Commission proposes more funds to support farming and fisheries

The fishery and aquaculture sectors have been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus crisis

Photo: EU Janusz Wojciechowski and Virginijus Sinkevičius (L-R).

The Commission’s revised proposal for the next MFF substantially reinforces the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding to a total of €391bn is proposed for agriculture and rural development, adequate to the importance of agriculture and rural development in the EU. In the new draft, presented on 27 May, the executive added €26.4bn to its 2018 proposal.

At a news conference, Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski pointed out that this increase is 2% higher than 2020 funding levels and the sector will receive 2% more funds each year than it will received this year.

According to him the new resources will also make the sector more resilient to external shocks while continuing to benefit from the Single Market and its strong competitive advantage.

For the first pillar of the CAP, so for direct payments to farmers and markets, the Commission proposed €290.7bn, an increase of €4.5bn over the Commission's 2018 proposal. “This is a very good deal for farmers,” Commissioner Wojciechowski stressed, saying that the bulk of this funds will be for the direct payments to farmers.

Concerning the rural development, the proposed amount for the next seven years is €100.7bn. This will help farmers and rural areas to deliver the green transition and support investments and reforms essential to Europe's ambitious environmental targets, Commissioner Wojciechowski added.

Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, who presented the Common Fisheries Policy share in the next long term budget pie, accented that the fishery and aquaculture sectors have been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus crisis. Markets were disrupted and many businesses suffered severe economic losses because of the lockdown. For many coastal communities, who strongly rely on fisheries for their livelihoods, the situation was and still is dramatic, he said.

The Commissioner also explained that the Commission acted decisively from the beginning of the crisis to ensure that this short-term disruption would not lead to long-term socio-economic damage such as bankruptcies and major job losses in coastal communities, proposing two rescue packages for directly compensate losses caused by a public health crisis.

As part of a reinforced long-term budget of the EU for 2021-2027 the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will be increased by €500m to strengthen the resilience of the fisheries sector and provide necessary scope for crises management. This is an increase of more than 8% compared to the budget initially proposed for the EMFF in 2018.



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