Community News
Meeting of the ORs - Brussels 28 and 29 April 2016
On Friday 29 April 2016, the Presidents of the Ultra Peripheral Regions (RUP) of Europe were received in Brussels by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Guillaume Arnell, 1er Vice-President of the overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin represented President Aline Hanson at this meeting.

The delegation of the nine Presidents of the ORs, led by President Machado Albuquerque of Madeira, was received on Friday 29 April 2016 by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. In the introduction, President Albuquerque welcomed the work carried out by the European Commission and more particularly by the RUP Unit, in favor of the outermost regions.

The Head of Delegation welcomed the decision of the European Court of Justice, dated 15 December 2015, which states that Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union Of the European Union (TFEU) constitutes an autonomous and sufficient legal basis on which measures can be taken to modulate the implementation of European law in these regions.

In the face of President Juncker, President Albuquerque emphasized the need to maintain and strengthen the RUP Unit and to provide it with expanded resources within DG REGIO *. He recalled that the mid- Term review of the Commission communication on the strategy of the RUPse will be held in 2017. It will make it possible to implement new instruments of action which are sustainable and adapted to the particularities of our regions.

In the course of the first quarter 2017, will also be held the IV Forum of the ultra periphery which is an exceptional platform of expression for our ultramarine regions. President Albuquerque has requested the support of the European Commission so that this event will be a success just like the previous forums.

Each Regional President was then able to express himself individually, thus emphasizing a singular characteristic of his territory.

The 1er Vice-President Guillaume Arnell, representing the Collectivité de Saint-Martin, chose to highlight the need for the European Commission to support the definition of a Regional Neighborhood Plan (PVR) between the territories of the Caribbean Basin. In the subregion that concerns us, this PVR, a true regional strategic framework, could be piloted by the RUP Saint-Martin. It would also allow the creation of a common cooperation area for neighboring neighboring territories in key areas such as health, justice, security, education and immigration. It would also make it possible to define a common and sustainable economic space that would focus on trade liberalization, regional trade integration and the development of infrastructure networks. This space would insist on the protection of the environment, while promoting socio-cultural exchanges and partnership work.

* The Directorate-General for Regional Policy (DG REGIO) is the European Commission's service in charge of European actions for the socio-economic development of disadvantaged regions of the European Union. The Regional Policy DG is primarily responsible for the management of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which operates in the 15 member states.

ARUP installs new board of directors

The day before, on Thursday 28 April 2016, took place the statutory meetings of the Association of French ORs (ARUP), in Brussels. The new councilors, elected during the last regional and territorial elections, were able to learn about the activities carried out by the ARUP over the past two years, in particular the joint actions and missions carried out so far. The balance sheet presented on this occasion, shows a positive balance, which leaves the ARUP the means of its future ambitions.

These 28 meetings in April also enabled the ARUP's new Board of Directors to be set up as follows:

- President of the ARUP: Rodolphe Alexandre, President of the Territorial Collectivity of Guyana.
- 1er Vice-President: Ary Chalus, President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe
- 2e Vice-President: Alfred Marie-Jeanne, President of the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique
- Treasurer: Aline Hanson, President of the Community of Saint-Martin
- Secretary: Soibahadine Ibrahim Ramadani, President of the Departmental Council of Mayotte

The new Board of Directors is elected for a two-year term. Among its objectives, ARUP intends to strengthen its action with the Community institutions and also wants to review, in the near future, the means of its actions and the organization of its branch in Brussels.

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