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La politica regionale e le regioni ultraperiferiche

Commission boosts cooperation between outermost regions and neighbours

New guidelines from the Commission should help to step up cooperation between the EU's outermost regions and their neighbours in the Caribbean, West Africa and the Indian Ocean.

EU outermost regions (Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Martin, Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands) receive funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries States and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) benefit from aid for development cooperation under the European Development Fund (EDF).

New rules put in place for 2014-2020 are designed to make it easier to develop joint ERDF-EDF projects. In order to put these rules into effect, detailed guidance has been issued jointly by the Commission's DGs for Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO) and for Development and Cooperation (EuropeAid). This guidance is addressed to the relevant EU institutions, as well as partners from the ACP, OCT and Outermost Regions.

One example of a successful ERDF-EDF project is SmartFish, a sustainable fisheries programme in Africa, which includes participation from Réunion.

The Guidance Note is currently available in French, Spanish, Portuguese, English and Dutch.

European Commission urges outermost regions to set their sights on EU 2020 goals and to capitalize on their individual strengths

The European Commission will be hosting the "Third Forum of the Outermost Regions" in Brussels on 30 September-1 October to discuss joint efforts towards more dynamic economic and social development in the outermost regions and to realize their full potential. The event brings together the Presidents of Europe's outermost regions, representatives from their three Member States, members of civil society and the business sector as well as representatives of the EU institutions: José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Michel Lebrun, President of the Committee of the Regions, Rossella Rusca, Representative of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Louis-Joseph Manscour, member of European Parliament.

The Forum is expected to facilitate important exchanges on how to help the nine regions (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Reunion, Martinique, St Martin, the Azores, Madeira, Mayotte and the Canary Islands) to target resources and investments in the most optimal way, capitalising on their specific characteristics and strengths.

The Presidents will gather under the theme "9 regions at the heart of the Europe of today and tomorrow". Three thematic panels will focus on: employment and education; sectors with high potential for the development of the regions and regional integration and increased accessibility. The overall aim is to make the best use of the resources available to these regions and to maximize results

Speech of Commission President Jose Manual Barroso

 More information:

Mayotte: the new outermost region from 1 January 2014

By Decision 2012/419/EU, the European Council amended the status of Mayotte with regard to the Union with effect from 1 January 2014. Therefore, from that date Mayotte ceased to be an overseas territory to become an outermost region within the meaning of Articles 349 and 355(1) TFEU. Union law will apply to Mayotte from 1 January 2014. The Council and the Parliament has adopted specific legislative measures providing transitional periods in the areas of environment, agriculture, social policy, public health, fisheries animal health,and fiscality :

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2013/61/EU of 17 December 2013 COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2013/61/EU of 17 December 2013 amending Directives 2006/112/EC and 2008/118/EC as regards the French outermost regions and Mayotte in particular – OJ 2013 12 28 - L 353-5

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2013/62/EU of 17 December 2013 amending Directive 2010/18/EU implementing the revised Framework Agreement on parental leave concluded by BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME, CEEP and ETUC, following the amendment of the status of Mayotte with regard to the European Union – OJ 2013 12 28 - L 353-7

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2013/64/EU of 17 December 2013 amending Council Directives 91/271/EEC and 1999/74/EC, and Directives 2000/60/EC, 2006/7/EC, 2006/25/EC and 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, following the amendment of the status of Mayotte with regard to the European Union- OJ 2013 12 28 - L 353-8

COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 1385/2013 of 17 December 2013 amending Council Regulations (EC) No 850/98 and (EC) No 1224/2009, and Regulations (EC) No 1069/2009, (EU) No 1379/2013 and (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, following the amendment of the status of Mayotte with regard to the European Union – OJ 2013 12 28 - L 354-86

Partnership in action: EU Outermost Regions present investment and growth plans for 2014-20 to European Commission

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn will today receive the strategic growth plans for Europe’s eight Outermost Regions (OR). The Commissioner, who is responsible for coordinating all EU policies for these regions will be discussing the Action Plans in Brussels with Presidents and Vice-Presidents from The Azores, the Canary Islands, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Madeira, Martinique, La Réunion and St Martin. This is the first time the Outermost Regions have been asked to present this kind of individual strategy, which will cover not just how they plan to make the best use of EU structural funds but also how they think other EU policies can help their development. The plans identify which specific characteristics and strengths they aim to capitalise on with a view to diversifying and modernising their economies.

