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Regional policy & outermost regions - News Archives

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:

Commissioner Hahn attends annual Conference of Presidents of the EU's Outermost Regions in the Azores (Portugal)

The European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, will attend the 18th Conference of Presidents of the EU's Outermost Regions, hosted by Carlos Cesar, President of the Regional Government of Azores, and current chair of the group of eight outermost regions (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, the overseas Collectivity of St Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands). The governments of Spain, Portugal and France will be represented at the conference, as well as the Cyprus Presidency of the EU. Mayotte, which will gain outermost region status in 2014 and the Prime Minister of Cape Verde will also participate.. 

Commissioner Hahn will embark on a 3-day tour of the islands of the Azores (starting in Sao Miguel and continuing to Faial, Pico, Flores and Corvo), visiting projects co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), such as:

The Escola de Formação Turística e Hoteleira on Sao Miguel - School of Tourism and Hospitality Training (EFTH), Pico Vermelho Geothermal Plant (Sao Miguel Island, Ribeira Grande) and Corvo island's Air Traffic Control Tower.

More info

Study on migration and demographic trends in the outermost regions

The study is aimed at deepening the understanding, the knowledge and the projections of the demographic and migratory trends in the Outermost Regions. The report describes the major short and medium-term impacts of the demographic and migratory trends as well as their probable impact on the economic and social cohesion. Using the result of the analysis, the experts outline the main risks and the opportunities associated with these phenomena.

More Information

Call for tender under 7th Research and Development Framework Programme

Identifier: FP7-ENV-2013-two-stage
Publication Date: 10 July 2012
Budget: € 248 000 000
Deadline:  16 October 2012 at 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)

28 February 2013 at 17:00:00 (Brussels local time) - 2nd deadline (for 2-stage procedure)

OJ Reference: OJ C202 of 10 July 2012
Specific Programme(s): COOPERATION
Theme(s): Environment (including Climate Change)

See item "g" under the topic ENV.2013.6.5-2 Mobilising environmental knowledge for policy and society

                g) Research partnerships to sustainably manage the biodiversity in EU Outermost Regions (OR) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) 

Conditions, application form and more information


Follow up on the Seminar: "Peer discussion as a step towards RIS 3"

On 5-6 June 2012, the S3 Platform held a third peer-review workshop hosted by the government of Azores in Ponta Delgada, Portugal.

The seminar focused on the approach to S3 by the OR with the objective to debate on the macro-regional strengths, comparative advantages and potential future growth areas of these regions. The event focused on the revision of the regional innovation strategies for 3 outermost regions: La Reunion, Canary Islands and Azores and for Cornwall.

For further follow up, the summary reports from the peer review workshop are available here: Azores - Canary Islands - La Réunion - Cornwall

2-3 July: Follow the European Forum of the Outermost Regions live

The second European Forum of the Outermost Regions (OR) will be held in Brusselson 2 and 3 July and will give centre stage to the eight regions eligible for this specific status in the EU. This event will provide a forum for debate involving the principle players in the ORs, their MemberStates(France, Spainand Portugal) and EU institutions. The renewed strategy recently proposed by the European Commission for these regions will offer a basis for discussion.

Building on the first Forum held in 2010, the aim of this biennial Forum is to raise the profile of the ORs withinEuropeby highlighting their strengths and potential. Eight European Union regions currently enjoy OR status as defined by Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU): the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique,French Guiana, Réunion and Saint-Martin.

The event will bring together all the presidents of the outermost regions, the relevant ministers of the threeMemberStates, representatives from the EU institutions (mainly Members of the European Parliament), NGOs and universities, as well as socio-professionals and private investors. Almost 400 participants are expected.

The debates will be rebroadcast live on this site :  02/07/201203/07/2012

Forum of the Outermost Regions

You can also follow us on: #RUP2012 @EU_Regional - -

Call for applications

Each year, INED (Institute National d'Etudes Démographiques) hosts around thirty PhD students enrolled in French or foreign universities and working in wide-ranging disciplines (demography, economics, geography, history, sociology, etc.).

