day, nearly 1 500 fishing vessels, cargo ships and tankers navigate its waters. The security of this ...

The Gulf of Guinea is framed by 6 000 km of west African coastline, from Senegal to Angola. Its sea basin is an important resource for fisheries and is part of a key sea route for the transport of goods between central and southern Africa and the rest of the world. Its geo-political and geo-economic importance has grown since it has become a strategic hub in global and regional energy trade. Every day, nearly 1 500 fishing vessels, cargo ships and tankers navigate its waters. The security of this maritime area is threatened by the rise of piracy, illegal fishing, and other maritime crimes. Regional actors have committed to cooperate on tackling the issue through the 'Yaoundé Code of Conduct' and the related cooperation mechanism and bodies. The international community has also pledged to track and condemn acts of piracy at sea. The European Union (EU), which has a strong interest in safeguarding its maritime trade and in addressing piracy's root causes, supports regional and international initiatives. The EU is also implementing its own maritime security strategy, which includes, among other features, a regional component for the Gulf of Guinea; this entails EU bodies' and Member States' cooperation in countering acts of piracy, as well as capacity-building projects. This briefing draws from and updates the sections on the Gulf of Guinea in 'Piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Africa', EPRS, March 2019.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Fisheries

28-06-2019

The European Union has sole responsibility for the conservation of its marine fisheries resources, and manages them under the common fisheries policy (CFP). Launched in 1983 and reformed every ten years since then, the CFP has come a long way. The current framework, resulting from the 2013 CFP reform, is aimed at ensuring that EU fisheries are sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially. The CFP has a dedicated financial instrument – the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) – ...

The European Union has sole responsibility for the conservation of its marine fisheries resources, and manages them under the common fisheries policy (CFP). Launched in 1983 and reformed every ten years since then, the CFP has come a long way. The current framework, resulting from the 2013 CFP reform, is aimed at ensuring that EU fisheries are sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially. The CFP has a dedicated financial instrument – the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) – with a budget of €6.4 billion for the 2014-2020 period. The 2013 reform introduced the target to achieve exploitation of all stocks at sustainable levels by 2020, and provided several major tools to support progress towards this goal. In particular, adoption of multiannual plans has become a priority, to ensure long-term management of stocks. An obligation to land all catches was designed to end the practice of discarding fish back into the sea. The reform also introduced regionalisation of decision-making, with the possibility to adopt conservation measures based on joint recommendations by the Member States concerned. Implementation of the reformed CFP was the main feature of the 2014-2019 parliamentary term, with legislative work making headway on several important topics. A series of multiannual plans have been launched, and four of them, concerning fisheries in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Western Waters and the western Mediterranean, are now in force. The landing obligation has been phased in, as scheduled, from 2015 to 2019. The EU adopted an updated framework for collection of fisheries data to support management decisions, as well as a new system of fishing authorisations improving the monitoring of EU vessels fishing outside EU waters. EU activities have also covered different aspects of the CFP's external dimension, such as conclusion of fisheries agreements with third countries, and participation in international fisheries governance. In the future, further progress is expected on issues such as adoption of multiannual plans and the revision of the fisheries control system. The EMFF will be renewed as part of the next EU multiannual budget for 2021-2027. Taking stock of progress made in implementing the latest reform and achieving its objectives, with a view to future CFP developments, will also be on the agenda. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Africa: EU and global impact

19-03-2019

African maritime security is affected by a wide range of illegal activities. This paper focuses on maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea, examining the legal aspects and societal implications of these forms of violence. Maritime piracy and armed robbery off Africa's coasts also pose a threat to the European Union's security and economy. Since 2008, the European Union has been implementing a maritime security strategy by means of separate regional strategies in the Gulf of Aden and in the Gulf ...

African maritime security is affected by a wide range of illegal activities. This paper focuses on maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea, examining the legal aspects and societal implications of these forms of violence. Maritime piracy and armed robbery off Africa's coasts also pose a threat to the European Union's security and economy. Since 2008, the European Union has been implementing a maritime security strategy by means of separate regional strategies in the Gulf of Aden and in the Gulf of Guinea.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2021-2027

21-01-2019

The 2021-2027 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is the major financial tool supporting the EU common fisheries policy (CFP). The new EMFF is focused “on evolution rather than radical changes” - and is supposed to be simpler and more flexible for the stakeholders involved. The notes on quality, research and analysis of the impact assessment concluded that the range of options, the scope and analysis of impacts, and the stakeholder consultation seem to be not always in line with the Better Regulation ...

The 2021-2027 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is the major financial tool supporting the EU common fisheries policy (CFP). The new EMFF is focused “on evolution rather than radical changes” - and is supposed to be simpler and more flexible for the stakeholders involved. The notes on quality, research and analysis of the impact assessment concluded that the range of options, the scope and analysis of impacts, and the stakeholder consultation seem to be not always in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines for financial programmes.

European Maritime Single Window environment

18-12-2018

This briefing analyses the impact assessment accompanying the legislative proposal of the Commission to establish the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe). The goal of the EMSWe is to decrease and harmonise throughout the EU, the reporting formalities and obligations of the maritime operators when calling at ports in the EU. The IA provides the overview of the main problems of the existing legislation and the policy options considered by the Commission to deal with them. Despite some ...

This briefing analyses the impact assessment accompanying the legislative proposal of the Commission to establish the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe). The goal of the EMSWe is to decrease and harmonise throughout the EU, the reporting formalities and obligations of the maritime operators when calling at ports in the EU. The IA provides the overview of the main problems of the existing legislation and the policy options considered by the Commission to deal with them. Despite some minor inconsistencies, the IA provides a solid analysis of the current problems related to reporting obligations of ships when calling at a port.

European Maritime Single Window

14-05-2018

Reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States are currently set out in Directive 2010/65/EU – the Reporting Formalities Directive (RFD). The directive aims to simplify and harmonise administrative procedures in maritime transport by introducing a single window for reporting formalities for ships. The European Commission's ex-post evaluation of the functioning of the directive showed that, eight years after its adoption, several serious problems are hampering ...

Reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States are currently set out in Directive 2010/65/EU – the Reporting Formalities Directive (RFD). The directive aims to simplify and harmonise administrative procedures in maritime transport by introducing a single window for reporting formalities for ships. The European Commission's ex-post evaluation of the functioning of the directive showed that, eight years after its adoption, several serious problems are hampering its harmonised application throughout the EU. The main problem drivers are (1) an unsatisfactory level of national and EU harmonisation, (2) the limited scope of the directive and (3) an inefficient use of the received data by national authorities of Member States. The European Parliament has already underlined the need for simplification and harmonisation of administrative requirements for ships in maritime transport. The European Commission intends to address the problems identified to date by submitting a legislative proposal to revise the RFD in the second quarter of 2018.

Inspections of ro-ro ferries and high-speed passenger craft

15-02-2018

The European Commission, in line with its regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT), has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal seeks to rationalise inspections conducted by national administrations while ensuring a high level of passenger ship safety and without unnecessarily limiting the ship’s commercial ...

The European Commission, in line with its regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT), has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal seeks to rationalise inspections conducted by national administrations while ensuring a high level of passenger ship safety and without unnecessarily limiting the ship’s commercial operations, making the inspections system for these ships simpler, more effective and cheaper. This would be achieved by changing focus from initial company-based inspections to ship-based ones and by ensuring that subsequent inspections occur at regular intervals. After interinstitutional negotiations concluded on 14 July 2017, the European Parliament adopted the agreed text on 4 October 2017 and the Council on 23 October 2017. The final act entered into force on 20 December 2017 and the new provisions will apply from 21 December 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

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