The Islands Commission is one of the 6 Geographical Commissions of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe, and its oldest (founded in 1980).
Its membership covers twenty-three European regional island authorities from 11 countries located in the Mediterranean, North Sea, Baltic Sea and the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
These regions represent a total population of around 15 million.
Aims of the Islands commission
To urge the European Institutions and Member States to pay special attention to the islands, to acknowledge the permanent handicaps resulting from their insularity, and to implement policies that are best suited to their condition. With the Amsterdam Treaty in 1997, it succeeded in getting a short reference to the islands included on economic and social cohesion (Article 174 of the Lisbon Treaty).
The Islands Commission is invited to work together with EU institutions or certain national governments on account of its expertise on island issues.
Among other things, it also aims to foster interregional cooperation between islands, especially on issues in direct relation with their insularity.
Organisation and Means of the Islands Commission
The Islands Commission is directed by the assembly of its members (which meet twice a year), the Political Bureau and its President.
It is entirely financed by an annual subscription paid by its members.
An Executive Secretary is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Islands Commission, with the backing of the CPMR Secretariat. All the member regions ratify the appointment of the Executive Secretary by a vote during one of the annual Assemblies.
All Islands Commission members must be members of the CPMR.
The Islands Commission holds a General Assembly once a year. Each region has one vote for political decisions and budget issues.
It also organises a Pre-Assembly meeting once a year ahead of the CPMR’s Annual General Assembly.
The Islands Commission has regular contacts with other island structures and network organisations such as ESIN (European Small Islands Network), associations representing small islands (e.g. in Ireland, Finland and Croatia, etc.) or the INSULEUR Network which brings together island Chambers of Commerce and Industry from around the EU.