Written by 6:54 pm European Union

State aid: European Commission adopts new rules for agriculture, forestry and fishery and aquaculture sectors | Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Summary

The European Commission has revised its state aid rules for the agricultural, forestry and fishery/aquaculture sectors. The revisions relate to:

  • the Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation (ABER);
  • the Fishery Block Exemption Regulation (FIBER); and
  • the Agricultural Guidelines and Fisheries Guidelines.

The revised ABER, FIBER and Agricultural Guidelines apply as of 1 January 2023. The revised Fisheries Guidelines will apply once all the Member State language versions are available.

Revisions to the ABER and FIBER extend the scope of block-exempted measures (which do not require prior approval under the Commission’s state aid rules), including for:

  • Aid to prevent or compensate damage caused by protected animals;
  • Aid in favour of environmental management commitments;
  • Aid for cooperation in the agricultural and forestry sectors;
  • Aid to prevent or repair damage caused by adverse climatic events in the fishery/aquaculture sector;
  • Tailor-made block-exempted measures for Community-led Local Development projects aimed at promoting the development of rural areas on a local scale;
  • A new threshold for European Innovation Partnership Operational Group projects aimed at innovations in the farming sector and in rural areas.

Revisions to the Agricultural Guidelines include:

  • A simplified procedure for the authorization of state aid for measures co-financed under the Common Agricultural Policy;
  • An enlarged scope of measures targeting animal diseases and plant pests;
  • New incentives for farmers to commit to schemes under which they respect stricter environmental standards than what is required by law.

 Revisions to the Fisheries Guidelines include:

  • A broader scope of measures targeting animal diseases in aquaculture;
  • The introduction of new categories of aid, such as aid for fleet and cessation measures and for investments in equipment that contributes to safety of fishing vessels in the Union’s outermost regions.

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