Regional policy & outermost regions
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
- 4 French départements – Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Réunion and 2 French collectivités d'Outre-mer – Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin
- 2 Portuguese autonomous regions – Madeira and the Azores - Açores 2010
- 1 Spanish autonomous community – the Canary Islands
- diversification – the outermost regions give the EU wider territorial waters than it would otherwise have and a diverse economy, providing rum, sugar cane, bananas and other tropical fruit and vegetables for European consumers
- strategic importance –: the regions offer the EU tremendous opportunities for developing relations with neighbouring countries in Macaronesia, the Caribbean and the south-west Indian Ocean
- research and hi-tech industries, e.g.:
- IAC, the Canary Islands' Astrophysics Institute
- the European Space Agency's centre in French Guiana
- University of the Azores' oceanography and fisheries department
- CRVOI, the centre for research on emerging diseases, on Réunion
- Guadeloupe's under-sea broadband cables
- agri-environmental research cluster on Martinique
- Madeira's multi-purpose power station
- address new difficulties facing the outermost regions – globalisation, climate change, demographic trends, migratory flows, sustainable management of natural resources, including marine resources and agricultural products
- exploit the regions' assets to boost economic development, with particular focus on high-value-added assets, e.g. the agri-food industry, biodiversity, renewable energy, astrophysics, aerospace, oceanography, vulcanology, seismology, and the regions' role as outposts of the EU.
- Meeting between Commissioner Hahn and Outermost Regions Presidents, Brussels, 12th May 2011
- Week of Innovative Regions in Europe 2011 (WIRE2011) - Debrecen, Hungary, 7-9 June 2011
- Comment mieux articuler les instruments du FEDER et du FED en vue de renforcer l'insertion régionale des régions ultrapériphériques? - Bruxelles, 14 février 2011 - Compte rendu
- First Forum for Outermost Europe - Brussels, 27 and 28 May 2010
- Future strategy on outermost regions – conference, Brussels 14-15 May 2008
- Economic partnership agreements (EPAs) – seminar, Brussels, 13-15 June 2005
Meeting between Commissioner Hahn and Outermost Regions Presidents Brussels, 12 May 2011 (Berlaymont building, 11th floor)
The purpose of the meeting, chaired by Martinique, was to discuss the future of Outermost Regions economies and the attention they should continue to receive in the future cohesion policy after 2013.
See below the events section for more information!
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.
Growth Factors in the Outermost Regions
The study is aimed at deepening the understanding of the process of economic development, identifying strategies to improve competitiveness and reduce dependence on imports and transfers. The work consisted in the analysis of data and literature as well as interviews of local stakeholders which took place during spring 2010. The independent consultant is responsible for the contents which do not bind the European Commission.
Online Discussion until May 15
The outermost regions should be better integrated into the single market. Measures to bolster the single market should help these regions to capitalise on their strengths and develop their economic potential. Are the outermost regions well served by EU policies relating to the single market? Tell us what you think by taking part in the Online discussion
The EU has nine regions that are geographically very distant from the European continent but that still form an integral part of the EU member countries they belong to.
Known as the “outermost regions”, they are covered by EU law and the other rights and duties associated with EU membership – in contrast to overseas territories, which have a different legal status.
The nine outermost regions are:
|Location||Capital||Surface area||Population||Per capita GDP (EU=100)|
|Azores||Atlantic||Ponta Delgada||2 333 km2||237 900||66.7|
|Canaries||Atlantic||Las Palmas||7 447 km2||1 715 700||93.7|
|Guadeloupe||Caribbean||Pointe-à-Pitre||1 710 km2||425 700||70.6|
|French Guiana||South America||Cayenne||84 000 km2||161 100||50.5|
|Madeira||Atlantic||Funchal||795 km2||244 800||94.9|
|Martinique||Caribbean||Fort-de-France||1 080 km2||383 300||75.6|
|Réunion||Indian Ocean||Saint-Denis||2 510 km2||715 900||61.6|
|Saint-Barthélémy||Caribbean||Gustavia||25 km2||8 300||111|
|Saint-Martin||Caribbean||Marigot||53 km2||35 000||61.9|
In the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the outermost regions are covered by Article 349, which recognises that EU policies must be adjusted to their special circumstances.
Handicaps – and assets
The regions face several obstacles to full development – remoteness, insularity, terrain, climate, economic dependence and the narrow range of goods they produce.
However, they also have a valuable contribution to make:
The aim of past support programmes – POSEIDOM for the French overseas départements (1989), POSEICAN for the Canary Islands (1991) and POSEIMA for the Azores and Madeira (1991) – was to improve infrastructure, promote job-creating industries and develop human resources.
In 2006 the support system was reformed, and replaced by POSEI programmes, with a funding allocation for each of the three EU countries the regions belong to.
Since 2004, the EU has had an integrated strategy, based on active partnership between the EU institutions, national governments and the outermost regions. The three priorities are to make the regions more accessible, more competitive and more integrated with the countries around them. These priorities – and other measures – are explained in the Strategy for the outermost regions .
In October 2008, a new Commission policy paper, "The outermost regions – an asset for Europe set two objectives:
Total EU funding for 2007-13 for the outermost regions – ·€7.84bn, chiefly from the European regional development fund (€4.5bn) and the European social fund (€1.3bn) but also the agricultural fund for rural development and the fisheries fund.
In addition to funding programmes, the EU takes account of the regions' special needs in initiatives on competition, agriculture, research, trade and transport.
The Outermost Regions - European regions of assets and opportunities
Cohesion Policy provides the ORs with important support designed to help them achieve greater economic and social convergence with the rest of the Community. On top of the €5 billion that these regions will receive for the 2007–13 period from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund (for the Portuguese ORs) and the European Social Fund (ESF), the EU's Cohesion Policy has earmarked additional funding to offset higher costs faced by the ORs, at the rate of €35 per inhabitant per year (a total of €979 million for all the regions).