Implementation of the Commission Communication on a stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the EU's outermost regions
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This report reviews progress made in implementing the Communication “A stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the European Union outermost regions” (the Communication).
The EU outermost regions - Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion Island and Saint-Martin (France), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain) - face permanent constraints linked to their remoteness, small size, vulnerability to climate change and insularity, which put a brake on their growth and development. It is in this context that the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Article 349 TFEU), provides for specific measures to support the outermost regions, including tailor-made conditions for the application of EU law in these regions and for access to EU programmes.
Scattered across the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean basin, Latin America and the Indian Ocean, the outermost regions provide the EU with unique assets: rich biodiversity, strategic location for space and astrophysics activities, extensive maritime economic zones, proximity to other continents.
In October 2017, the Commission adopted a Communication strengthening the partnership with the outermost regions and the respective Member States and reinforcing its commitment to supporting these regions on their path to growth. In April 2018, the Council welcomed the Communication and invited the Commission to continue working on specific measures for these regions in accordance with Article 349 TFEU.
This report presents actions undertaken by the Commission, the outermost regions and the respective Member States in the sectors set out in the Communication; it highlights achievements; and it suggests to focus efforts on addressing climate change, protecting biodiversity, introducing circular economy and boosting renewable energy. These are key challenges for these regions as recognised in the flagship initiative European Green Deal which stresses that the Commission will pay particular attention to the outermost regions taking into account their vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters and their unique assets such as biodiversity and renewable energy sources. The report further highlights the need to strengthen efforts in other key sectors such as the blue economy and connectivity.
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