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Europe’s outermost regions and the single market

Although far from continental Europe, the EU’s outlying territories (”outermost regions“) are full members of its borderless economy – and covered by all related legislation, rights and obligations.

The outermost regions of the EU are:

  • the Canary Islands (an autonomous community belonging to Spain)
  • Madeira and the Azores (autonomous regions of Portugal)
  • Mayotte, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy (overseas ”departments“ or ”collectivities“ of France).

Solbes Report (Oct. 2011) – integrating the outermost regions into the single market

In late 2010, as part of efforts to relaunch the single market, single market Commissioner Barnier asked former Commissioner Pedro Solbes Mira to carry out a study on the outermost regions’ place in the single EU market. Mr Solbes submitted his report on 12 October 2011.

The report contains 22 recommendations on how to more fully integrate these territories into the single market, including:

  • consolidating existing measures, to compensate for the regions’ structural handicaps
  • integrating them into European networks
  • promoting them as gateways to Europe.

The report also suggests that an action plan be prepared to enable the outermost regions to contribute to the ”Europe 2020“ strategy.