Prohens defends at the European Committee of the Regions a special regime for the relaxation of the de minimis Regulation for Mediterranean islands

Feb 1, 2024 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The President of the Government of the Balearic Islands, Margalida Prohens, has defended in the European Committee of the Regions the need for a specific regime for the islands of the European Union due to the flexibility in the application of the de minimis Regulation. She did so during her intervention in the debate on local issues of the European Union, on the flexibility of the rules on state aid for island territories.

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A special regime for the relaxation of the de minimis Regulation for Mediterranean islands

Prohens has asked for the support of the European institutions to recognize the uniqueness of the island territories and that, in this way, the exemption to the general rule is allowed, specifically in the transport of goods and by raising the threshold to compensate the insularity and the extra costs derived from it for families and companies, guaranteeing the competitiveness of these in the single market.

An issue added Prohens, which in the Balearic Islands has already mobilized economic, social and civil society agents around the manifesto “Joining forces to overcome the difficulties”. “A document that has been presented both to my Government and to the Government of Spain and which calls for the relaxation of State aid for the islands,” he said. In fact, on behalf of the signatories of this document, Jesús Esparza, a member of the Cercle d’Economia de Menorca, attended the plenary session.

Precisely, the president has also referred to the extension of the maximum limit of de minimis aid. “We applaud this measure, which represents an opportunity, although it is still insufficient to meet the needs of the island territories”, she said.

During his speech, he recalled that the European Parliament has already recognized insularity as “a permanent structural disadvantage”, making special mention to the case of archipelagos such as the Balearic Islands, with the double insularity suffered by the islands of Ibiza and Menorca, and the triple insularity suffered by Formentera. It is estimated that the extra cost of transport by insularity is between 74% and 100% compared to the intracontinental, which makes the provision of raw materials and goods more expensive and makes it impossible for companies in the islands to compete on equal terms in the single market of the Union.

“It is time for the European institutions to go a step further and move from words to deeds in the recognition of the uniqueness of the island territories of the European Union, as are also Corsica, Sardinia or the Maltese island of Gozo, with the project to which the Government of the Balearic Islands is committed like no one else,” he said.