CoR members adopted today the draft opinion on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), by Nathalie Sarrabezolles, President of the Finistère Departmental Council (PES/France).
"The blue economy is fundamental for our future. 23 EU countries border the sea, making the European Union the greatest maritime territory in the world. Our priority is that local and regional authorities are better involved in the process, to make sure that the future Fund is targeted to local needs and that it contributes to sustainable development", stressed Sarrabezolles.
Her draft opinion responds to the European Commission's proposal on the post-2020 EMFF which focuses on four priorities: fostering sustainable fisheries and the conservation of marine biological resources; contributing to food security through sustainable and competitive aquaculture and markets; enabling the growth of a sustainable blue economy and fostering prosperous coastal communities; and strengthening international ocean governance and sustainably managed seas and oceans.
Nathalie Sarrabezolles welcomes the strengthening of the territorial focus of the fund, through sea basin strategies, and recommends Member States to develop regional operational programmes, as part of national programming, in particular for regions that are responsible for maritime matters.
"This will encourage the establishment of regional strategies and allow the fund to be better channelled to deal with local issues", she emphasised.
The opinion also calls for maintaining the EMFF budget at the same level as 2014-2020; for supporting aquaculture and the modernisation of engine with technologies that reduce the carbon footprint; and for paying special attention to the specificities of the outermost coastal regions.