It was an eventful week (24 – 27th) for our Chamber as we continued to stress the importance of sustainability for islands through our participation at the Greening the Islands E-Convention between the 24th and the 26th November, and the EU Islands Forum on the 27th.

On the 24th November, Joseph Borg as President of INSULEUR (the Network of the Insular Chambers of Commerce of the European Union), participated as a member of the panel during the workshop Islands as Laboratories of Innovation and Climate Change MitigationHe highlighted how islands are the regions most affected by the effects of climate change.  To this end, islands need to be upfront in the implementation of measures which are targeted towards enhancing their sustainability and resilience.  However, their insularity can also be a positive feature when it comes to the testing of innovative technologies related to sustainability, which can in turn create a positive economic impact on islands.

Joseph Borg also intervened during the EU Islands Forum, organised by the ‘Greening the Islands’ on the 27th, in a workshop on EU Policy Legislation and Regulation.  Together with Giuseppe Sciacca, from the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe they set the scene of the current situation in islands. Joseph Borg spoke of the various interventions made with the Heads of the European Institutions, and Members of the European Council, outlining how important it is to ensure that a fair share of the recovery funds, consonant with the difficulties faced, are directed to islands. Joseph Borg also highlighted the importance of measures targeted towards sustainability. Islands are the regions most directly impacted by the effects of climate change. However, sustainability has two facets. We also need to diversify island economies as currently many islands are dependent on certain sectors such as tourism.

Joseph Borg, also addressed the Workshop on Digital Transition of INSULAR SMEs: A Follow-up of the Gozo Forum’ The workshop was organised by INSULEUR within the context of the EU Island Forum. This was also an important occasion in view of INSULEUR’s 20 years and was a follow-up on the INSULEUR Forum held last year which focused on the Digital Transition in European Islands. MEP Josianne Cutajar was invited to address this workshop in view of this important occassion for INSULEUR.  Speakers for the workshop included also Dr Gordon Cordina, Vasilis Salapatas, and Elena Tanou. The workshop was chaired by George Asonitis.

The General Assembly of INSULEUR was held directly after this workshop.  Joseph Borg, Michael Galea, and Daniel Borg participated in the General Assembly of INSULEUR.  Joseph Borg, as President of INSULEUR, chaired the meeting. It was indeed a very interesting discussion with each participant highlighting the specific situation in their respective islands. As discussed various times the COVID-19 pandemic has affected islands very negatively. Michael Galea, Vice President of the GBC and of INSULEUR, spoke of the specific situation in Gozo. Daniel Borg, CEO of the GBC, part of the technical committee of INSULEUR, spoke about the Blue Crowdfunding Webinar held in Gozo.