Fabian Demicoli

Launch of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme 2014-2020 for Malta

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs Hon Louis Grech, together with Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds Hon Ian Borg, launched the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme for the period 2014-2020 for Malta. The Deputy Prime Minister acknowledged that fisheries and maritime are sectors full of challenges yet can be turned into opportunities nurtured by a strong responsible and sustainable blue economy. The vision for this programme is based on:
  • Smart, Green Fisheries
  • Smart, Green Aquaculture
  • Sustainable and Inclusive Territorial Development
  • An Integrated Maritime Policy
Hon Borg explained how the allocation for Malta for this programming period was set at around €29 million Euro, which reflected a substantial increase in investment from the previous programming period. The priorities of this programming period were derived from widespread consultation and based on the priorities of the EU 2020 strategy, the implementation of a Common Fisheries Policy, national development priorities as well as reflecting sectoral ambitions.
The European Commission is of the belief that Malta can use its experience and tradition to lead by example within Europe. This can lead to a steady and long-standing blue growth which is a strong element of the economy.
GRTU welcomed the launch of this investment in such an important sector in our economy. GRTU emphasized that the fishing sector needs to be supported because apart from being an elementary sector of the economy on itself, its spillover effects on other forms of operators is of essence. Operators such as those in fishing tourism, retail, catering, hospitality and the touristic sector, amongst others, are all directly or indirectly affected by the strength of the fishing and maritime sectors. GRTU urged the need for a strong communicative effort with these stakeholders to ensure maximization of benefits from the programme.

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