EFA defends the recognition of a special status for EU islands at the Commission

Our President Lorena López de Lacalle and our member party Més per Menorca met with Cohesion and Reforms Commissioner Elisa Ferreira’s team to raise awareness on the islands special needs

The European Free Alliance brought the demand to recognize a special status for EU Islands this week to the Commission. The president of the party, Lorena López de Lacalle, next to our member party Més per Menorca, met Elisa Ferreira Cohesions and Reform Commissioner’s team. In the meeting, EFA stressed the importance of recognizing the special needs of European islands and the urgency to grant them a special status in the Treaties, one which provides the legal framework to apply special measures to compensate their territorial inequalities.

Another important topic tackled was the problem with housing for the islands’ inhabitants. Our delegation proposed that islands with housing problems should be able to adopt measures to keep the housing market prices low, such as limiting the right to buy properties to non-residents. EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle said: “Many European islands suffer great pressure in terms of housing”. “Their inhabitants are being slowly expelled from their houses, and some political measures must be applied to stop this process”, she added. Més per Menorca candidate to the Menorca Island Council Noemí Garcia stressed that “the Court of Justice of the European Union warranted that, for general interest reasons, capital movements related to property acquisition can be restricted”.

A common strategy

On Wednesday, EFA MEPs also met Més per Menorca representatives to strengthen EFA’s common strategy for EU islands. A joint political strategy involving all European islands is the key so that their demands are taken into account. Each island alone is a small territory, but more than 20 milion European citizens live in islands, so they are altogether a great amount of population. The Corsican MEP François Alfonsi said after the meeting: “The Pact for the Islands voted by the European Parliament must be on the agenda for the Spanish presidency oF the Council of the EU for the second half of 2023”. Més per Menorca General Coordinator Miquel Àngel Maria agrees. “The Spanish presidency has to be an opportunity to advance in this direction, so we will provide the Spanish government with a realistic and feasible agenda to fulfil the recognition of the islands’ status at a European level”, he concluded.