The 150-page Eurisles publication Off the coast of Europe, commissioned by CPMR, was published in 2002. It emphasized that although islands are considerably diverse they have common social, economic and environmental challenges. These represent various structural constraints that result in multiple consequences, such as:
(1) A below average GDP per capita and higher cost of living due to insularity;
(2) Small size of markets and weaker competition result in lower wages and reflect the lower living standards present on islands;
(3) The exceptional environment of islands is often threatened by the seasonality of the tourism industry and the vulnerability to climatic and seismic events, apart from their being more exposed to environmental disasters.
These vulnerabilities are compounded by other difficulties such as the fragmentation of territories due to poor accessibility.
The study also entered into the effectiveness, or otherwise, of EU polices in respect of islands and the impact of certain policies on European islands. EU state and regional aid and agricultural and fisheries aid did (and do) not always favour islands because island dimensions are not always taken into consideration when it comes to planning or designing polices.
The study proposed a new deal between the EU and its islands, also in the light of the then enlargement of the EU to the ten new member states. It also mentioned the need to use appropriate indicators to help monitor policies and insisted on the necessity to regard islands as a distinct space in EU statistics and in the EU policies drawn upon them.
It is said to exist in a French version too, but I haven’t fount it (yet).