Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Alfred Sant (S&D)

P-004140-16
Subject: European Parliament resolution of 4 February 2016 on the special situation of islands

Can the Commission state what action has been taken to date on the European Parliament resolution of the 4 February 2016
on the special situation of islands wherein it was called upon to:
• establish an ‘EU Strategic Framework for Islands’ with a view to linking up instruments that can have a major territorial impact;
• establish an ‘islands desk’ linked to the Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and made up of a small group of officials in order to coordinate and analyse issues relating to island regions;
• submit a communication containing an ‘Agenda for EU Islands’ and, subsequently, a White Paper to monitor the
development of islands, based on best practice and involving local, regional and national authorities and other relevant actors, including economic and social partners and representatives of civil society;
• propose a European Year of Islands and Mountains?

Answer given by Ms Creţu on behalf of the Commission
The Commission attaches particular importance to the situation of islands, which represent a diverse group of regions in terms of size, population, geographical location and legal status, but also in terms of social, economic and environmental challenges. Performance of island regions calls for a tailored approach to the local context rather than a specific islands strategy or agenda. This is reflected in the current European Structural and Investment Funds under which a number of islands are classified part of less developed regions and thus benefit from the most favourable status for support. A range of Member States has specific programmes or strategies targeted to their islands. The Adriatic-Ionian and the Baltic Sea Region macro-regional strategies also represent a relevant framework for addressing the specific needs of islands.
DG Regional and Urban Policy has structures for regular discussion of the implementation of its programmes (including concerning islands) but it is not planned to set up a specific desk for islands. In addition, the Commission continues to develop data and analysis concerning the different regions in the Union
The Commission takes note of the Parliament’s request of establishing a European Year of Islands and Mountains. However, it intends to focus communication activities on the ten priorities set out in the Political Guidelines of President Juncker. Although EU institutions decided in the past to organise European years on topical issues, no decision has been taken on possible future European years

P-004140-16
Suġġett: Ir-riżoluzzjoni tal-Parlament tal-4 ta’ Frar 2016 dwar is-sitwazzjoni speċjali tal-gżejjer
Tista’ il-Kummissjoni tiddikjara x’azzjoni ttieħdet sal-lum fuq ir-riżoluzzjoni tal-Parlament tal-4 ta’ Frar 2016 dwar is-sitwazzjoni speċjali tal-gżejjer, li fiha huwa mitlub:
—jistabbilixxi “Qafas Strateġiku tal-UE għal Gżejjer” bil-għan li jgħaqqad strumenti li jista’ jkollhom impatt territorjali kbir;
—jistabbilixxi “islands desk” marbut mad-Direttorat Ġenerali għall-Politika Reġjonali u Urbana (DĠ REGIO) u magħmul minn grupp żgħir ta’ uffiċjali biex jikkoordina u janalizza kwistjonijiet relatati ma’ reġjuni insulari;
—jippreżenta komunikazzjoni li jkun fiha “Aġenda għall-Gżejjer tal-UE” u, sussegwentement, white paper biex jiġi mmonitorjat l-iżvilupp tal-gżejjer, abbażi tal-aħjar prassi u bl-involviment tal-awtoritajiet lokali, reġjonali u nazzjonali u atturi rilevanti oħra, inklużi s-sħab ekonomiċi u soċjali u r-rappreżentanti tas-soċjetà ċivili;
—jipproponi Sena Ewropea tal-Gżejjer u tal-Muntanji

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sinjura Crețu f’isem il-Kummissjoni
Il-Kummissjoni tagħti importanza partikulari għas-sitwazzjoni tal-gżejjer, li jirrappreżentaw grupp differenti ta’ reġjuni fir-rigward tad-daqs, il-popolazzjoni, il-pożizzjoni ġeografika u l-istatus legali, iżda wkoll f’termini ta’ sfidi soċjali, ekonomiċi u ambjentali. Il-prestazzjoni ta’ reġjuni ġżejjer tirrikjedi strateġija mfassla apposta għall-kuntest lokali aktar milli strateġija jew aġenda speċifika għall-gżejjer. Dan huwa rifless fil-proċeduri attwali tal-Fondi Strutturali u ta’ Investiment Ewropej li fihom għadd ta’ gżejjer huma kklassifikati bħala parti minn reġjuni anqas żviluppati u b’hekk igawdu mill-istatus l-aktar favorevoli għall-appoġġ. Għadd ta’ Stati Membri għandhom programmi jew strateġiji speċifiċi mmirati għall-gżejjer tagħhom. L-istrateġiji makroreġjonali tal-Adrijatiku-Joniku u tar-Reġjun tal-Baħar Baltiku jirrappreżentaw ukoll qafas rilevanti biex jiġu ttrattati l-ħtiġijiet speċifiċi tal-gżejjer.
Id-DĠ Politika Reġjonali u Urbana għandu strutturi għal diskussjonijiet regolari dwar l-implimentazzjoni tal-programmi tiegħu (fosthom dawk li jikkonċernaw il-gżejjer) iżda mhux previst it-twaqqif ta’ uffiċċju speċifiku għall-gżejjer. Barra minn hekk, il-Kummissjoni tkompli tiżviluppa d-dejta u l-analiżi dwar id-diversi reġjuni fl-Unjoni.
Il-Kummissjoni tinnota t-talba tal-Parlament li tistabbilixxi Sena Ewropea tal-Gżejjer u tal-Muntanji. Madankollu, hija beħsiebha tikkonċentra l-attivitajiet ta’ komunikazzjoni fuq l-10 prijoritajiet stabbiliti fil-Linji Gwida Politiċi tal-President Juncker. Għalkemm l-istituzzjonijiet tal-UE ddeċidew fl-imgħoddi li jorganizzaw edizzjonijiet tas-Sena Ewropea dwar kwistjonijiet topiċi, ma ttieħdet l-ebda deċiżjoni dwar il-possibbiltà ta’ snin Ewropej futuri.

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