The European Small Islands Federation (ESIN) is an association representing 360,000 islands on 1640 small European islands. It acts on local and European level with an aim of developing island policies and advocating the interests of the islanders. In an internal statement, federation members nominated Croatian MEP Tonino Picula with 76% of votes, between five finalists (Alyn Smith from Scotland, Matt Carthy from Ireland, Maria Spyrakis from Greece, Iskra Mihaylova from Bulgaria), pointing out that Picula initiated important changes in EU access towards islands and has been a driving force in securing financial instruments for the islands.
"Projects I promote as a MEP, I do so because I deeply believe in them. I am proud that my work is recognized by a very vulnerable population - the islanders. This recognition of ESIN comes after last week's Greening Island award for our Water Saving Project and that's why I see it as another confirmation of the quality of everything we are trying to achieve for the islands", said Picula after the nomination.
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