The Romanian fishing industry has funding worth EUR 225 million, of which EUR 167 million represent the EU contribution for the coming seven years. Representatives of the sector argue that this is not enough.

The eligibility conditions imposed by the operational programme for fisheries, which include equal opportunities, a rise in the number of employees and an increase in production, are in many cases extremely hard to meet. Making direct payments conditional on farming certain species of fish is making it difficult to access those payments.

Furthermore, Romanian fishermen are facing excessively high levels of tax, and in some cases they are being forced to take out loans to pay the increased rates of tax imposed by the government.

These circumstances leave virtually no potential for developing the fishing industry. Romania currently imports 87% of the fish consumed.

The main priorities for Romanian fish farmers concern infrastructure: improvements to dams and access roads, the modernisation of fish farms and processing centres, and upgrading through the purchase of new equipment.

1. What steps can the Commission take to facilitate access to funding under the operational programme for fisheries?

2. What recommendations would the Commission make to the Romanian minister responsible for fisheries with a view to supporting the fishing industry?