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© Alberto Favaro

EC Representation in Malta

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Agriculture and forests cover the vast majority of our territory and play a key role in determining the health of rural economies as well as the rural landscape. Agriculture still has a valuable contribution to make to their sustainable economic. Farmers perform many different functions ranging from food and non-food agricultural products to countryside management, nature conservation, and tourism. Farming can thus be described as having multiple functions.

• Europe is both a major exporter and the world’s largest importer of food, mainly from developing countries;
• The European farming sector uses safe, clean, environmentally-friendly production methods providing quality products to meet consumers’ demands;
• The EU farming sector serves rural communities. Its role is not only to produce food but also to guarantee the survival of the countryside as a place to live, work and visit;

Europe’s agricultural policy is determined at EU level by the governments of Member States and operated by the Member States. It is aimed at supporting farmers’ incomes while also encouraging them to produce high quality products demanded by the market and encouraging them to seek new development opportunities, such as renewable environmentally friendly energy sources.

Agriculture and Rural Development:

The CAP – Promoting Sustainable Agriculture:

How much the CAP costs:

Funding Opportunities under CAP:


Fish move across borders and seas, and fishing fleets have done the same for centuries. As the activities of each fishing fleet affect the opportunities of other fleets, the EU countries have decided to manage their fisheries in collaboration, through the common fisheries policy (CFP). This policy brings together a range of measures designed to achieve a thriving and sustainable European fishing industry.

In its proposals for a major reform of the CFP, the European Commission has set out a radical approach to fisheries management in Europe. The plans will secure both fish stocks and fishermen's livelihood for the future while putting an end to overfishing and depletion of fish stocks. The reform will introduce a decentralised approach to science-based fisheries management by region and sea basin, and introduce better governance standards in the EU and on the international level through sustainable fisheries agreements.

The most important areas of action of the common fisheries policy are:
• laying down rules to ensure Europe's fisheries are sustainable and do not damage the marine environment (see fishing rules)
• providing national authorities with the tools to enforce these rules and punish offenders (see fisheries controls)
• monitoring the size of the European fishing fleet and preventing it from expanding further (see fishing fleet)
• providing funding and technical support for initiatives that can make the industry more sustainable (see European Fisheries Fund)
• negotiating on behalf of EU countries in international fisheries organisations and with non-EU countries around the world (see international)
• helping producers, processors and distributors get a fair price for their produce and ensuring consumers can trust the seafood they eat (see market)
• supporting the development of a dynamic EU aquaculture sector (fish, seafood and algae farms) (see aquaculture)
• funding scientific research and data collection, to ensure a sound basis for policy and decision making (see research and data collection)

Guide to EU fisheries policy 

• Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy
• European Atlas of the Seas
• Contracts and funding
• Community Fisheries Control Agency


Tourism is a key sector of the European economy. It comprises a wide variety of products and destinations and involves many different stakeholders, both public and private, with areas of competence very decentralised, often at regional and local levels.
The EU tourism industry generates more than 5% of the EU GDP, with about 1,8 million enterprises employing around 5,2% of the total labour force (approximately 9,7 million jobs). When related sectors are taken into account, the estimated contribution of tourism to GDP creation is much higher: tourism indirectly generates more than 10% of the European Union's GDP and provides about 12% of the labour force.
The Lisbon Treaty acknowledges the importance of tourism outlining a specific competence for the European Union in this field and allowing for decisions to be taken by qualified majority. A specific article on tourism specifies that “the Union shall complement the action of the Member States in the tourism sector, in particular by promoting the competitiveness of Union undertakings in that sector”.

Co-operation in Tourism

The need to enhance the understanding and visibility of tourism being a wide and multisectoral phenomenon, requires a strong cooperation with other organisations, public administrations, destinations, stakeholders, academic world, etc.
The Commission is already collaborating with the different services. Given that at present the Community has no direct tourism competence, a number of areas in other European policies have a considerable and even growing impact on tourism. As an example, a number of actions in the fields of sport, education, vocational training, youth, culture, consumers, regional policy, etc. are supported through other EU programmes.
To provide a source of information and support on implementation of EU programmes at national and regional level the Commission Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) was set up. EEN is a network specifically designed for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) but also available to all businesses, research centres and Universities across Europe, made up of close to 600 partner organisations in more than 40 countries that offers support and advice to businesses across Europe.

Calypso - Social Tourism

European Destinations of Excellence

Action for Sustainable Tourism

Visit Malta – The Official Tourism site for Malta, Gozo and Comino

L-aħħar aġġornament: 04/11/2011  |Fuq