Discussion has been organized in the light of COVID-19 pandemic consequences that have reopened questions in regard to strengthening the resilience and safety of islands concerning recognized risks and emergency situations. In his intervention, EPM Picula reminded about the role of SEARICA as a platform that ensures strong visibility and voice of islands on the European level. He highlighted the creation of a secretariat of the initiative “Clean energy for EU islands” and the implementation of that initiative in the new “Green plan”, as one of its most relevant results, what proves that with hard work and precise, clear objective it is possible to achieve wonders. This is quite encouraging given the fact that we still have a lot of work before the full implementation of Article 174 on the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU, which clearly stresses the need for special policy in the matter of disadvantaged regions, islands especially, Picula emphasized.
The expert panel has gathered a series of island stakeholders and decision-makers who exchanged their experiences and lessons learned when it comes to measures and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They defined the challenges and the preferred direction of economic development of islands, highlighted the potentials of sustainable development models in the “post-corona” period, and pointed out the need for the creation of concrete measures for recovery of island economy and turning to sustainable models.
We have successfully brought out the islands from political anonymity in Europe and imposed them as a motor of the energy transition. The inhabitants of the islands are the ones most called for in relation to the progress of their islands and therefore I encourage longterm and permanent EU strategy for islands as the main instrument for sustaining islanders, Picula concluded at the end of his case.
"Celebrate islands 2020- Solutions are on islands", is a discussion organized by Island Movement in collaboration with a French association SMILO- Small Islands Organisation. Croatian version is a part of an online series of expert webinars that will be held in several European and Mediterranean countries (Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, Portugal, Tunisia, etc.)