In the Council, the Commission presented its proposal to the Agriculture and Fisheries Council at its meeting of 18 June 2018, after which the proposal was studied at working party level. In the Council meeting of 18 March 2019, the Slovenian delegation, on behalf of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Poland and Portugal, presented a joint statement in support of the modernisation of the small-scale fleet. In the meeting of 14 May 2019, the delegations of Spain, France and Italy presented in turn their own joint statement, including further fleet modernisation measures. In the debate, other delegations were critical of extending fleet support. Despite differences in opinion, agreement on a partial general approach was reached at the Council meeting of 18 June 2019. Among the changes compared to the Commission proposal, Council’s approach further simplified the fund, proposed less strict conditions for support to temporary cessation and extended the support for fleet investments. In particular, the Council provided a derogation allowing operations increasing the fishing capacity of a vessel when they relate to investments in on-board safety, labour conditions and energy efficiency, and provided they go along with very restrictive conditions, such as respecting fishing capacity ceilings. The Council also extended the maximum length for the provisions related to investments in small-scale fishing vessels, both for the first acquisition of a second-hand vessel by a young fisherman and for the replacement or modernisation of a vessel’s engine. In the Council’s approach, support for these measures is allowed for vessels up to 24 metres long. The extended possibility of engine replacement or modernisation for vessels between 12 and 24 metres long, goes alongside a condition that the new engine should emit at least 15 % less CO2. In the October 2019 Council meeting, the negotiation position was supplemented by adding some of the remaining elements related to result indicators, delegated acts and alignment with the CPR. At the October 2020 Council meeting, an additional partial general approach was reached on the financial aspects, following the July European Council conclusions on the future MFF. The new MFF finally adopted by the Council on 17 December 2020 also presented the amounts in 2018 prices (Figure 1). With €6 108 million in current prices (€5 430 million in constant 2018 prices), the budget of the new fund is slightly below the amount of the initial Commission proposal, representing a 13 % reduction compared to the EMFF for the 2014-2020 period.
Commission proposals, Parliament’s position and final figures for the 2021-2027 fisheries policy budget compared with the 2014-2020 budget (commitments, 2018 prices, € million)
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