The subject of this call for tenders is to support the Commission, Member States, the aqua-culture industry and other stakeholders in the implementation of the communication ‘Strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021-2030’ (the strategic guidelines) by providing logistic, administrative and technical support and by enhancing cooperation between Member States and stakeholders for the development of sustainable aquaculture in the EU.
To reach the general objective, the AAM will pursue the following specific objectives:
1. Develop and share knowledge about sustainable aquaculture in the EU: the contractor will maintain and update the knowledge base that is shared through the EU aquaculture website (Home | EU Aquaculture Assistance Mechanism (europa.eu)) including replying to questions and further development of the FAQs.
2. Support Member States: the contractor will perform a number of tasks (organisation of expert meetings, workshops and events, dissemination of information and knowledge) aimed at supporting Member States in their work to implement the strategic guidelines. The contractor will deliver guidance and training to EU Member States.
3. Support the European Commission: the contractor will provide support for the organisation of events, including technical seminars with Member States experts, trainings on the developed documents, conferences and workshops as well as provide communication support. It will also assist the Commission with technical expertise on sustainable aquaculture in the development of guidance and background document as well as related training materials and support the Commission in the mid-term assessment of the implementation of the strategic guidelines and the Multi-annual National Strategic Plans (MNSPs) on aquaculture.
The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) sets as one of its objectives the promotion of aquaculture production in the EU in a way that is sustainable from the environmental, economic and social point of view. In this regard, it calls on the Commission to develop non-binding strategic guidelines for the sustainable growth of the sector and on EU Member States to adopt Multi-annual National Strategic Plans (MNSPs) on aquaculture on the basis of those guidelines and taking into consideration the specificities of their respective sector.
Consequently, the Commission adopted in 2013 the "Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture”. These guidelines have been the main pillar of the strategic coordination of aquaculture policy in the EU. By 2015, on the basis of these guidelines, EU Member States adopted MNSPs for aquaculture. The CFP Regulation also established the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) for sustainable development of EU aquaculture. EU aquaculture policy is developed and implemented in the framework of the OMC, which is a voluntary method of coordination among Member States facilitated by the Commission.
The European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy and the sustainable blue economy communication underline the potential of farmed seafood as a source of protein for food and feed with a low-carbon footprint, which has an important role to play in helping to build a sustainable food system. Among the actions to exploit this potential, the Farm to Fork Strategy refers to the adoption by the Commission of new Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture, as well as to an initiative to support the development of the algae industry. The Farm to Fork Strategy also sets specific targets for aquaculture, in particular the reduction of sales of antimicrobials and a significant increase in organic aquaculture.
On 12 May 2021 the Commission adopted the “Strategic Guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021-2030" that aim to offer a common vision for the Commission, EU Member States and all stakeholders for the further development of aquaculture in the EU. In particular, these guidelines aim to help building an EU aquaculture sector that: (i) is competitive and resilient; (ii) ensures the supply of nutritious and healthy food; (iii) reduces the EU’s dependency on seafood imports; (iv) creates economic opportunities and jobs; and (v) becomes a global reference for sustainability. They should also help EU consumers make informed choices of sustainable aquaculture products and to ensure a level playing field for aquaculture products marketed in the EU. These guidelines should also help to streamline the use of the instruments and funds available to support EU aquaculture, as well as to support the implementation of applicable EU legislation.
This call for tender has been launched to ensure that the necessary support for the implementation of the strategic guidelines will be continued to be provided. The new contract will need to take into account the developments undertaken by the predecessor contract and build upon its results. In addition, it will also provide support to the Commission in the mid-term assessment of the implementation of the strategic guidelines and the Multi-annual National Strategic Plans (MNSPs) on aquaculture.