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Rosa Quintana at the conference held in Tallinn, Estonia. (Photo: Xunta de Galicia)

Galicia calls for new EU fisheries fund

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Thursday, October 12, 2017, 21:40 (GMT + 9)

The Secretary of Marine Affairs of ​​Galicia, Rosa Quintana, in Tallinn, Estonia, defended today the desirability of a new fishery fund that will favour the continuity the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) that is in force.

The Galician official stressed that this new fund is necessary for fishermen and fish farmers to adapt to the lines set by Europe. In other words, it is in line with and coordinated with the European legislation, with a specific structure for fishing, shellfish collection, aquaculture and processing, and aimed at achieving the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Integrated Maritime Policy.

This was highlighted in the plenary session 'The EMFF in support of the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy and EU Maritime Policy' framed in the conference 'Beyond 2020: Supporting Europe's Coastal Communities', to be held today and tomorrow in Tallinn, organized by Estonia, as the EU Presiding Member State, and the European Commission.

As regards the structure of this future fund, Quintana emphasized the need for it to be horizontal and common for those comprehensive issues that require general and coordinated action between States or regions, such as the Maritime Policy or the Atlantic Action Plan.

In addition, she cited Galicia's priorities for the new funding body, among which she highlighted the generational change, basing the support of the funds on issues such as training and improving the quality of life with special attention to the safety and comfort of the crews. She also mentioned the facilities to access the sector, through support to aspects such as the purchase of ships, especially among young people.

Other priorities of Galicia in relation to the new fund, highlighted by the head of Marine Affairs, are the adaptation to the fishing effort, support for the improvement of the organization and the reinforcement of the spirit of community of the common goods that are in the sea to improve its management and operation. Priority lines, she added, are maintaining the competitiveness of the processing sector and the economic diversification of the sector, especially in rural coastal areas.

Regarding the aspects to be recovered in the future fund, Quintana stressed the need for aid to companies with a high volume of employment or turnover, even partially and in certain axis. This, she clarified, since their capacity of impulse in subjects like R+D+i or improvement of labour standards can be lost due to lack of aid.

To achieve the objectives of attention to the sector, the head of the Secretariat of Marine Affairs described the public support in the form of a grant as the best option since it guarantees the control of the destination and implementation on something specific. Also because it generates direct dynamizing effect on the economy, it stimulates the initiatives in questions rooted in the objectives of the CFP, it generates trust and ensures the obtaining of financing.

In addition, in relation to the current FEMP, she underlined that Galicia faces two difficulties added to the delay in approving the regulation and the operational program. On the one hand, the difficulties to know in an agile, clear and accurate way the eligibility criteria and actions that can be implemented to the fund, such as the case of R&D&i initiatives. On the other hand, the difficulties in defining how to implement the objectives of the CFP in practice. An example of this case is the discard reduction initiatives. In this regard, Quintana suggested introducing possible improvements in the implementation of this type of funds by implementing adaptation and simplification.


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