November 20, 2017 Internet & Press

Without jobs and school there will be no life on islands!

MEP Tonino Picula is persistently involved with the islands. He is the founder of the Intergroup for Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal areas in which he is responsible for all European islands. European Small Islands Federation, representing 360 thousand islands on 1640 small European islands, chose Picula as a MEP who did the most for the islands in the European Parliament and decided to nominate him for the best MEP in the category of regional development.

Few words about the Water Saving Project: what would specifically mean the saving of water on Croatian islands if we know that in most cases they are dry and waterless - especially in agriculture?

The islanders of eight islands from Croatia, France, Greece and Ireland, gathered to combine their experiences and solutions to develop a broadband water management model. Island experience based on innovative technologies and policies would serve as an example for other, both island and mainland, communities. It is about realizing the concept of "smart islands" in practice. Croatian islands have a problem with water, therefore they are suitable for this project. Our islands have to come up with ways for rational disposal of water - the experience is precious and we want to make it available for as many communities as possible. The islands participating in the project themselves do not have a complete solution, but through WaSaC they learn from one another and there is already an initiative to apply practice from one island to another or to improve the good, but partial solutions, significantly.

Your amendment received two million euros in the island for boosting production of electric energy from renewable sources - what is it specifically about? How to increase this amount to 12 million euros?

Two million euros are intended to develop as much energy as possible on the island and each island should recognize his capacities and potentials. Whether it is wind, sun or something else, decides each island for itself. I am convinced that local communities always know best what they have, and politics should create the conditions to utilize theirs capacities. Will the current amount increase from 2 million to 10 depends on the Commission, but I am convinced that great interest in this project is a good incentive for that to happen.

How can we stop the depopulation of Croatian islands?

I listen to the islanders and they say that without two things there is no life on the island: jobs and schools. The first thing I did as a representative in the European Parliament was alarming the EU institutions about the closure of schools on islands. I invited children and teachers from Prvić, Iž and Silba into the European Parliament to warn that losing schools means losing life on islands. To encourage economic activity on the islands and to develop educational infrastructure is a matter of political decision of thestate that has to say: this should be our strategic goal!

Read the entire interview on the link.

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