The Commission today (March 13) adopted a €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, designed to support the European healthcare sector, the labour market and SMEs from all affected sectors, including fisheries.
The Commission’s proposal states:
“In order to quickly direct these €37 billion of European public investment to address the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, the Commission proposes to relinquish this year’s obligation to request refunding of unspent pre-financing for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund (CF) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) until programme closure.
“The Member States shall use the amounts not recovered in 2020 to accelerate investments related to the COVID-19 outbreak under the ERDF and the ESF, the CF and the EMFF. In view of the average co-financing rates across Member States, the €8 billion will be able to trigger the release and use of some €29 billion of structural funding across the EU.”
Of note, and in terms of safeguarding the incomes of fishermen and fish farmers the Commission’s Response Initiative’ published today proposes to:
Amend the EMFF Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 as follows:
(7) Article 35 is modified to make it possible for the EMFF to contribute to mutual funds which provide financial compensation to fishermen for economic losses caused by a public health crisis, and
(8) Article 57 is modified to add the possibility for the EMFF to safeguard the income of aquaculture producers by contributing to an aquaculture stock insurance covering economic losses due to a public health crisis
Further details of the Commission’s proposal can be found here.