Outermost regions such as the Açores (Portugal), Canary Islands (Spain) or Réunion (France) benefit from the POSEI programme. It supports European Union outermost regions facing specific challenges due to remoteness, insularity, small size, difficult topography and climate or economic dependence on few products. In addition, the smaller Aegean islands (Greece) benefit from a similar support scheme under the common agricultural policy.
Outermost regions: POSEI
Standing for "Programme of Options Specifically Relating to Remoteness and Insularity", the POSEI programmes name originates from the French acronym "Programme d'Options Spécifiques à l'Éloignement et l'Insularité".
The outermost regions are an integral part of the European Union and their specific characteristics give rise to differentiated and specific treatment in various sectors. This concerns supporting local agricultural production and mitigating costs for the supply of essential products for human consumption, for example bringing food to an island.
The outermost regions of the EU (Art .349 of the EU treaty) are:
- France : Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Saint-Martin, and Mayotte;
- Portugal: the Azores and Madeira;
- Spain: the Canary Islands.
The outermost regions give the European Union a very widely spread set of maritime territories, a broader range of biodiversity and an even more diversified economy, for example by supplying agricultural products such as bananas, rum, cane sugar, and other exotic fruits and vegetables for European consumers. In addition, the outermost regions are a valuable asset for EU relations with neighbouring non-EU countries.
The POSEI measures, which are funded from the European Agricultural Gurantee Fund (EAGF) fall into two categories:
- specific supply arrangements, aimed at mitigating the additional costs for the supply of essential products for human consumption, for processing and as agricultural inputs, and
- measures to support the local agricultural production.
The financial allocations (per year) for the POSEI programme amounts for Spain to € 268.42 million, for France to € 278.41 million and for Portugal to € 106.21 million. This is laid down in Regulation (EU) No 228/2013 on specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions.
Smaller Aegean islands in Greece benefit from a similar scheme
The Greek smaller Aegean islands constitute an extremely fragmented insular territory subject to severe geographic and natural constraints. Covering all Aegean islands except Evia and Crete, many of these islands are very isolated from the Greek mainland, facing problems due to insularity such as additional costs in transporting products to the islands, etc.
These islands benefit from a support scheme under the common agricultural policy (CAP), in addition to direct payments and rural development measures. This scheme has the same approach as the POSEI scheme, aiming to:
- limit the additional costs involved in transporting certain agricultural products to the islands, and
- foster the development of local production.
The scheme includes measures for specific supply arrangements for certain agricultural products and adapted support measures for local agricultural production.
Implementation reports 2016 – POSEI and Smaller Aegean Islands