The Action Plans were requested by the Commission one year ago in the communication: The Outermost regions of the European Union: towards a partnership for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The strategies are toolkits for 2014-2020: not only in the use of Structural Funds, but how the OR can benefit from EU policies more broadly. They set out the steps to be taken on the regions’ individual paths to fulfilling Europe2020 growth goals, addressing issues such as youth unemployment and boosting local competitiveness. Today's event will also be attended by representatives from a number of Commission Directorates responsible for Maritime Policy, Employment, Agriculture, Transport, Trade, Development and the Single Market.

Some of the principal themes covered in today’s Action Plans include:

  • Improved access to the EU single market – focusing in particular on: Transport networks, people mobility, maritime dimension and infrastructural needs;
  • Enhancing Competitiveness through economic modernisation and diversification focussing on agriculture, research & innovation and tourism;
  • Better regional geographic integration;
  • Social development - job creation, boosting skills and qualifications with a sharp focus on youth, education and employment;
  • Mainstreaming climate change mitigation across all policies

Further information:

News Archives


3rd Forum of the Outermost Regions: 9 Regions at the heart of the Europe of today and tomorrow

Brussels, 30th September — 1st October 2014

Following in the footsteps of the forums of 2010 and 2012, this year's gathering will bring together hundreds of participants, including experts and representatives from the outermost regions and the countries concerned, as well as from the EU institutions and interest groups and stakeholders.

The event will take place at the dawn of a new era for several key institutions of the European Union and at a moment when the Europe-wide priorities of EU Cohesion Policy for 2014-2020 are being translated into investment priorities through strategic Partnership Agreements, programmes and plans in the Member States.

3rd Forum website

L'Unione europea conta 9 regioni geograficamente molto distanti dal continente europeo, ma che sono parte integrante dell'UE.

Diversamente dai territori e paesi d'oltremare English, che hanno uno stato giuridico differente, alle "regioni ultraperiferiche" si applica il diritto dell'UE (tutti i diritti e doveri derivanti dall'appartenenza all'UE), salvo nel caso in cui esistano provvedimenti specifici per queste regioni.

Esse comprendono:

  • i 5 dipartimenti francesi d’oltremare (Martinica, Guadalupa, Guyana, Riunione e Mayotte). Saint-Martin ("collectivités d'Outre-mer")
  • le 2 regioni autonome portoghesi (Madera e Azzorre);
  • le isole Canarie (Comunità autonoma spagnola).
  Area geografica Capitale Superficie Popolazione (abitanti) Indice PIL pro capite
Azzorre Oceano atlantico Ponta Delgada 2 333 km2 246 800 72.4
Canarie Oceano atlantico Las Palmas e Santa Cruz de Tenerife 7 447 km2 2 118 000 82.2
Guadalupa Mar dei Caraibi Basse-Terre 1 710 km2 403 355 76.6
Guyana Sudamerica Cayenna 84 000 km2 229 040 52.5
Madera Oceano atlantico Funchal 795 km2 267 785 99.5
Martinica Mar dei Caraibi Fort-de-France 1 080 km2 394 173 76.8
Riunione Oceano indiano Saint-Denis 2 510 km2 839 500 68.7
Saint-Martin Mar dei Caraibi Marigot 53 km2 36 661 61.9
Mayotte Oceano indiano Mamoudzou 376 km2 212 645 24.8

Fonte: 2010-2011-2012

Base giuridica: un articolo specifico del trattato di Amsterdam (articolo 299, paragrafo 2) definisce la nozione di regione ultraperiferica. L'articolo riconosce la specificità delle RUP e la necessità di adattare le politiche comunitarie alle loro realtà e limitazioni permanenti.

