Brussels, 24th July 2007. With today’s adoption of a regulation on “de minimis” (state) aid, the European Commission has opened the door to fuel subsidies in the fisheries sector.

Brussels, 24th July 2007. With today’s adoption of a regulation on “de minimis” (state) aid, the European Commission has opened the door to fuel subsidies in the fisheries sector.

In a striking contradiction with its promise to remove environmentally damaging subsidies, the Commission is allowing fishing enterprises to receive up to 30,000 euros of state aid every three years.

Supposedly introduced to support the cost of fishing operations, these cash grants can be used to cover fuel costs. Allowing fuel subsidies in the fishing sector is a complete waste of money and entirely counter-productive. Subsidised fuel encourages greater fishing effort leading to more overfishing. It is also an encouragement for fishers to continue using the more energy-intensive and environmentally damaging fishing techniques like trawling.

Joint NGO reaction to the adoption of the Regulation on state aid (24/7/07).
Joint NGO position on the "de minimis" Regulation.

“De minimis” aid is a specific type of subsidy which Member States do not have to notify the Commission about. Aid of up to 200,000 euros granted over a period of three years is considered as “de minimis” aid.

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