European Small Islands Federation

Archive for Transport

2nd Smart Islands Forum

The 2nd Forum of Smart European Islands is scheduled to take place in Brussels on 28 March 2017, hosted by the European Parliament.
It is organized by European island authorities and actors on 28 of March 2017 seeks to present to EU stakeholders the progress on the Smart Islands Initiative and put the basis for a more efficient organization/network in the near future. It builds on the outcomes of the 1st Smart Islands Forum that took place in Athens, on 21-22 June and organized by Aegean Energy & Environment Agency and the Network of Sustainable Greek Islands.
Until June 2017 Malta will hold the Presidency of the Council and is expected to push for an EU islands agenda. At the same time, the European Commission has shown its intention to promote policies that tap into islands’ potential to drive Europe’s energy transition – see Annex II of the recent Communication on Clean Energy for All Europeans.
The Smart Islands Initiative is an effort of European island authorities and communities driven from the bottom-up.
We are in a good path. The initiative has attracted the attention of many institutions, including the European Commission. To this end we should show where we stand in terms of collecting signatures from your island authorities.

Island residents treated as guinea pigs, says Finnish newspaper

In Finland, the government is keen to promote digital business and new business models. To this end, free traffic service in the archipelago is said to prevent commercial producers of transportation services to gain entry into the market and impairs the possibility of developing a free traffic service market in the area, said the Finnish Ministry of Communication in a memorandum yesterday.

This is causing much agitation among the islanders in Finland.

The draft regulation proposes that a reasonable fee should be charged for traffic and transport services that government partly subsidies. There would be no exceptions for the residents of these islands.

Finnish newspaper Åbo Underättelser (covering the Turku area embracing the largest archipelago of Finland) says this is a severe discrimination of the 500 residents: The government has no idea what it is doing. They use the islanders as guinea pigs. This is not only wrong, it is a direct affront to our archipelago, one of the most vulnerable areas in the nation right now. Toll service boats is the government’s way of saying that it is too expensive to serve people living in uncomfortable places in the country.

As ESIN board member Pia Prost stated in her recent article in Skärgård magazine[1], there are all in all 4.300 residents on about 250 islands without fixed links in Finland’s archipelagoes, out of totally 22.000 islands.

The editorial titled “An insult to the archipelago”can be read here (in Swedish)



As a reaction to these changes in the existing ferry fares system, ESIN chairman has written a “Letter of Concern” to Finnish Minister of Communication Anne Berner (attached).


A small, self-governing island may hand over its roads to self-driving cars

Isle of Man looks at introducing self-driving cars. Writes Matt McFarland in the Washington Post:

‘For some, a small island — far from the lumbering bureaucracies and swarming cities of large nations — would be an obvious launching point for the first large-scale public trials of fully autonomous vehicles.

‘“Things can be tried on an island that may not be practical in a city,” said David Alexander, an analyst at Navigant Research. “On the mainland there will always be someone who wants to go beyond the range of the trial and will then proclaim how useless autonomous cars are.”’

Isle of Man