Commission Plans To Ease State Aid Rules –

Commission Plans To Ease State Aid Rules Fishing Monthly Published:  09 July, 2003

THE European Commission is planning to simplify the rules on Member States’ aid to the fisheries sector

The Commission adopted today a draft regulation proposing to exempt most categories of state aid in the fisheries sector from prior notification to the Commission.

The aim of the proposal is to make the existing rules simpler and to adapt them to the new legal framework under the reformed Common Fisheries Policy adopted in December 2002.

This “block exemption” further reduces administrative procedures necessary before granting aid to the sector according to the Commission in line with the facilitation already approved in December 2002 for the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG), according to which Member States no longer have to notify the Commission of national aid which co-finances measures benefiting from FIFG support.

Commissioner Franz Fischler, responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said: “This is a balanced package which will benefit stakeholders in the fisheries sector. It will allow for simpler and quicker procedures so that Member States are able to respond in a timely manner to the challenges faced by the sector while ensuring that the rules are adhered to.”