EUROFISH Magazine 3 2020

Page 22

CROATIA

Assisting the European ďŹ sheries and aquaculture sector through a pandemic

Croatia steers Presidency of the EU Council despite coronavirus Holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union is a challenging task at the best of times. Despite being a small country, holding the Presidency for the ďŹ rst time, and facing a Europe-wide health and economic crisis, Croatia intends to make progress on key ďŹ sheries and aquaculture issues on its agenda, says Ante Misura, Assistant Minister with responsibility for ďŹ sheries in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Ante Misura, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Croatia

Since the 1st of January, Croatia has taken over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. What are the main priorities for the fisheries sector on the agenda during the 6-month presidency, and are they going to be achieved, given the current Covid-19 crisis? 22

This is our first Presidency since becoming an EU Member State. It came at a time of many changes, with the new Commission and Parliament on board, and with the UK leaving the EU family. The Presidency often faces unplanned situations, but the Covid-19 crisis is without precedent in recent history. From a practical point of view,

meetings at the Council could no longer take place as planned, and it has therefore been difficult to make progress within our 6-month term. In light of the crisis, our priority was to find a way to help the fishery and aquaculture sector to better cope with the consequences of the pandemic. In close cooperation with the Commission and the

Parliament, we managed to adopt urgent new measures that will support fishermen, aquaculture farmers and processors. However, our main priorities have remained the same, and are related to two important subjects. First are the negotiations on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the 2021-2027 programming period.

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