8 PhD studentships will be awarded by INED in the Academic year 2012-2013. Deadline for application: 15 June 2012.

Conditions, application form and more information on this page:

School in Azores takes part in a competition promoted by the European Space Agency

The team formed by five students from the secondary school in Santa Maria, Azores, is one of the 14 teams selected to build a mini-satellite that will be launched in April in Norway. The project is an initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA) in cooperation with the Norwegian Centre for Space-Related Education (NAROM). The aim of the project is to offer the opportunity to young students to take part on a truly spatial project.
The satellite that will be built by the students has to have the dimension "of a can of soda" says Ruan Nolasco, coordinator of the project. The students will have "to measure the temperature and pressure and to calculate the altitude during the descent, as well as take photos and geo-reference these photos through a GPS instrument".
In the beginning of December each teacher will receive a special formation in the ESA Spatial Centre in Holland, where the equipment will be given. Then, the team will work until April. In the week of 22-26 April, the mini-satellite will be placed on board of a rocket that will be launched from an altitude of 1000 meters.
The project of the Portuguese team, called 'Azorean Shearwater' will compete with teams from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, France, Greece, Romania, Spain, Italy and the UK .
Ruan Nolasco stressed the importance of the presence of a team from the Azores in this European competition, underlying that the fact of having the only Portuguese ESA spatial station installed in Santa Maria encourages "to awaken a great interest" of young people for spatial issues.

Escola Básica Secundária de Santa Maria
CanSats in Europe

Presentation of project : ERA-NET Net-Biome

Brussels, 14 October 2011

NET-BIOME is a regional ERA-NET project presented by a consortium of 11 partners, representing regional or territorial bodies from the 5 Member States concerned by European tropical overseas territories that finance and/or manage research activitiesNET-BIOME is a regional ERA-NET project presented by a consortium of 11 partners, representing regional or territorial bodies from the 5 Member States concerned by European tropical overseas territories that finance and/or manage research activities.

Open Days 2011. Workshop of the outermost regions - presentations of projects

The outermost regions presented their innovative projects during the 2011 Open Days workshop organised on 12 October.
The workshop aimed to present the challenges and opportunities of the outermost regions and their contribution to the strategy Europe 2020.

More information concerning OPEN DAYS 2011

Financial support for biodiversity in European Overseas (BEST)

Open call for proposals in the framework of the Preparatory Action 'BEST' (Voluntary scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of the EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories). Deadline for applications: 9 September 2011.

Financial support for biodiversity in European Overseas

Two Outermost regions projects among the winners of the 2011 "RegioStars Award"!

  • The objective of the RegioStars Awards is to identify good practices in regional development and to highlight original and innovative projects which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions.
  • Innovative and sustainable mobility in Funchal (CIVITAS MIMOSA), Madeira, Portugal (€2,01 million in EU funding from the ERDF)
    Winner of Category 4 "CityStar". Integrated, clean urban transport projects (“CityStar” category), within the Low carbon economy themes.

    The city of Funchal is characterised by rugged, hilly landscapes, resulting in the high wear-and-tear of bus engines, as well as low energy efficiency, increased polluting emissions and noise. The aims of this project were to increase the total number of passengers on public transport, improve user satisfaction, increase transport efficiency and also promote a shift towards alternative transport modes.

  • Capelinhos Lighthouse, Azores, Portugal (€3,37 million in EU funding from ERDF)
    Winner chosen by an online public vote. Category 5. Promotional photo of a co-funded project, within the Information and communication theme.

    The winning photo was used to promote the ‘Redevelopment of Capelinhos Lighthouse – Interpretation Centre’ project. The photo shows the interior of the lighthouse, which is located near the Capelinhos Volcano on the Island of Faial in the Azores archipelago. The project aimed to develop the site as an historical, environmental and sustainable tourist attraction.

  • The RegioStars 2012 Awards for project co-financed by EU regional policy is already launched. The deadline for receipt of applications is 15 July 2011.
    More information on the Regiostars section

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