The Outermost Regions: European lands In the world
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The EU currently has nine Outermost Regions (ORs), which are an integral part of its territory: Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Saint Martin, Réunion, Mayotte (France); the Canary Islands (Spain); and the Azores and Madeira (Portugal). The rights and obligations of the European Treaties apply fully to these regions.
Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) recognises that the Outermost Regions differ from the rest of the EU in a number of ways that constrain their economic and social development: their remoteness, their insularity, their small size, their adverse topographical and climatic conditions and their dependence on a limited number of local industries. Under European law this article allows the adoption of specific measures appropriate for the real situations of the ORs.
As well as specific constraints, the ORs also have unique potential and assets which can benefit the Union. They provide a European presence in strategic areas of the world, and have exceptional geographical and geological characteristics which make them useful laboratories for research and innovation in industries of the future such as biodiversity, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, pharmacology, renewable energies, and the space sciences.
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