The EU Commission has approved a €45m Irish scheme to support the fish-processing sector affected by the effects of Brexit
State aid: Commission approves €45 million Irish support measure for fishery-processing sector in the context of Brexit
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €45 million Irish scheme to support the fish-processing sector affected by the effects of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
The scheme will run until 31 December 2023. The beneficiaries are small and medium-sized enterprises active in the processing and preserving of fish, crustaceans and molluscs.
The aim of the measure is to support these companies in improving their manufacturing processes, providing a stimulus to optimise the use of raw material inputs and add greater value to outputs, thereby helping reduce commodity exports. The measure is planned to be financed under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (‘BAR’), established to mitigate the economic and social impact of Brexit, subject to approval under the specific provisions governing funding from that instrument.
The Commission has assessed the scheme under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities or regions under certain conditions, and in particular the Guidelines for the examination of State aid to the fishery and aquaculture sector.
The Commission found that the scheme will enhance the sustainability of the fishery-processing sector and its ability to adapt to new fishing and market opportunities post-Brexit. It also found that the scheme facilitates the development of an economic activity and does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest. On this basis, the Commission approved the Irish measure under EU State aid rules.