After intense discussions during the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting on Monday July 15 a full general approach on the proposal for a regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) was reached.
“This is a very important agreement for the future of the European fisheries sector. Being a part of the Multiannual Financial Framework, the new Fund with the envisaged sum of 6,396 billion euro will be the most important instrument to finance the reformed Common Fisheries Policy in 2014–2020 and to develop the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy“, – minister V. Jukna welcomed the favorable results.
A general approach reached during the Council will enable the Lithuanian Presidency to negotiate with the European Parliament as soon as Parliament votes in plenary on amendments and is prepared to engage in trilogues.
“Time is of the essence for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. We will make every endeavor to ensure that the entry into force date is 1 January 2014”, – stated V. Jukna. The main discussion on EMFF during this Council meeting focused on the budgetary resources under shared and direct management, the financial distribution for shared management (allocation criteria) as well as on provisions for the interruption of payment deadlines in case of non-compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy rules. Balancing different views of the EU Member States, the final agreement was approached on Monday evening after very intensive negotiations on the compromise text on the open EMFF issues mentioned above.
Member States have agreed on the budgetary resources to be allocated for different measures of the EMFF and on the set of criteria for the distribution of the funding among Member States.
One other issue presented during the Council was the state of play of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. “After reaching the inter-institutional political agreement on the CAP reform package the Lithuanian Presidency aims to finish the work related to the approval and the timely entry of the CAP package into force”, – said Minister Jukna.
“We have a challenging task ahead of us to work through the details. Our Presidency will concentrate on discussing and adopting a proposal on the necessary transitional CAP rules for certain aspects of the CAP reform, mainly related to the system of direct payments and rural development. An agreement on its provisions will have to be reached during the Lithuanian Presidency within the Council and in the inter-institutional level”, – pointed out the minister.
While presenting Lithuania’s work programme on Agriculture and Fisheries, the minister V. Jukna noted that the common vision of Lithuanian Presidency is directed towards achieving a modern, competitive and environmentally friendly sector of agriculture and fisheries.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/about-ukragroconsult/news-bsg/eu-member-states-agreed-on-a-new-european-maritime-and-fisheries-fund)