The European Commission has approved a €2.8 million Irish scheme to support the fishery sector in the context of Brexit
Commission approves €2.8 million Irish scheme to support the fishery sector in the context of Brexit
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €2.8 million Irish scheme to support the fishery sector affected by effects of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
The aim of the scheme is to compensate owners of fishing capacity for voluntarily returning their off-register capacity (i.e. capacity held in the owner’s account but not assigned to a vessel). The scheme will run until 31 December 2023.
Under the scheme, the aid will be granted to Irish-registered capacity owners holding off-registered capacity in the form of direct grants to compensate them for returning their off-register capacity to the Irish Sea Fisheries Board. The aid amount will be calculated on the basis of the market value of the off-register capacity returned. Under the scheme, the returned off-register capacity will be permanently withdrawn.
The measure is planned to be financed under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, established to mitigate the economic and social impact of Brexit, subject to approval under the specific provisions governing funding from that instrument.
The Commission 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 under the Guidelines for the examination of State aid to the fishery and aquaculture sector. The Commission 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.