Lately, the small islands of ESIN have been invited to dance with the elephants: the Brussels meeting in June, where Sandy, Terry, Mairtin, Urmas, Helena, RoseMarie and Christian participated among MEPs, mayors and ministers, the Irish President visited Mairtin on Cape Clear in June, Camille is (maybe) going to Okinawa and now, Denis and Christian has met with the French Prime Minister on the island where the French sun goes down: Ouessant.
The Association des îles du Ponant – AIP – signed a contract with the state and the Region, ensuring around 10 MEUR in extra financing for the islands development for the next five years.
ESIN was invited to give a speech on the general situation for small islands in Europe. I was chosen to do it as I can do it in French and boy I can tell you they were relieved when this strange foreigner spoke to them in their own language.
Denis Palluel – mayor of Ouessant and chairman of AIP – made a brilliant speech which I am going to translate into English and publish here in the next couple of days.
Here are some pictures from the event: the prime minister Mr Manuel Valls; a pair of twitters from the newspaper France Ouest with yours truly and the President of the Brittany University saying: ”Islands? Open-air labs!”; the AIP board on the steps of the Mairie with almost all of the island mayors; and the signing of the contract with Denis Palluel in a tie (!) and a jacket (!), the Regional Minister for Bretagne, and the Prime Minister.