The 18th of May 2017 marks an important milestone for Europe's islands, signifying a clear recognition of their contribution to Europe's transition to a low-carbon, sustainable and inclusive economy!
In the frame of the informal meeting of Energy ministers that took place in Valetta under the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU, Ministers of 14 Members States including from Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Italy, Croatia, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Finland and Estonia signed together with the European Commission a political declaration to launch the new "Clean Energy for EU Islands" initiative.
The initiative builds on the Commission's "Clean Energy for All Europeans" Communication of November 2016 and is aimed at accelerating the clean energy transition on EU islands, by helping them reduce their dependency on energy imports through enhanced exploitation of their own renewable energy sources and uptake of more modern and innovative energy systems.
Members States expressed their full support to the Initiative as a stable, long-term framework that will help support replicable and scalable projects through the provision of financing and technical capacity for islands. To this end, they invited other countries to join the cause!
This development signals the significant progress islands have achieved in having their challenges as much as their potential reflected in EU policies!
The Smart Islands Initiative, spearheaded by island local and regional authorities of the Members States signing the Declaration, has been a key driver in building momentum and catalyzing the national and European support for islands in Europe!