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de Brún argues for fishing communities in the European Parliament

21 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Six County MEP Bairbre de Brún has expressed disappointment that moves in the European parliament to recognise the specific contribution of fishing communities to regional development were not successful.

The European Parliament today debated the way forward for promoting regional development and minimising regional disparities after the present round of funding ends in 2013. A major report by the European Commission has outlined the major challenges facing the EU in the next funding period and has also pointed out that while disparities between member states have decreased disparities between regions even within member states has increased.

However, an amendment supported by de Brún which attempted to ensure that role of fishing communities was rightly recognised were not successful.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg Ms de Brún said she was in favour of having a special recognition under regional development policy of the "indispensable contribution" that the fishing industry makes to the social and economic situation of many communities.

Ms de Brún said

"It is only right and proper that MEPs in Strasbourg hear of the difficulties facing fishing communities and of the indispensable contribution made by the fishing industry to economic and social development within these communities. The regional development policy of the EU aims to strengthen development of all regions, to do away with disparities, and to combat social exclusion. We must narrow the gap not only between member states but also the gaps within member states and between regions." commented Ms de Brún.

Note to editor:

The amendment, which was also supported by the fisheries committee, read:

Stresses the indispensable contribution made by the fishing industry to the socioeconomic situation of fishing communities in convergence regions or regions suffering from permanent geographical or natural disadvantages, such as the ultra-peripheral regions, and likewise to poor fishing communities within prosperous regions.

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