Regional policy & outermost regions

The European Union counts nine Outermost Regions, which are geographically very distant from the European continent:

  • Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, La Réunion, Mayotte (5 French overseas departments)
  • Saint-Martin (1 French overseas collectivity)
  • Madeira and Azores (2 Portuguese autonomous regions)
  • Canary Islands (1 Spanish autonomous community)

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EU law and all the rights and duties associated with EU membership apply to the Outermost Regions, except for cases where there are specific measures or derogations. These specific measures are designed to address the challenges faced by the Outermost Regions because of their remoteness, insularity, small size, difficult topography and climate, and economic dependence on a few products.

The Outermost Regions benefit from Cohesion Policy funding through the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund.