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Document 52011DC0927

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EUROPEAN FISHERIES FUND (2010)

/* COM/2011/0927 final */

In force

52011DC0927

/* COM/2011/0927 final */ REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EUROPEAN FISHERIES FUND (2010)


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION 3

2. ANNUAL REPORT 2010 3

2.1. Main developments, trends and challenges in the implementation of the OPs. 3

2.1.1. Implementation of the European Fisheries Fund by Member States 3

2.1.2. Budget implementation by the Commission 4

2.2. Summary of the audits on management and control systems set up by the MS carried out on behalf of the Commission and outcome of audits on EFF assistance carried out by the MS. 5

2.2.1. European Commission audits in 2010 for EFF: 5

2.2.2. Member States audits in 2010 for EFF: 6

2.3. Economic situation of the fishing sector 7

2.4. Innovation in the fishing sector – EFF best practices 7

2.5. Coordination of the EFF with the structural funds and the EAFRD 8

2.6. Technical assistance 9

2.6.1. Use made of Technical Assistance budget by the Member States. 9

2.6.2. Use made of the Technical Assistance budget by the Commission 9

3. State of play of audit strategies, management and control systems and annual control reports 10

4. Financial execution in the Member States 11

INTRODUCTION

According to Article 68 of the EFF Regulation[1], by 31 December each year, the Commission shall forward to the European Parliament, to the Council, to the European Economic and Social Committee and to the Committee of the Regions a report on the actual implementation of the EFF. The report must be based on an examination and assessment by the Commission of the Member States' Annual Reports and on any other available information. As requested by the Regulation, this fourth annual report includes in addition a summary of the audits on management and control systems set up by the Member States and carried out on behalf of the Commission and of the outcome of audits on EFF assistance carried out by the Member State and, where appropriate, the financial corrections made.

This report covers the implementation of the EFF during 2010. The Accompanying Commission Staff Working Document includes a summary of the EFF implementation in each Member State as well as four tables with detailed information on financial execution[2].

ANNUAL REPORT 2010

MAIN DEVELOPMENTS, TRENDS AND CHALLENGES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OPS.

Implementation of the European Fisheries Fund by Member States

The reasons for the belated take off of EFF implementation were analysed in detail in the earlier Annual Reports – the late adoption of EFF Regulation and Implementing Regulation, the priority given by the Member States to the larger EU funds, the complexity of setting up compliant MCS and finalising, at the same time, the implementation of the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) 2000-2006.

Another reason was the effects of the economic and financial crisis which constrained funding available to national co-financing in some Member States and hampered private investment. According to the mid term EFF evaluation, fishing and aquaculture were also exposed to increased economic pressure due to rising fuel costs, fish feed costs increase and rising levels of general unemployment resulting in some decline of demand for fisheries' products and stagnation of prices. On the other hand, for some MS the impact of fuel crisis was rather temporary and has also been as an opportunity to promote innovation and higher productivity in the sector, to switch to more economical methods of fishing and to restructure the fleet.

The current figures show that the implementation of EFF started to accelerate, as expected in the 2009 Annual Report. By the end of 2010 36.13% of the overall EFF allocation was committed to concrete projects, almost double the amount committed at the end of 2009, with some Member States exceeding 50%.

The 36.13% of the overall EFF allocation was committed for the 4 priority axes as follows: 13.2% (EUR 567 485 078) for Axis 1 (measures for the adaptation of the Community fishing fleet, 11.7% (EUR 504 633 674) for Axis 2 (aquaculture, inland fishing, processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products), 9.7% (EUR 418 147 084) for Axis 3 (measures of common interest) and 0.7% (EUR 33 844 305) for Axis 4 (sustainable development of fisheries areas). Importantly, these figures reflect some progress not only for Axis 1 (where the financial absorption is facilitated by high aid intensity) but also for the support under Axis 2 and Axis 3. As noted in Annual Report for 2009, this is a further confirmation that implementation of private and collective projects, notwithstanding the effects of the financial and economic crisis, is picking up.

