The EU’s fishing department, DG MARE, had proposed that some projects could not benefit from EU aid, including “temporary and permanent cessation of fishing activities”. However, the proposal published today saw only the “temporary cessation of fishing activities” being illegible for fishing activities.
Even today, many fishing Ministers are demanding more taxpayers money to build new vessels “for their aging fleet”. Today, under this proposal, EU taxpayers’ money will be used to pay to decommission old vessels. Boats, often built with taxpayers’ money will be bought out with taxpayers’ money.
The problems of this miss use of money are many. Why taxpayers from one country should have their money spent on buying out derelict boats in France, Spain and Italy etc is not clear. Second, these buy outs have never addressed the imbalance in the size of the fleet, why it should do today is beyond me. Third, it is not clear if the fishermen getting our money for their derelict vessels, often at inflated prices, won’t use the money to build big new vessels!
What is strange, is that until the last moment the proposal contained many improvements. But, at the last moment, a department in the Commission got the proposal watered down. It will be interesting to see who wanted to protect the interests of fishermen rather than hard working taxpayers.