Dear Members of the team “Les Ultramarins”,
Commissioner Elisa Ferreira has transferred to me your email announcing the creation of a website specifically dedicated to the populations of the French outermost regions living in metropolitan France and has asked me to thank you.
The European Commission is particularly attentive to the needs of outermost regions and of their populations. For more than 30 years, it has mobilised significant funding to tackle the specific needs and challenges faced by these territories, with the support of the various European Structural Funds. These efforts will continue in the years to come, thanks to a new generation of investments programmes that will cover the period 2021-2027.
In addition to providing funding for much needed investments, the Commission has continuously worked to address the specificities of outermost regions across its policies and has introduced special conditions in many different programmes to support participation of people from these regions. The outcomes of this engagement are multifold. For instance, a study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the outermost regions, published in November 2021, has provided a useful insight into the impact of the pandemic on the outermost regions and put forward recommendations on how best to support economic recovery and resilience in these territories. In the framework of the European Year of Youth 2022, the Commission will launch in the coming months a €1 million grant scheme exclusively for young people in the outermost regions and financed by the European Regional and Development Fund: “Empowering Youth in the EU Outermost Regions”. This project will provide young people aged between 15 and 24 years old from the outermost regions with small grants so that they can shape and implement projects at local level.
In view of all that, the Commission welcomes your initiative to create a new space for reflection and dialogue, which will prompt a wider debate about the problems affecting the populations of the French outermost regions living in metropolitan France.
P.O. Carlo Girlanda
Loredana von Buttlar