The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €25.6 million Irish scheme to support the Pelagic sector affected by the effects of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
The aim of the scheme is to compensate owners of certain Irish-registered vessels for losses of turnover experienced in 2021 and 2022 because of reduced mackerel quota following Brexit. The aid will take the form of direct grants. The scheme will run until 31 December 2023.
The measure is planned to be financed under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, established to mitigate the economic and social impact of Brexit, subject to approval under the specific provisions governing funding from that instrument.
The Commission has assessed the scheme under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities or regions under certain conditions, and under the Guidelines for State aid in the fishery and aquaculture sector. The Commission found that the scheme facilitates the economic activity of fishing at sea in line with the Common Fisheries Policy objectives, increases sustainability and does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest. On this basis, the Commission approved the Irish scheme under EU State aid rules.
The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.108080 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.