Cohesion Policy is the main EU investment policy which aims at reinforcing economic, social and territorial cohesion in all regions.
In this context, Article 174 of the Treaty underlines the need to pay “particular attention” to territories beset by serious or permanent geographic or demographic handicaps. Yet despite these provisions, it appears that island regions are not treated as areas suffering from serious handicaps under Cohesion Policy.
In its work, the Islands Commission calls for provisions to be introduced applicable at national and EU level, which could offset the handicaps of island territories and outermost regions.
It also calls for Cohesion Policy, as the EU policy that aims to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion, to be more favorable to the islands and asks to take into consideration Articles 174 (link) and 349 (link ) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU in future discussions.
Island territories are dependent on maritime and air transport which generate additional costs. This together with the absence of economies of scale affect companies and the offer of goods and services in island markets.
Under Articles 174 (link) and 175 (link) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the Islands Commission advocates differential treatment for island territories within the State aid system. It asks for islands to be eligible under the provisions for disadvantaged territories in order to alleviate as much as possible the effects of insularity.