Poland will receive €512 million from the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund 2021-2027
Following the adoption of the Partnership Agreement 2021-2027 with Poland, the Commission has adopted the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Programme for Poland, to implement the EU common fisheries policy (CFP) and EU policy priorities outlined in the European Green Deal.
The total financial allocation for the Polish programme 2021-2027 is €732 million, of which the EU contribution accounts for €512.4 million.
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said:
“I am pleased to announce this new EMFAF Programme that will support a structural adaptation of the fishing sector in Poland, thereby creating the conditions for sustainable development and diversification of their activities. The focus on energy efficiency and a sustainable use of natural resources as well as training will open new perspectives for the young generation to enter the sector. Given the serious environmental concerns in the Baltic Sea, I welcome also the significant support for the protection and restoration of marine biodiversity and inland waters.”
42,9% of the programme’s allocation will be dedicated to sustainable fisheries, 41,6% will be invested in sustainable aquaculture and in processing and marketing, 9,1% will be dedicated to sustainable blue economy in coastal and inland regions and 0,3% will be invested in the strengthening of international ocean governance, all contributing to the EU’s environmental and climate objectives.
The programme will support, among other things:
- Sustainable fisheries: investments in human capital and generational renewal, innovation and diversification of fishing activities; reduction of the over-capacity of the Baltic fleet; investments in fishing vessels to improve safety, health, safety and working conditions on board and ashore; conservation of natural resources and more selective fishing activities; energy efficiency and decarbonisation of fishing activities; fisheries control and data collection.
- Sustainable aquaculture: investments in sustainable aquaculture projects and for the diversification of farmed aquaculture species; natural resource and energy efficiency, decarbonisation in aquaculture and the processing of the fish products.
- Sustainable blue economy: development of coastal and inland areas through Local Action Groups (LAG).
- International ocean governance: marine knowledge, maritime surveillance and coast guard cooperation.
Main expected outcomes until 2027
The Polish EMFAF programme will contribute to the EU policy priorities outlined in the European Green Deal, Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.
The programme will increase the resilience of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, by supporting a structural adjustment of the fleet to restore the balance between fishing capacity and diminishing fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea, as well as training, diversification of production and income, productive investments, innovation and decreasing dependency on fossil fuels to address current and future challenges, and a support mechanism to protect the sector in case of future crises.
The programme will also drive the green transition of the fisheries sector with investments in more selective fishing gear, and support to decarbonisation, energy efficiency and engine replacement. Support will be provided to environmental aquaculture and investments in renewable energy sources, a more efficient use of natural resources, reduction of plastic waste and circular economy principles will be supported both in aquaculture and processing.
The digital transition will be supported in particular in data collection and fisheries control. The programme will invest in digitalisation, modern equipment and training. Upstream, this will allow for better knowledge, including on socio-economic aspects, to underpin effective fisheries management; downstream, it will facilitate a better enforcement of the landing obligation and prevention of illegal fishing and discarding practices.
The Polish EMFAF programme will focus also on the protection and restoration of biological diversity of marine and inland ecosystems. Concretely, support will be given for the effective management of Marine Protected Areas, for collecting lost fishing gear, restoring the continuity of rivers and natural spawning grounds, use of more selective fishing gear. These projects will support the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the objectives of the Polish Prioritised Action Framework in the context of the implementation of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas.
Local communities depending on fishing and aquaculture will benefit from community-led local development strategies (CLLD), which will support the development of entrepreneurship and creation and development of tourism with due respect for both cultural heritage and protected natural sites, new initiatives in the blue economy, environmental education and knowledge on climate change and adaptation, as well as protection and restoration of aquatic biodiversity.
The EMFAF runs from 2021 to 2027 and supports the EU common fisheries policy (CFP), the EU maritime policy and the EU agenda for international ocean governance. The fund helps achieve sustainable fisheries and conserve marine biological resources.
Article 8 of the EMFAF Regulation (EU) 2021/1139 requires Member States to produce a national implementation programme for the EMFAF. The Polish EMFAF programme focuses on EU priorities, laying down the strategy and investment priorities, including the indicative annual financial allocation for each priority. The programme is subject to approval by the European Commission.
Under the 2021-2027 Common Provisions Regulation, Member States must fulfil so-called horizontal and thematic enabling conditions in the implementation of Cohesion Policy programmes. One of the enabling conditions requires compliance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. When preparing their programmes, Member States have to assess whether the enabling conditions are fulfilled. The Polish authorities have indicated in their self-assessment that they do not currently comply with the enabling condition on the Charter. Therefore, the Commission cannot reimburse expenditure related to the parts of the programme concerned, until the conditions are fulfilled. Member States must ensure that these conditions remain fulfilled during the whole programming period. The Commission is in dialogue with Poland to ensure that the requirements of the enabling conditionality are fully met.