The European Commission, guardian of the Treaties, is responsible for drafting legislative proposals and implementing the decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
The Commission has a unit dedicated to the outermost regions (OR unit) within the Directorate-General for Regional Policy (DG REGIO), currently under the authority of the Commissioner in charge of this policy, Corina Creţu. This unit’s role is to coordinate actions in favor of ORs in collaboration with the national and regional administrations involved. It is also currently responsible for coordinating and promoting the Interservices Group “Outermost Regions” composed of representatives from various directorates general of the Commission.
It is within this framework that the Commission has put in place strategies for the outermost regions through successive communications (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2017).
The latest communication of October 24, 2017 entitled “A stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the EU’s outermost regions” (COM (2017) 623 final) proposes a new approach to better meet the specific needs of each of the nine outermost regions. By encouraging them to take advantage of their unique strengths, the strategy intends to help regions to create new opportunities for their citizens, to boost competitiveness and innovation in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and tourism, renewable energies and digital technology, while intensifying cooperation with neighboring countries. The new strategy is based on four pillars:
Besides, the European Commission has reviewed the progress made in the implementation of the previous strategy recommending the adoption of specific measures in different policies.
• A new governance based on a solid partnership
• The use of the assets of the outermost regions
• Promoting growth and job creation
• The intensification of cooperation with neighboring countries in their geographical basins
Likewise, the European Commission has reviewed the progress made in the application of the above strategies through the special measures adopted in the different policies. These advances are analyzed in the annexes of the communications.