Community News
Conference of the ORs in Madeira
XXI Conference of Presidents of the ORs
From 21 to 24 September 2016 - Funchal - Madeira

The 21th Conference of Presidents of the Outermost Regions of Europe (RUP) was held in Funchal (Madeira), from 21 to 24 September 2016. President Aline HANSON went to represent the community of Saint-Martin.

Among the highlights of this conference was the in-office session of the Presidents of the outermost regions, held in camera, highlighting the strengthening of Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Mayotte "issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union on 15 December 2015. This judgment recalls the differential treatment of the outermost regions in the application of Union law. Specific measures tailored to the particular constraints of these regions (in particular the extra costs linked to remoteness) must be implemented to accompany the development of the Union 9 RUPs.

In her speech, President Aline HANSON pointed out that island economies were often "isolated and fragile", and yet "constrained by the same challenges of global warming, energy transition, biodiversity protection and imbalances Economic and social rights ".
"These challenges create new economic regulation and new governance. The regional political vision must prevail over the obsession with alignment with the Community market which too often twists our geographies, "she said.
The President of Madeira, Miguel ALBUQUERQUE, who chaired the Conference, presented the results of his presidency, as well as the Constitutional Agreement of the RUP Energie Network, signed by all the Presidents.
On the sidelines of the official sessions, the Presidents of the French ORs were received by the Overseas Minister, Erika BAREIGTS. A moment of privileged exchanges which allowed the voices of the French ORs and the French State to be harmonized during the working sessions with the European Commission.
On this occasion, the Presidents of the ORs took the floor to highlight the difficulties and structural handicaps of their respective territories.
President Aline HANSON once again focused on the challenges facing Saint-Martin, focusing on three key points:

• The urgent need to provide Saint-Martin with the statistical tool necessary for its recognition as a NUTS Europe region (Eurostat nomenclature). This essential tool will enable it to take full advantage of the EU's economic, social and territorial cohesion policy on 2020, through the allocation of its own operational programs and envelopes re-evaluated according to the actual needs of the territory.
• The need to provide Saint-Martin with a full-fledged prefecture and to deploy the necessary means to ensure the presence of the many deconcentrated services of the State still absent from the territory.
• The need for the State to provide itself with the means to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the European programs in Saint-Martin, in particular the implementation of the Saint-Martin / Sint-Maarten 2014-2020 CTE Program, which Is delayed due to a lack of resources for its management.

It took only a few hours for President Aline HANSON's request for a lack of statistical tools in Saint-Martin to be able to find an initial answer as a promise in the speech given by the French overseas minister Erika BAREIGTS, during the partnership session. The minister has undertaken to propose the inclusion of specific provisions in the bill "Real Overseas Equality" which will be presented shortly to the National Assembly.

President Aline HANSON took advantage of her intervention in a partnership session to advocate for "a stronger partnership, adapted to the reality of ultramarine territories, to take into account the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of the outermost regions. ".
In particular, the President asked that the ORs be systematically involved in the decision-making process and that a "catch-up" funding plan for Saint Martin be initiated, "without which the exercise is simply impossible", she said concluded.

The Conference ended with the passing of the presidency, now guaranteed by Guyana for a period of 12 months.

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