The new Priority Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF(cache)) provides support for the sustainable development of fisheries areas. In particular, it supports measures to promote economic diversification (tourism, food, renewable energy..) and an improved quality of life in areas affected by a decline in fishing activities. An important innovation in the implementation of Axis 4 is the emphasis on theterritorial approach, which encourages a focus on specific areas and seeks to mobilise local actors from all sectors: public, private and civil society, to work together as “groups” to design and implement integrated local development strategies.
||Twenty-one Member States will implement this new priority Axis and it is expected that at least 250 groups (FLAGs) will be created across the EU. These groups will also be encouraged to learn from each other through interregional and transnational cooperation.The total public investment (EFF + other public contributions) under Axis 4 for the period 2007-2013 is €826.6 million.| | |
The FARNET Support Unit(cache) was established by the European Commission to assist in the implementation of EU measures for the sustainable development of fisheries areas (Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund). The Support Unit acts as a platform for networking between fisheries areas and supports and guides Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) in devising and implementing local solutions to the challenges confronting Europe’s fisheries areas.
Common challenges, oceans of opportunity
Fisheries areas across the EU are confronting significant challenges. A decline in income and employment in the fishing sector has underlined the urgent need for economic diversification, but in areas often characterised by geographical isolation and remoteness from centres of economic activity, traditional models of development are not always appropriate and new thinking is required.
Europe’s oceans, seas and inland waters, and the environmental and cultural assets linked to them, represent a vast and rich resource, which can provide new opportunities for economic and social renewal. A key challenge, however, is to re-evaluate the potential of these assets to identify new, more diversified and more sustainable sources and employment and economic activity.
A learning platform
The aim of the FARNET Support Unit is to support and facilitate this process. The Support Unit will assist local partnerships in developing new, innovative solutions and in sharing their ideas and experiences with other areas and with policy makers. The idea is to gradually build a “learning platform” which connects the growing knowledge and experience of potentially thousands of actors from across the EU. The Support Unit has three priority objectives:
1. Build capacity in integrated territorial development: the Support Unit provides guidance and support to assist in the establishment of FLAGs.
2. Identify, test and transfer successful responses: this activity involves identifying, assessing and communicating “promising” and “proven” responses to the challenges facing fisheries areas.
3. Creating a platform and a voice for fisheries areas: the Support Unit helps to connect local learning and innovation in fisheries areas to the broader European and national policy debates.
Connecting and communicating
To achieve its objectives, the Support Unit focuses on a number of key functions, utilising a range of information and communication tools.
What FARNET does
- Provide direct support for local fisheries groups and administrations
- Identify and exchange good practices
- Support transnational cooperation
- Monitor and analyse the key developments in the programme
How FARNET does it
- Expert advice and assistance
- Transnational seminars
- Training seminars
- Bi-monthly electronic newsletter
- A twice yearly FARNET magazine
- Guidebooks and other technical reports
The FARNET website
In carrying out its activities, the FARNET Support Unit works closely with the European Commission, the Member State administrations, the national fisheries network and with the FLAGs, which together constitute the European Fisheries Areas Network (FARNET).
Contact the FARNET team
The activities of the Support Unit are carried out by a permanent team of 10 people, based in the Brussels, assisted by 21 regional experts. The FARNET team, which also acts as a link between EU policy making and the needs of fisheries areas, welcomes direct contacts and visits from all the actors involved. (add contact email)