The EMFF is the European Maritime Policy, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund for the period 2014-2020. It is one of five European structural and investment funds (EIS funds) that complement each other and aim at promoting a recovery based on growth and employment in Europe. The norms and rules for using the EMFF are set out in Regulation (EU) No 508/2014. The EMFF contributes in achieving the objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth established by the European Commission in the Europe 2020 Strategy and is part of the guidelines set forth by the Common Fisheries Policy and Blue Growth.
The strategy, priorities and methods of effective and efficient use of the EMFF and other European Structural Funds have been defined within the Partnership Agreement, approved by the European Commission on October 29, 2014 and amended on February 8, 2018 following the programming of resources allocated to Italy. The EMFF is structured around four pillars:
- Intelligent and environmentally friendly fishing, which facilitates the transition to sustainable fishing
- Smart and environmentally friendly aquaculture, so that EU consumers have access to healthy and nutritious food
- Sustainable and inclusive development of fisheries-dependent communities
- Cross-sectoral maritime policies that generate savings and growth
To implement the objectives of the EMFF, Italy has drawn up an Operational Plan as a tool for planning activities. As established by the European Code of Conduct on Partnership, the Directorate General for Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF), as the responsible Administration, held a consultation involving the institutional partners and the relevant economic and social partners in order to improve the effectiveness of the planned interventions.
At the end of the consultation procedure, the Operational Programme was approved by the European Commission with Implementing Decision n.C(2015) 8452 of November 25, 2015.