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European Affairs


We are currently working with a consortium on a new network called FARNET that has been set up by DGMARE, providing technical support on fisheries issues and ongoing assessment of international workshops and conferences around Europe during the period 2009-1013.

EU Intelligence

sic-logoA B Associates offer ongoing intelligence, lobbying and advice services to local government and agencies.  The main contract has been with Shetland Islands Council.

Economic development policies and programmes – ERDF, ESF and FIFG/EFF

Map of EUAndrew Blackadder has been a member of EU Programme Monitoring and Management Committees and has been an evaluator of projects or Advisory Groups.  He has also been involved with the productions of plans and programmes and lobbying campaigns.

We have also offered funding advice to many small, medium and large organisations, public agencies and third sector organisations and prepared and submitted complex funding applications. We also have experience in lobbying and submitting claims for a number of EU programmes.

Co-ordination and Technical Support

We deliver these services primarily for EU related programmes and bodies, e.g. the PESCA programme 1996-2004. More recently, we have been contracted to provide technical advice and support to DGFISH on development of axis 4 under the new fisheries regulation 2007-2013.

Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR)

CPMR LogoA B Associates carried out some work on fisheries and maritime safety on behalf of the CPMR.  This included managing and servicing an international fisheries lobbying group, preparing technical papers and setting up lobbying meetings.



Fish Dependency Study for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland for DGFISH

fish dependencyThis study was to undertake a fish dependency study for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland in conjunction with SAC and was 1 of 2 done throughout Europe to estimate a baseline position and methodology for defining fish dependent regions.



Intelligent Energy

intelligent-energyAndrew was appointed as an independent evaluator by DGTREN to carry out an evaluation of energy related projects under the EU Intelligent Energy Programme. The project involved evaluating and scoring a range of renewable energy projects from across Europe, and making recommendations for refusal, approval, or the need for further work.  From the project, Andrew gained a valuable insight into the assessment of funding applications at an EU level.

Advice and support on EU affairs to new member states

Malta FlagWe were contracted to facilitate the production of operational programmes and provide advice and support in Malta regarding structural funds.  We also advised a Polish region regarding the creation and implementation of the new European Fisheries Fund programmes.

EU Information Intelligence and Advisory Service to Shetland Islands Council


The main components of the service included:

Information and Intelligence Service.  This involved monitoring the proceedings of EU institutions, providing briefing papers, servicing Council and other meetings, undertaking research on specific issues and disseminating information throughout the Council and to other local bodies and industries.  Close links were maintained with individuals in the relevant departments and institutions.

map-of-euSecuring the maximum possible funds for Shetland.  This included representing the Council on a range of committees concerning the preparation, management, monitoring and evaluation of Structural Fund programmes; also preparing funding applications and supporting cases for funding for mainstream programmes and Community Initiatives; and producing strategies.  Around £40m of EU money was levered into Shetland over the period as a result of these efforts.

Developing links and alliances.  The main focus of work here was supporting the Council input into the CPMR, North Sea Commission and Islands Commission, plus servicing thematic groups on fisheries and maritime safety.  This has involved undertaking research, preparing briefing papers, speeches for politicians, presentations at conferences and at the highest levels in Europe, e.g. on reform of the Common Agriculture Policy and Common Fisheries Policy.  A further aspect of work was maintaining links with other networks, e.g. Islenet, and getting partners and funding for Interreg projects.

Protecting Shetland’s interest.  This involved supporting lobbying efforts at Scottish, UK and EU levels on a range of subjects such as regional policy, state aids, rural development, fisheries, maritime safety, and agriculture.

Impact of the CFP Reform

Port of Peterhead - Photo from Peterhead Port Authority
On behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, A B Associates carried out a preliminary analysis of the impact of the CFP Reform on Local economies in Scotland, and on Scotland as a whole. The main objective was to estimate the likely economic impact of The European Commission within the context of CFP proposals – to cut back 60% of the whitefish fleet capacity to allow fish stocks to recover. 

This project involved gathering all the relevant reports and data so that a baseline position could be established and multipliers derived in order to calculate the gross impacts.  Scenarios were then developed in order to estimate the likely impacts of different levels of cut to the whitefish fleet.

A similar study was carried out assessing the impact of the CFP on the small communities of Burra and Trondra in Shetland.