The Canary Islands hosted the COTER Seminar on the response of cohesion policy for the outermost regions and other territories with specific features

On 7 March 2023, coinciding with the Canary Islands’ presidency of the Conference of Presidents of the Outermost Regions (CPRUP), the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and the EU Budget (COTER) of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) held a seminar in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, on the adapted responses to be offered by the cohesion policy to territories with specific needs, taking the case of the Outermost Regions (ORs) as an example.

The ORs have a specific, complex and unique situation, recognised in Article 349 of the TFEU, which has developed over time, taking the form of a European strategy for these regions that has become a paradigmatic example of the possibility of providing tailored responses to territories with specific geographical features.

On 3 May 2022, the European Commission adopted a new Communication updating this strategy under COM(2022) 198 final ” Putting people first, securing sustainable and inclusive growth, unlocking the potential of the EU’s outermost regions”. This seminar took place as part of the CoR’s long-standing monitoring of the development of this European strategy for the ORs.

The seminar did not focus solely on the ORs, but also included other territories with specific needs. The aim was to focus on the adaptation of cohesion policy and other policies to these areas with special needs, using the example of the outermost regions as a starting point.

The debate was also focused on the effective application of the territorial cohesion principle within the cohesion policy and other policies with a territorial impact, as well as the need for European policies to be designed and implemented from their conception, taking into account the territorial reality, especially that of territories with unique geographical characteristics having an impact on the development of their economies and on the way in which their citizens fully participate in the internal market.