In its 2008 communication entitled "The outermost regions: an asset for Europe", the Commission undertook to organise, jointly with the Member States and outermost regions, a biennial Forum for Outermost Europe.
This event will take place on 27 and 28 May, during the Spanish Presidency of the EU, within the strategic context of defining the European Union's political priorities towards 2020 and in view of recent activities (the Memorandum of the Outermost Regions and joint work undertaken with Member States). The Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, will inaugurate the event.
The aim is to improve dialogue with these regions and raise their profile within the EU. This will involve:
Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union has had nine outermost regions: the four French overseas departments of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion and Martinique, two French overseas collectivities, Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin, the Portuguese Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, and the Spanish Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands.