EU Commissioner Sinkevicius replies to Europêche and EAPO that he aware of the soaring energy costs situation due to Russia/Urkraine conflict
EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius has replied to the joint letter written to him by the EAPO and Europeche regarding energy costs.
Both EU fisheries organisations had come together to issue a letter to the Commissioner on 10 March this year expressing their concerns that the fishing industry was being severely impacted by the events in Ukraine, couple with te fallout from COVID-19 and Brexit.
In his reply, Commissioner Sinkevicius said that he was aware of the situation and was working to ensure the best results for the industry. He said:
“I would like to stress that the Commission is actively listening to the concerns of all stakeholders, closely monitoring the socio-economic situation, and assessing impacts. In this time of crisis, hearing your concerns is helpful for us in order to maintain a full understanding of the difficulties faced by European fishermen and by the fisheries sector as a whole. The war in Ukraine has disrupted the supply of raw materials and energy, trade and markets, the labour force, conducting fishing activities, and other aspects. The operation of businesses across all sectors, all the way along the supply chain has been disrupted. This includes fisheries, aquaculture and processing and it has short and long-term consequences.
“I am also fully conscious that this crisis comes on top of the recent impacts of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector.
“In light of these disruptions and the consequent socio-economic impacts, let me assure you that we are considering all possible options across the full range of instruments available. This includes an unprecedented level of sanctions to disable the Russian war effort, while also considering the impacts these sanctions could have on the EU fishing sector. The sanctions package is being complemented by actions to support EU operators and to help them both during the immediate crisis and to transition to a more resilient, energy efficient and sustainable future operating model in line with our EU Green Deal objectives. This includes looking at possible re-allocation of the existing funding under the EMFF (2014-2020), the relevant decisions under EMFAF (2021-2027), as well as EU State Aid options. We are working to act quickly to address the needs of the fishing sector, including those set out in your letter, while giving careful consideration to how best to address them.
“I would like to invite you to keep a close contact with my services on these issues to provide updated information on the state of play as the situation evolves.”