A CPMR meeting on the future of the post-2020 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) took place on 30-31 January in Brussels.

The meeting, which was organised at the initiative of Pierre Karleskind, Vice-President of the region Brittany in charge of the sea and port infrastructures, and leader of the CPMR fishing group, aimed to set guidelines for the elaboration of a draft policy position, which will be presented to the CPMR Political Bureau on 8 March 2018 in Patras (Greece).

It brought together elected representatives from several CPMR member regions, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and professional organisations and NGOs specialising in fisheries and aquaculture issues.

The meeting was the latest in the process of consulting the CPMR’s member regions on the future of the post-2020 EMFF. Discussions confirmed the desire to maintain the EMFF as a specific fund to support priority fisheries and aquaculture after 2020, as well as the Integrated Maritime Policy.

In support of this commitment, participants discussed the needs that the fisheries and aquaculture sectors will face in the years to come.

In particular, these needs relate to the implementation of the changes introduced by the Common Fisheries Policy’s (CFP) reform in 2013, including the landing obligation, the potential impact of climate change on the movement of fish stocks and on aquaculture, shellfish farming, and the issues of knowledge of the environment and the resources for controlling fishing activities.

They also include the need to innovate in a context of heightened international competition, to ensure the attractiveness of trades, the renewal of generations and the young people entering the sector, modernising and renewing fleets, ensuring coexistence with other maritime activities, and coping with the likely consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The meeting also highlighted the need to considerably simplify the EMFF rules, to rely more on the regions in its implementation, notably through shared management and the extension of the logic of community led local development, and to provide the fund with at least a constant budget over the next period.

Following the adoption of the CPMR’s political position, a seminar on the future of the post-2020 EMFF and on the potential impact of Brexit on the fishing will be organised on 19-20 April 2018 in Flevoland region (NL).

This seminar will bring together representatives of regions and national authorities, European institutions and professional associations.