In terms of payments, by the end of 2010 EFF certified expenditure amounted to EUR 645 829 316, 15 % of the total EFF allocation. This is an increase by more than 10 percentage points in comparison with the situation at the end of 2009 (4,1%) Axis 1 accounted for most of the payments certified by Member States (60% or EUR 386 331 662) while Axis 2 and Axis 3 accounted for, respectively, 21% (EUR 135 686 896) and 16% (EUR 103 906 607). Axis 4 accounted for 1,2% (EUR 7,987,800). The high percentage of payments certified in the case of Axis 1 is due to high aid intensity of this measure and the difficulties facing private and public co-financing, which have slowed down the implementation of measures under the other axes.

On Axis 4, the setting up of local partnerships and the selection of participative local development strategies has required a major capacity building effort in which the FARNET Support Unit has played a major role. This tailored support for both Member States and local actors has paid off. Implementation has accelerated and by the end of 2010 more than 170 Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) had already been selected in thirteen of the twenty-one Member States implementing Axis 4. In total 250 FLAGs are expected to be established by the end of 2011.

Budget implementation by the Commission

In terms of annual commitments, in 2010 14.8% (EUR 639 062 172) of the total appropriations for 2007-2013 (EUR 4 304 949 019) were committed, of which EUR 485 174 453 for convergence and EUR 153 887 719 for non-convergence regions. In terms of payments in 2010 8.85% (EUR 380 796 428) of the total appropriations for 2007-2013 were paid, of which 66.9% for convergence (EUR 254 799 278) and 33.1% for non-convergence regions (EUR 125 997 150). These payments were made in the form of interim payments. Detailed information is provided under point 4 of this report (table showing financial execution in the Member States) and in the COM Staff working Document accompanying this report (tables I, II, III and IV).

At the end of 2010, two Member State (Germany and Slovak Republic) were concerned by a de-commitment according to the "N+2" rule referred to in Article 90 of the EFF for an amount of 2 154 026 and 108 599 respectively.

Summary of the audits on management and control systems set up by the MS carried out on behalf of the Commission and outcome of audits on EFF assistance carried out by the MS.

European Commission audits in 2010 for EFF:

In 2010, DG MARE started a new audit enquiry for the EFF (2007-13) programmes. Its main objective is to obtain assurance on the work carried out by the Audit Authorities in Member States. The audits re-performed the work of the Audit Authorities on key requirements of the Management and Control Systems as defined in agreement with the European Court of Auditors and communicated to the Member States[3]. Modules one and two cover the audit methodology applied by the Audit Authorities; modules three and four concern the performance of respectively system audits and audits of operations carried out by the Audit Authorities.

As shown in Table 1, seven audits were carried out in 2010 covering the work of the Audit Authorities for seven Operational Programmes. On the basis of these audits, recommendations were addressed to the Audit Authorities concerned requiring the implementation of corrective measures. These audits indicate that it can be reasonably concluded that reliance can be placed on the opinions of these seven Audit Authorities. Two Audit Authorities were classified under category 1 (Works well; minor improvements are needed) and five were classified under category 2 (Works, but some improvements are needed). Audit Authorities classified under category 1 (audit opinion "unqualified") do not require a follow-up.

Table 1: S ummary of the audits on management and control systems set up by the MS carried out on behalf of the Commission in 2010

Audit date | Member State | CCI | Module EPM 2007-13 | Assurance level | Audit opinion | Status report |

14-18/6/2010 | Estonia | 2007EE14FPO001 | 1,2 & 3 | Cat.2 | Qualified | Final interim |

5-7/7/2010 | Germany (Mecklenburg Vorpommern) | 2007DE14FPO001 | 1,2,3 & 4 | Cat.1 | Unqualified | Final |

26-30/7/2010 | Latvia | 2007LV14FPO001 | 1,2 & 3 | Cat.2 | Qualified | Final interim |

25-29/10/2010 | France | 2007FR14FPO001 | 1,2,3 & 4 | Cat.2 | Qualified | Under preparation |

25-28/10/2010 | Netherlands | 2007NL14FPO001 | 1,2,3 & 4 | Cat.2 | Qualified | Draft |

8-12/11/2010 | Spain (Basque Country) | 2007ES14FPO001 | 1,2 & 3 | Cat.2 | Qualified | Final interim |

22-26/11/2010 | Lithuania | 2007LT14FPO001 | 1,2,3 & 4 | Cat.1 | Unqualified | Final |

Member States audits in 2010 for EFF:

In 2010, the Commission received fifty one system audit reports submitted by Audit authorities of 13 Member states (pursuant to Art.61(1) of Reg. (EC) n°1198/2006). Table 2 includes a summary of the authorities covered by these audits (Managing authority, Certifying authority or Intermediate body), the assurance level provided by the assessment of the effectiveness of the key requirements and the overall audit opinion mentioned in the reports.

