Brussels News in Brief - April 2020

COVID-19: EU supports the seafood industry

The European Commission has adopted a set of ambitious proposals to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus in the fishery and aquaculture sectors. The initiative introduces additional measures and provides flexibility to the rules governing expenditure under the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

It has also authorised the temporary halting of fishing activities; given support to aquaculture farmers for the suspension of production and supported producer organisations for the storage of fishery and aquaculture products. For further amendments to the EMFF visit the EU website.

COVID-19: Market Advisory Council members exchange views with DG MARE

Members of the EU Market Advisory Council have held several conference calls with DG MARE A.4’s Unit (Economic Analysis, Markets and Impact Assessment) to informally exchange information on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please contact us if there is any specific market information or policy proposals that you believe should be voiced.

First weekly crisis bulletin on the evolution of the market by EUMOFA

The European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA) will be releasing a COVID-19 bulletin for the sector. Information will include how markets along the entire value chain are evolving, based on the most recent data on first sales, production and trade of fishery and aquaculture products. For further information view the bulletin here.

Coronavirus: Guidance to ensure the free movement of critical workers

The European Commission (EC) has published a guidance to implement measures adopted by the Member States and Schengen associated countries. It provides:

  • The introduction of temporary travel restriction to all non-essential travel from third countries to the EU+ area
  • The facilitation of transit arrangements for the repatriation of EU citizens and their family  stranded in third countries
  • Minimum service in consulates for processing visa applications
  • Dealing with overstay caused by travel restrictions

Animal Welfare: Public consultation on the EU Strategy

A 12 week consultation on the EU Strategy for Protection and Welfare of Animals 2012-2015 has begun.

The European Commission is gathering information to assess if the EU Strategy has delivered its initial objectives. The results of the consultation will shape future EU initiatives on animal welfare as well as actions under the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy. People are invited to give feedback by 15 June 2020. For more on the consultation visit the EU website here.

European Commission publishes relaxations to control systems

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way in which food businesses and food enforcement bodies work. The European Commission has introduced temporary measures to allow official controls to continue during the coronavirus outbreak. Member states and the UK can allow persons not normally authorised to carry out hygiene checks to carry them out. Electronic copies may be allowed to replace original hard copy documents.  Measures on which laboratories can carry out official tests has also been relaxed.

The temporary measures are laid out in the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/466.