Joseph Borg, Michael Galea and Jesmond Buttigieg  participated in the INSULEUR General Assembly and the accompanying workshop organized in collaboration with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the European Small Islands Federation, and the CPMR Islands Commission . Held on June 28, 2024, in Brussels, these events were pivotal in continuing to address the unique challenges faced by European island economies.

INSULEUR General Assembly

The General Assembly, which convened included crucial discussions on institutional matters, cooperation on EU projects, and the approval of previous meeting minutes. Key agenda items featured:

– Review of the presidency’s activities for the last semester by President Joseph Borg.

– Discussions on ongoing and future EU projects led by Irene Mikelis and Danai Krokou.

– Deliberations on institutional issues, including the extension of the current Board of Directors’ mandate and a request from Guadeloupe CCI to participate as an observer.

In his introductory intervention Joseph Borg, President of INSULEUR, highlighted that “INSULEUR has been highly effective in advocating for island issues. I firmly believe that by maintaining our collaborative efforts, we can continue to advance the interests of islands at every level.”

Workshop: “European Island Economies Need More Attention at the New Cohesion Policy After 2027”

Following the General Assembly, a hybrid workshop was conducted focusing on the imperative for more targeted support for island economies in the forthcoming EU Cohesion Policy. Joseph Borg, President of INSULEUR, emphasized the necessity for policies that address the socio-economic and geographical challenges specific to island regions. The workshop underscored the following points:

– The urgent need for island-specific measures within the EU’s Strategic Agenda for 2024-2029.

– The critical importance of integrating the “insularity clause” into EU legislation to ensure that economic and social decisions consider the impacts on island regions.

– The role of the Just Transition Fund in mitigating the socio-economic impacts of the EU’s green transition on island.

In his introductory remarks Joseph Borg highlighted the persistent neglect of island territories in policy implementation, despite the provisions of Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which mandates attention to regions suffering from severe and permanent natural or demographic disadvantages. He called for concrete measures to address these challenges, ensuring that island regions are not left behind in the EU’s strategic agenda.

Joseph Borg’s intervention can be accessed here.

The workshop’s concept note and agenda can be accessed here.

The participation of the Gozo Business Chamber in these significant events reflects its ongoing commitment to advocating for the sustainable development and economic resilience of island communities. The Chamber remains dedicated to ensuring that the specific needs of Gozo and other European islands are prominently addressed in future EU policies.