MEPs urge the European Commission to take concrete steps to address the permanent handicaps that EU islands face and make full use of their potential, in a resolution voted on Thursday. The text also stresses the unique difficulties that southern insular regions face due to the increased migration flows and asks that special tax regimes should continue.
MEPs list the actions that they want the Commission to take to address the unique and vulnerable situation of EU islands. The resolution calls on the Commission to:
Islands exposed to migration flows
Parliament stresses that EU islands are also peripheral regions on the EU's external borders. The southern areas and the many Mediterranean islands are particularly exposed to increased migration flows. MEPs ask for an EU-wide approach, "which should include EU support and a joint effort by all member states", to help them.
Special tax regimes should continue
MEPs approved an amendment stressing "the importance of special tax arrangements for local communities and economies"- some EU islands have been granted special tax arrangements to counterbalance their permanent natural and demographic handicaps - and "calling for their continuation, especially in those member states that are under economic adjustment programmes".
Resolution on the role of regional authorities
In a separate resolution voted on Thursday, MEPs ask that regional and local authorities be given a bigger role in managing EU structural and investment funds in 2014-2020, to help boost their impact.