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Annex II of the EFF regulation defines 4 groups of aid intensity. Is there any guidance concerning which of the four groups the operations under axis 4 (provided for in Article 44) should be categorised in?

According to section a) of Annex II of the EFF, indeed all the groups of aid intensities may be applied to axis 4 measures as defined in Article 44 of the EFF.

However, this section has to be read together with section b) of Annex II which makes clear that it is the responsibility of the managing authority to determine which aid intensities it applies for measures for the sustainable development of fisheries areas.

To this end, the managing authority has to take into consideration the following criteria, specified in section b) of Annex II:

  • Collective versus individual interest
  • Collective versus individual beneficiary (producers' organisations, organisations representing the trade)
  • Public access to the results of the operation versus private ownership and control 
  • Financial participation by collective bodies and research organisation.

These criteria should guide the managing authority in their decision on the level of public contribution for operations or types of operations.  As a rule of thumb one could say that those operations or types of operations that lead to a better achievement of the objectives of axis 4 should receive a higher level of public aid.

However, this discretion should only be applied to Article 44 measures. For measures which are defined under other axes of the EFF and which are implemented under local development strategies, the aid intensities laid down in Annex II for these measures must be respected. E.g. for productive investments in aquaculture or in processing and marketing the aid intensities of group 4 should be applied.