ESIN

European Small Islands Federation

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New Island Definition

Kotisaari

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy has provided us with a new definition of the elusive nature of an island, ”being characterised as permanently inhabited with a population of minimum 20, surrounded by saline water, whether or not interconnected by road, power line or any other infrastructure.”

This was created within the context of the ”Islands Initiative” which shall support transition to clean energy on islands.

We most happily acknowledge our European Union has come a long way from its old opinion that an island is not an island if it has fewer than 50 permanent residents, is attached to the mainland by a rigid structure, is less than 1 km from the mainland, or is home to the capital of an EU state.

Thank you Brendan Devlin! It may seem a small step for a European Government official, but it is a giant step for our part of mankind.

Just making sure: basically, an island remains a piece of land surrounded by water.

The island pictured is Kotisaari near to Rovaniemi in Finland, photo Jani Ylinampa. It does not have 20 inhabitants, no electricity, it is in a sweetwater lake, there is a flagpole, a well and a bridge and it is an island and a home to people who deserve our respect and understanding.

New funding for clean energy on islands

Samsö windmillThe European Commission has announced an increase in the budget for Europe’s islands amounting to an impressive 10 million euros.

In Brussels, MEP Tonino Picula met with Cristopher Jones (Deputy General Director of the Commission’s Energy Directorate) who confirmed this information and thanked him for the initiative so far.

The reason for this meeting was the continuation of the implementation of the Preparatory Action proposed by Tonino Picula last year, and for which 2 million has already been approved from the EU budget.

Namely, Picula, together with his colleagues Alfred Sant (MEP from Malta) and Michela Giuffrida (MEP from Italy) from the Inter-Group of the European Parliament for the Sea, Rivers, Islands and Coastal areas, of which Picula is responsible for European Islands, put in place an amendment, following a positive evaluation from the European commission and the European Parliament, ha managed to obtain the aforementioned 2 million euros for the islands.Tonino-1-2

“The goal of this action is to make the islanders [themselves] the leaders in the use of clean energy, to become the models for solutions at a European level. To help them make the most of the electricity they use by using local clean energy sources and thus become more autonomous in regard to their energy supply”, says Picula.

Tenders will be announced next month (November 2017) and funds will be allocated within the next two years. The deadline for applications is January 2018.