Difficoltà e vantaggi

Gli ostacoli al pieno sviluppo di queste regioni sono: la lontananza, l'insularità, la conformazione del territorio, il clima difficile e la dipendenza economica da un numero limitato di prodotti.

Tuttavia, i loro punti di forza sono numerosi:

  • diversificazione: le RUP permettono all'UE di disporre di un territorio marittimo molto esteso oltre che di un'economia diversificata. Esportano ad esempio prodotti agricoli come il rhum, lo zucchero di canna, le banane e altri prodotti ortofrutticoli tropicali molto richiesti dai consumatori europei;
  • posizione geostrategica: le RUP offrono all’UE grandi possibilità di sviluppo delle relazioni con i paesi limitrofi (Macaronesia, Caraibi e Oceano Indiano sudoccidentale);
  • potenziale per determinate attività di ricerca e di alta tecnologia. Alcuni esempi: Istituto d'astrofisica delle isole Canarie; Agenzia spaziale europea della Guyana; Dipartimento di oceanografia e di pesca dell'università delle Azzorre; Centro di ricerca e di vigilanza sulle malattie emergenti della Riunione; rete di cavi digitali subacquei ad alta velocità, che parte dalla Guadalupa; polo di ricerca agroambientale della Martinica; centrale elettrica polivalente a Madera).

Azione dell'Unione europea


In passato, sono stati elaborati programmi di aiuto specifici per queste regioni: POSEIDOM per i dipartimenti francesi d'oltremare (1989), POSEICAN per le isole Canarie (1991) e POSEIMA per le Azzorre e Madera (1991). Il loro obiettivo: migliorare le infrastrutture, promuovere i settori produttivi che generano occupazione e sviluppare le risorse umane.

Questo sistema di sostegno è stato riformato nel 2006 ed è stato sostituito dai programmi generali POSEI, che dispongono di dotazioni nazionali per ciascuno dei tre Stati membri.

Nel 2004 l'UE ha definito una strategia integrata, che prevede un partenariato attivo tra le istituzioni europee, gli Stati membri e le RUP basato su tre assi: riduzione del deficit di accessibilità, miglioramento della competitività e integrazione regionale.  Alcune misure complementari sono state proposte nella comunicazione intitolata "Strategy for the outermost regions" pdf (COM(2007) 507 def.).

Sviluppi recenti

Nell'ottobre del 2008 la Commissione ha adottato una nuova comunicazione, con un duplice obiettivo:

  • integrare i nuovi problemi cui devono far fronte le RUP: globalizzazione, cambiamenti climatici, evoluzione demografica, flussi migratori e gestione sostenibile delle risorse naturali, tra cui le risorse marittime e i prodotti agricoli;
  • valorizzare i punti di forza delle RUP come leva per lo sviluppo economico nei settori ad alto valore aggiunto, come ad esempio il settore agroalimentare, la biodiversità, le energie rinnovabili, l'astrofisica, l'industria aerospaziale, l'oceanografia, la vulcanologia e la sismologia, ma anche il loro ruolo di avamposto dell'UE nel mondo.


Per le RUP l'UE stanzierà complessivamente 7,84 miliardi di euro per il periodo 2007-2013 (fonti di finanziamento: FESR, FSE, FEASR, FEP, POSEI). Solo il FESR e il FSE investono in tali regioni rispettivamente 4,5 e 1,3 miliardi di euro.

Oltre ai programmi dei fondi strutturali, numerose iniziative dell'UE tengono conto delle esigenze specifiche di queste regioni, in particolare nei settori concorrenza, agricoltura, ricerca, commercio e trasporti.

Per saperne di più...

  • Centro di risorse per le regioni ultraperiferiche dell'Unione europea esfrpt
  • Studio sull'impatto delle ICT sulle regioni ultraperiferiche dell'Europa doc fr

Link utili:

Politica regionale UE: Informazioni
Mezzi di comunicazione sociale