On this occasion, MEP Picula presented the initiatives of the European Parliament on the islands, in the light of the Resolution on the special status of European Islands, adopted last year in February. He called the EU institutions to a fairer relationship towards European islands and for preserving cohesion policy as the main instrument for investing in the Union, as well as on island areas. He noted that th new Act on the islands is underway in Croatia which welcomes the examples of good practice from other Member States.
"We cannot correct the past but we want to influence the future of European policies towards islands. We welcome the latest initiatives involving islands such as the establishment of the European Energy Islands Forum", stressed Picula, who's engaged in representing the island theme in the European institutions.
Commissioner Cre?u welcomed the last week launch of the European Islands Energy Forum on Crete and agreed with MEP Picula on the importance and irreplaceability of cohesion policy, also in the light of the concern for development and well-being of European islanders.
"No one in the EU can be left aside, especially areas that suffer from geographical imbalance, which is certainly the case with the islands", emphasized Cre?u.
She also commented on the pressures that the Cohesion policy should be abolished and replaced by other financial instruments for investment and called for further cooperation and support of the European Parliament. At a joint meeting, they agreed to hold a joint Forum on the future of European islands with representatives of all European institutions and EU Member States. The forum will be held early next year. The Forum's goal is to coordinate all levels of decision-making when it comes to islands, but also to adopt proposals for more active European policy towards the islands in the new multi-annual budget period.
MEP Picula is the co-founder of the European Parliament's Intergroup in charge of the islands and by creating this working body the islands have come to the focus of European institutions. It should be noted that the launch of the Forum on Crete was foreseen by the Action Plan that Picula proposed last August, together with his colleagues Sant and Giuffrida, for which, after a positive evaluation of the European Commission for the islands, he was approved 2 milion euros from the European budget!
In May, Picula hosted a high-level conference devoted to the EU's support for island investment in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. For the first time, representatives of the European Commission, the EP's Regional Development Committee, the Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR) and the representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee were present at the same place, confirming the commitment of European institutions to adjust cohesion policy which says that the islands are closer to securing easier access to funds and investments.