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Brussels, 19 June 2006

Comparison between Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) and European Fisheries Fund (EFF)

To which extent will the EFF be different from the current FIFG?

The EFF, which will succeed the current Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG), and which will cover the 2000-2006 period, will operate on a similar basis as that of its predecessor. However, it will be simpler to manage. It will also better target the objectives of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy. It will better integrate other Community policies, such as environment and employment, and follow a stronger and more comprehensive strategic approach.

The EFF will re-conduct most of the existing measures under the FIFG. But it will also offer new and innovative measures to take account of the changing needs of the sector. Examples include: measures to accompany the implementation of recovery plans, encouraging selective fishing methods, and funding for local development strategies to facilitate the sustainable development of fisheries areas. Support for inland fishing and environmentally-friendly aquaculture will gain a more prominent position. For the implementation of measures, Member States will have more flexibility as eligibility rules are kept to the strict minimum at Community level. This will help Member States better adjust measures to the needs of their fishing industry.

Implementation of financial support will be considerably simplified. Currently, support for the fisheries sector is split between different programmes in Member States. In the future, a single EFF programme per Member State will allow fro the concentration of support and the maximisation of the efficiency of the measures. Moreover, the drawing up of a national strategic plan for the entire fisheries sector of a Member State will help better identify priorities, targets and public resources for attaining the set objectives.

What are the innovative elements in the EFF?

The EFF was designed as an effective tool to help deliver sustainability for the fishing industry. Aid will promote and accompany the adjustment of fishing fleets to available fisheries resources, particularly for those targeting endangered stocks. The environmental dimension of fisheries is also reinforced through a set of measures to promote gear selectivity and reduce the negative impacts of fishing and aquaculture activities on the environment. The Fund will also dedicate more attention to human resources in the fisheries sector by providing answers to the economic and social needs of the people employed in the sector.

The EFF will better contribute to the sustainable development of fisheries areas, particularly those which are heavily dependent on fishing, through the financing of local development strategies, designed and implemented by the stakeholders themselves.

Last but not least the rules and mechanisms for delivering assistance are simplified under the EFF compared to the current FIFG.

See IP/06/793 and Memo/06/241

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