The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

EU islands' needs should be considered within the EU’s upcoming funding programmes - Sant

Thursday, 20 June 2019, 09:04 Last update: about 2 months ago

EU islands’ needs and assets should be taken into consideration within the EU’s upcoming funding programmes, said Maltese MEP Alfred Sant when  addressing an event during which participants and new elected representatives of the European Parliament, members of the Committee of the Regions discussed the next key political steps in the fields of energy transition and decarbonisation of EU Islands at the European Parliament.

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Alfred Sant said that MEPs representing   islands’ representatives should meet to discuss, to hear and exchange views on the different needs of EU islands. 

We do not have to miss on any opportunity of EU support that could be offered to our communities. Even if insularity does come in as a common feature for us all, we must be wary of a one size fits all approach - even in the case of islands. EU islands have different needs and potentials, based on their geographic position and area, their weather exposure, their population, and very essentially, their level of development.

I would like to show my support to the establishment of a structured dialogue which should aim to enhance the coordination of the Energy and Climate Action plans, and their performance over the long term. Coordination that should be operative between the relevant EU entities, including no less, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Committee of the Regions. Key roles within these dialogues should clearly be given to those directly representing island interests at an EU level to achieve greener and cleaner energy solutions for islands.

The Maltese MEP said that historically, different priorities between regions have naturally led to different policy choices and outcomes.

We have islands that are far ahead on the EU’s energy and climate action objectives. Others lack expertise and need to be encouraged to steer their action programmes towards a sustainable and efficient energy supply model.

Sant said there are different contexts, different opportunities.

Initial steps have been taken and advances in their regard are encouraging. I am proud that during the Maltese Presidency of the EU in 2017, The Valletta Declaration on Clean Energy for EU islands was signed. This, I believe, was a significant marker.

Dr Sant said that during the last legislature, there was also the establishment of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat.

I truly hope that an “Islands Structured Dialogue” can be established as a platform, possibly through the EP islands intergroup. Let us debate our priorities, challenges and opportunities together. All EU island communities must be in a position to benefit from the greening development of EU islands. remarked Alfred Sant.

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