A forum takes place in Brussels, March 30-31, to consider a renewed European Union Strategy towards the EU’s Outermost Regions. There are nine Outermost Regions: Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte and Saint-Martin (France), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain).
Existing EU measures under the Regional Policy, the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy, assist the nine in surpassing their unique challenges. Insularity, remoteness, topography, climate and the dependency on a limited number of economic sectors are issues that the Outermost Regions share with the European Union’s Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).
However, the unique geographic and geological characteristics of the Outermost Regions are spurring research and innovation in the areas of renewable energies, pharmacology, space science, biodiversity and marine ecosystems. The forum will look at measures to make the most of the regions’ potential within a renewed strategy.
The Presidents of the Outermost Regions of the European Union are expected to attend the event, along with President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu, French Minister of Overseas, Ericka Bareigts, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, Margarida Marques and Spanish Secretary of State for European Affairs, Jorge Toldeo Albiñana.