Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

1 million to help young people in the outermost regions of France, Spain and Portugal

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Thursday, May 5th 2022 à 15:20 | Read 298 times

Young people in the nine outermost European regions will be able to propose development projects and have them financed thanks to the launch of a call for proposals by the European Commission.

4.8 million Europeans live in the outermost regions (map: European Commission)
4.8 million Europeans live in the outermost regions (map: European Commission)
FRANCE / SPAIN / PORTUGAL. On Wednesday 4 May 2022, the European Commission launched a call for proposals to help local young people in the outermost regions to create development projects at home. With a budget of €1 million, it is the direct consequence of the adoption, the day before, of a "renewed strategy" for the EU's most remote regions aimed at "unlocking their potential through appropriate investments and reforms", as the European Commission states.

Nine regions are concerned, all of them in southern European countries: six in France (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion, Saint-Martin), two in Portugal (Azores and Madeira) and one in Spain (Canary Islands).

The European Commission intends to act to improve the living conditions of these 4.8 million inhabitants. "The aim is to support the ecological and digital transitions and to build on their unique assets, such as a young population in many areas, vast maritime areas, unique biodiversity and research potential. The Commission will also provide tailor-made support to strengthen the dialogue with the outermost regions," a statement said.

EU outposts in the world

Our outermost regions may be far from the European continent, but they are very important for the EU, with their young population, unique biodiversity and rich renewable energy sources," said Valdis Dombrovskis. These regions also face serious problems, such as high unemployment and low economic output, and have also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic."

The European Commission's Executive Vice President for a People-Centred Economy also stresses the need to "help them further exploit their potential, with the EU institutions working in close partnership with each region and Member State concerned to devise specific development strategies for recovery and growth. The strategy focuses on the social side, improving living conditions and fighting poverty, and will support the ecological and digital transitions of these regions, where the problem of high food and energy prices has been compounded by Russian aggression in Ukraine. It will create new opportunities through dedicated funding and tailored support for each of these valuable EU regions to help them build on their unique strengths." 

These outermost regions also have a strategic location for space and astrophysical activities, vast maritime economic zones, considerable potential for the further development of key sectors such as the blue economy, sustainable agriculture, research or ecotourism. But also a position as a front-runner for the EU in the world.

70 actions planned

The call for proposals is the first stage of a two-year project which, in the framework of the European Year of Youth 2022, will support at least 70 actions by young people aged 15 to 24. They will have to develop ideas and actions for the community linked to EU priorities, such as the green and digital transition, socio-economic recovery, and equality and inclusion. A call to action for young people to benefit from these grants will be published by the end of 2022.

"Young people can become agents of change, entrepreneurs and innovators in their local communities. We need the vision, commitment and participation of young people to shape the future of the EU, leaving no one or region behind. We want to give young people in the outermost regions the opportunity to be the architects of their own future. This is an opportunity to develop actions that will make a difference in these particularly remote and vulnerable regions," commented Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform.

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