Smart islands conference

Smart conference

On September 6, our vice president Eleftherios Kechagioglou was ESIN’s representative at the SMART Policies for SMART Islands conference on the Croatian island of Krk.

He reports about the the conclusions from the conference:

1. Islands have unique features as well as specific problems and opportunities, and it is possible to define 4 priority areas:

  • Energy independence of islands – ensure transition from conventional to hybrid and finally to fully renewable energy sources
  • Sustainability – encourage primary production which would meet food demands and requirements of the local population in that segment
  • Transport connectivity
  • Development of integral sector policies and strategies

2. Encourage primary sector activities to avoid insular entrepreneurship becoming a monoculture in the form of tourism and hospitality

3. Special tax reliefs are needed on the islands, ensure a lower VAT rate or complete VAT exemption for insular products which the island’s population consumes and produces on its island

4. Invest in mobility, promote the use of pollution-free forms of eco transport, co-finance of public transport costs for the island’s population

5. Support standardization and introduction of digital technology according to Malta’s model of good practice and the system implemented in the Croatian national linear transport

6. Islands must have an important place in the EU Cohesion Policy

7. A greater investment of public funds in health prevention and quality of life of the island’s population is needed

8. Special attention and incentive from the EU funds should be given to island regions to build centers of innovation and smart specialization as a basis for development and competitiveness

Thank you Eleftherios, here shown with Denis Baric, chairman of our Croatian member organisation Otocni Sabor

Denis och Lefteris

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