NEW’S | European Commission should “swiftly implement” commitments with Outermost Regions, defends Faria e Castro

© Governo dos Açores

The Regional Under Secretary of the Government of the Azores, Pedro de Faria e Castro, has seen his opinion on the European Commission’s communication on the new Community strategy for the Outermost Regions approved by the Committee of the Regions. It is now time for Brussels to “swiftly implement” the commitments made.

“Now is the time to swiftly implement the Commission’s commitments to these regions. I am sure that this opinion of the Committee of the Regions is another decisive step towards the implementation of the immediate responses that are essential to face the current context and the challenging times ahead, which particularly affect the most fragile regions such as the Outermost Regions,” said the government official.

Accompanied by the Regional Director for European Affairs and External Cooperation, Carlos Amaral, Faria e Castro is in Brussels this week to take part in the 153rd Plenary Meeting of the Committee of the Regions.

As rapporteur, Faria e Castro will present the opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the communication of the European Commission – for this work, the Under Secretary consulted all Outermost Regions and met with the governments of Portugal, Spain and France, the Member States with such regions.

“Sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and tourism are the basis of economic activity in the Outermost Regions, providing a livelihood for families living in these regions. It is essential to mobilise and strengthen European policies to meet the challenges faced by the traditional sectors of the Outermost Regions,” noted Regional Under Secretary.

For Pedro de Faria e Castro, “we must not forget that the Outermost Regions are territories that offer the European Union a wide range of opportunities in the current geopolitical framework and in the context of systemic changes within the European and international economy.”

He continued: “It is impossible to harness this potential without addressing the structural weaknesses and constraints of these territories, which require the adaptation of European policies.”

The EU Outermost Regions are territories facing permanent structural constraints, identified in Article 349 of the TFEU, which have a clear and direct impact on key sectors and shape contemporary life.

The European Commission’s strategy is focused on people and proposes measures to improve the lives of the five million people living in these regions: fostering the ecological and digital transition and building on their unique assets, such as young populations, extensive coastlines, unique biodiversity and research potential.

The Committee of the Regions, which meets this week, is the advisory body composed of local and regional representatives of the European Union (EU), representing the views of subnational authorities (i.e. regions, counties, provinces, municipalities and cities) within the EU’s institutional framework.

The treaties require the European Commission and the Council of the European Union to consult the Committee of the Regions whenever new proposals are made in areas that have an impact at a regional or local level.

Pedro de Faria e Castro expects that the recently approved opinion will be a decisive step towards providing the immediate responses that are essential to address the current context and the current challenging times.


Mauricio De Jesus
Maurício de Jesus é o Diretor de Programação da Rádio Ilhéu, sediada na Ilha de São Jorge. É também autor da rubrica 'Cronicas da Ilha e de Um Ilhéu' que é emitida em rádios locais, regionais e da diáspora desde 2015.