28 June 2024: Hybrid Workshop “European Islands Economies Need More Attention at the New Cohesion Policy After 2027”



Workshop Title: European Islands Economies Need More Attention at the New Cohesion Policy After 2027

 

Date / time: Friday, June 28th, 2024 - from 10.30AM to 1.00PM

 

Location: European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Brussels

 

Format: Hybrid (In-person and Online)

 

Organizers: Network of the Insular Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the EU (INSULEUR) in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), with cooperation from the CPMR Islands Commission and the European Small Islands Federation (ESIN)

 

Languages: Interpretation will be provided in English, Spanish, and Greek

 

Registration link (mandatory) https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeGrvdY3GRSy3dfJq30cCaHh-ZnChBXnMlj3gv7QXiPWeNKEw/viewform  

 

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The upcoming hybrid workshop titled "European Islands Economies Need More Attention at the New Cohesion Policy After 2027," organized by the Network of the Insular Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the EU (INSULEUR) in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and with the cooperation of  the CPMR Islands Commission and the European Small Islands Federation (ESIN), will take place on Friday, June 28th, 2024, at the EESC in Brussels. Interpretation in English, Spanish, and Greek will be provided.

 

The event will address the unique economic challenges faced by European islands, particularly in the context of the EU's Cohesion Policy, as the need for more focused attention on island economies in the post-2027 framework is pressing. Recommendations from the EESC indeed emphasize the importance of ensuring that no region is left behind, with a particular focus on addressing regional disparities and preparing for future EU enlargement.

 

Cohesion Policy aims to promote balanced development across the EU, yet island territories often receive insufficient attention despite their severe and permanent natural and demographic handicaps. This oversight needs rectification, as highlighted by the European Parliament in 2022, which called for more robust support for island economies, including flexible state aid and specific measures tailored to their unique challenges.

 

Island economies' heavy dependence on maritime and air transport results in higher operational costs, necessitating greater flexibility in state aid rules and a tailored approach in EU legislation. INSULEUR has been vocal about the insufficient recognition of island territories in successive cohesion reports, stressing the need for targeted provisions reflecting their specific characteristics.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted island economies, which rely heavily on tourism. The resulting economic setbacks underscored the vulnerabilities of these regions, including limited accessibility, isolation, and inadequate healthcare facilities. This situation highlighted the necessity of integrating insularity considerations into national and community policies.

 

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are critical to the growth of island economies, yet they face significant challenges in adapting to the green and digital transitions. Community funding is essential to support the sustainable transition of insular SMEs, enhancing their innovation, skills, and financial resilience.

 

In conclusion, the workshop will explore the future of cohesion policy post-2027, focusing on the unique challenges and opportunities for European island economies. It will discuss the need for specific measures and flexible state aid to support island territories and emphasize the crucial role of SMEs in driving economic growth and resilience.



 

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