For twenty reports, the assurance level was in category 1, meaning that the audited system works well and only minor improvements would be needed. Twenty seven reports provide a level in category 2, being that the system works but some improvements are needed. For three audit reports, the level is in category 3, i.e. the system works partially and substantial improvements are needed; in these cases appropriate remedial action is taken. The Audit Authorities ensure the monitoring and follow-up of such cases

For thirty reports, an unqualified opinion was issued by the Audit authority; for six reports, its opinion was qualified. For the remaining reports, such an overall opinion was missing.

The results of DG MARE's analysis of these reports are taken into account for the overall assurance to be provided in the Annual Activity Report.

Table 2: Summary of the audits on EFF assistance carried out by the Member States in 2010.

Member State | CCI | Number of system audit reports received | Authority covered[4] | Assurance level | Audit opinion |

Member State | Decided a | Committed b | Paid c (pre-financing included) | % (b) / (a) | % (c) / (a) |

Belgique-Belgïe | Period 2007-2013 | 26 261 648,00 | 12 793 350,00 | 3 676 630,00 | 48,71% | 14,00% |

Financial year: 2010 | 4 337 474,00 | 4 337 474,00 | 0,00 |

Republic of Bulgaria | Period 2007-2013 | 80 009 708,00 | 38 156 245,00 | 11 201 359,11 | 47,69% | 14,00% |

Financial year: 2010 | 12 221 422,00 | 12 221 422,00 | 0,00 |

Czech Republic | Period 2007-2013 | 27 106 675,00 | 14 448 901,00 | 7 086 877,73 | 53,30% | 26,14% |

Financial year: 2010 | 3 868 715,00 | 3 868 715,00 | 3 291 943,23 |

Danmark | Period 2007-2013 | 133 675 169,00 | 74 110 255,00 | 44 853 998,24 | 55,44% | 33,55% |

Financial year: 2010 | 19 081 484,00 | 19 081 484,00 | 26 139 474,58 |

Deutschland | Period 2007-2013 | 153 711 392,00 | 85 867 012,00 | 47 423 400,45 | 55,86% | 30,85% |

Financial year: 2010 | 22 270 129,00 | 22 270 129,00 | 19 430 244,12 |

Eesti | Period 2007-2013 | 84 568 039,00 | 41 883 075,00 | 20 197 426,14 | 49,53% | 23,88% |

Financial year: 2010 | 11 891 071,00 | 11 891 071,00 | 9 603 101,61 |

Ireland | Period 2007-2013 | 42 266 603,00 | 20 590 159,00 | 20 590 159,00 | 48,71% | 48,71% |

Financial year: 2010 | 6 980 914,00 | 6 980 914,00 | 14 672 835,00 |

Ellas | Period 2007-2013 | 207 832 237,00 | 120 018 853,00 | 31 994 351,17 | 57,75% | 15,39% |

Financial year: 2010 | 29 729 945,00 | 29 729 945,00 | 2 897 837,99 |

España | Period 2007-2013 | 1 131 890 912,00 | 641 340 727,00 | 286 033 924,92 | 56,66% | 25,27% |

Financial year: 2010 | 161 753 140,00 | 161 753 140,00 | 127 569 198,92 |

France | Period 2007-2013 | 216 053 084,00 | 119 781 031,00 | 74 268 494,67 | 55,44% | 34,38% |

Financial year: 2010 | 30 840 533,00 | 30 840 533,00 | 21 869 442,14 |

Italia | Period 2007-2013 | 424 342 854,00 | 236 309 252,00 | 104 244 555,92 | 55,69% | 24,57% |

Financial year: 2010 | 60 586 678,00 | 60 586 678,00 | 44 836 557,92 |

Cyprus | Period 2007-2013 | 19 724 418,00 | 10 935 328,00 | 8 910 044,99 | 55,44% | 45,17% |

Financial year: 2010 | 2 815 565,00 | 2 815 565,00 | 6 148 626,47 |

Latvia | Period 2007-2013 | 125 015 563,00 | 62 503 709,00 | 39 695 701,19 | 50,00% | 31,75% |

