28th Conference of Presidents of the OR

Made up of the presidents of the EU outermost regions (OR), the Conference of Presidents of the OR meets every year in the outermost region holding the rotating presidency on an annual basis to set the action guidelines for these regions in the national, European and international contexts. This work, which will be reflected in a final declaration by all OR governments, becomes the roadmap for political action by Spanish, French and Portuguese OR each year.

The 28th Conference of Presidents of the Outermost Regions (CPRUP) of the European Union (EU) took place from 8 to 9 November at the Presidency headquarters of the Government of the Canary Islands in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands) and was attended by senior representatives of regional governments belonging to Spain, France and Portugal, including the President of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, the President of Réunion, Huguette Bello, the Chief Executive of Saint Martin, Louis Mussingto, as well as representatives of the governments of the other regions: Pedro Faria e Castro, Regional Secretary of the Presidency of the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, as well as the Vice-Presidents of Guadeloupe, Patrick Sellin, French Guiana, Thibault Lechat-Vega, Mayotte, Zamimou Ahamadi, and Martinique, Patricia Telle.

A large delegation of regional, national and European political representatives also took part in the partnership session of the 28th CPRUP on 9 November, including the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, from Portugal, the French Delegate Minister for Overseas Territories, Philippe Vigier, the Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, Tiago Antunes, and his counterpart in the Spanish Government, Pascual Navarro. Other speakers included Gabriel Mato, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Stéphane Bijoux, Max Orville and Maxette Pirbakas, as well as the representative of the European Economic and Social Committee, Joël Destom.

On Wednesday 8 November, the CPRUP adopted a joint declaration by the nine EU territories to demand EU bodies to take into account OR specificities in any political plan or action within the EU-27.

In their joint declaration, the nine EU outermost regions focused on EU policies regarding economic and social cohesion, budgetary integration, energy, migration, climate change measures, taxation, customs, transport, territorial cooperation, agriculture and fisheries. In this scenario, OR underline the impact on these territories of the current ” geopolitical context marked by international degradation, which has further aggravated their vulnerability and dependence on the outside world”. The Final Declaration of the XXVIII CPRUP states that “armed conflicts in the world and instability in our geographical surroundings, especially in Africa and the Caribbean, require specific responses in order to ensure the security and stability of the entire European Union, including its most remote territories”, and the risk posed by the possible enlargement of the EU in the coming years, which is “even more uncertain”.

These OR approaches were addressed at the informative conference given by the President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo Batlle, and the President of La Réunion, Huguette Bello, for the presentation of the Final Declaration of the 28th CPRUP.

At the end of the Conference, as every year, the presidency of this representative body of the outermost regions was handed over to the French region of La Réunion.