11 Oct 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 11 OCTOBERBrussels Daily
Commission welcomes agreement on fair and sustainable fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea
On 10 October 2016, EU Ministers and the European Commission reached an agreement on next year’s total allowable catches (TACs) for the ten commercially important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. For the first time, EU Ministers followed the newly adopted multi-annual fisheries management plan for the Baltic Sea. This allows Member States the possibility to adopt tailor-made measures for their regions and their needs, in the effort to achieve sustainable levels for the stocks. Commissioner Vella welcomed the agreement: “Science, sustainability, and the socio-economic impact on our fishermen and coastal communities were the guiding principles for our discussions. I’m happy to say that we have an agreement that is fully consistent with the Multiannual Management Plan for the Baltic and that at the same time protects our fishermen in the short and long-term”. The Commission has invited Member States to consider using EU funding for temporary financial support for the most affected fishermen. Commissioner Vella also received support from most Ministers, to table a proposal for an effective recovery plan on swordfish this year at ICCAT, which would foresee the introduction of a TAC. Commissioner Vella‘s statement at the press conference.
State aid: Commission approves fourth prolongation of Irish credit union restructuring scheme
The European Commission has found the prolongation until 30 April 2017 of an Irish scheme aimed at restructuring credit unions to be in line with EU state aid rules, in particular the 2013 Banking Communication. The objective of the scheme is to underpin the stability and long-term viability of credit unions and the credit union sector in Ireland at large. Restructuring involves merging weaker and stronger credit unions, providing, if necessary, a capital injection to make up any shortfall in the capital reserve requirements of the merged credit union. Stabilisation involves assisting fundamentally viable credit unions that have temporarily slipped below the regulatory reserve requirements. The Commission found that the measure ensures that the beneficiaries become viable in the long-term through restructuring or merging with sound credit unions, and that they contribute to the cost of restructuring. Moreover, the impact on competition is limited because credit unions are small and only do business with members. The Commission first authorised the scheme in October 2014, and it was subsequently prolonged three times, last in May 2016. Until now, the Irish authorities have managed to restructure credit unions without granting any aid under this scheme. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the reference SA.46437.
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