Financial year: 2010 | 17 736 296,00 | 17 736 296,00 | 10 556 618,45 |

Lietuva | Period 2007-2013 | 54 713 408,00 | 28 548 396,00 | 18 445 624,41 | 52,18% | 33,71% |

Financial year: 2010 | 7 546 096,00 | 7 546 096,00 | 8 841 003,88 |

Luxembourg | Period 2007-2013 | 0,00 | 0,00 | 0,00 | 0,00% | 0,00% |

Financial year: 2010 | 0,00 | 0,00 | 0,00 |

Hungary | Period 2007-2013 | 34 850 860,00 | 16 116 646,00 | 5 674 974,00 | 46,24% | 16,28% |

Financial year: 2010 | 5 341 786,00 | 5 341 786,00 | 795 853,60 |

Malta | Period 2007-2013 | 8 372 329,00 | 4 029 528,00 | 1 172 126,06 | 48,13% | 14,00% |

Financial year: 2010 | 1 250 716,00 | 1 250 716,00 | 0,00 |

Nederland | Period 2007-2013 | 48 578 417,00 | 26 932 144,00 | 11 648 010,18 | 55,44% | 23,98% |

Financial year: 2010 | 6 934 334,00 | 6 934 334,00 | 0,00 |

Österreich | Period 2007-2013 | 5 259 318,00 | 2 928 289,00 | 2 891 907,55 | 55,68% | 54,99% |

Financial year: 2010 | 750 906,00 | 750 906,00 | 1 081 650,42 |

Polska | Period 2007-2013 | 734 092 574,00 | 361 732 791,00 | 139 941 469,79 | 49,28% | 19,06% |

Financial year: 2010 | 119 906 010,00 | 119 906 010,00 | 37 168 509,43 |

Portugal | Period 2007-2013 | 246 485 249,00 | 137 478 742,00 | 64 386 992,42 | 55,78% | 26,12% |

Financial year: 2010 | 35 195 411,00 | 35 195 411,00 | 29 879 058,42 |

România | Period 2007-2013 | 230 714 207,00 | 103 832 279,00 | 32 299 988,49 | 45,00% | 14,00% |

Financial year: 2010 | 36 391 468,00 | 36 391 468,00 | 0,00 |

Slovenija | Period 2007-2013 | 21 640 283,00 | 11 754 369,00 | 3 029 639,62 | 54,32% | 14,00% |

Financial year: 2010 | 3 722 949,00 | 3 722 949,00 | 0,00 |

Slovensko | Period 2007-2013 | 13 579 930,00 | 7 282 064,00 | 3 912 804,43 | 53,62% | 28,81% |

Financial year: 2010 | 1 655 266,00 | 1 655 266,00 | 1 731 349,25 |

Suomi-Finland | Period 2007-2013 | 39 448 827,00 | 21 870 648,00 | 11 387 844,83 | 55,44% | 28,87% |

Financial year: 2010 | 5 631 130,00 | 5 631 130,00 | 2 960 792,20 |

Sverige | Period 2007-2013 | 54 664 803,00 | 30 306 470,00 | 19 494 588,76 | 55,44% | 35,66% |

Financial year: 2010 | 7 803 137,00 | 7 803 137,00 | 11 322 330,55 |

United Kingdom | Period 2007-2013 | 137 827 889,00 | 67 594 416,00 | 19 295 904,46 | 49,04% | 14,00% |

Financial year: 2010 | 22 819 597,00 | 22 819 597,00 | 0,00 |

Total | Period 2007-2013 | 4 302 686 396,00 | 2 299 144 679,00 | 1 033 758 798,53 | 53,44% | 24,03% |

Financial year: 2010 | 639 062 172,00 | 639 062 172,00 | 380 796 428,18 |

[1] Art. 68 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006 on the European Fisheries Fund, OJ L 120, 15.08.2006.

[2] Table I. Financial execution in convergence regions.

Table II. Financial execution in non convergence regions.

Table III. EFF programmed amounts by priority axes and by Member State.

Table IV. EFF certified expenditure by priority axis and by Member State.

[3] Guidance note EFFC/27/2008 of 12/9/2008 on a common methodology for the assessment of management and control systems in the Member states (2007-2013 programming period)

[4] MA= Managing authority; CA= Certifying authority; IB= Intermediate body

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