State Secretary for EU argues that the Balearic Islands, due to their island nature, should receive greater recognition in European policies

The State Secretary for the European Union, Juan González-Barba, made a working trip to the Balearic Islands (Majorca and Minorca) to address current European affairs with an impact on the region with the island institutions, with a particular focus on the disadvantages caused by their island nature and the post-Covid economic recovery.

The State Secretary met yesterday with the Regional Vice-President and Councillor for Energy Transition, Juan Pedro Yllanes, and the Regional Councillor for the Treasury and External Relations, Rosario Sánchez. At the meeting, they addressed issues related to the European Union (EU) that affect the Balearic Islands, particularly in the context of the pandemic, including the Recovery Plan, the health response and European mobility, disadvantages caused by its island nature, European secondary education content and the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Juan González-Barba conveyed the particular importance of the participation by the autonomous regions in the different lines of action of Spain before the EU institutions. The Government of Spain is working to alleviate the disadvantages of its island nature at an EU level, in coordination with the Regional Government of the Balearic Islands, for example, regarding the State support regime and environmental sustainability. Along this line, Vice-President Yllanes and Regional Councillor Sánchez had the chance to outline the content of the recent opinion of the Committee of the Regions entitled, “Towards a sustainable use of natural resources within the Mediterranean island framework”.

The economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has been particularly harsh on the Balearic Islands, which has been taken into account in distributing the REACT-EU funds. The Next Generation EU funds provide an opportunity to modernise the economic model of the Balearic Islands and support the tourism sector, stepping up the commitment to sustainability and digitalisation.

The institutional trip included a meeting and a debate with the parliamentary groups of the Regional Parliament of the Balearic Islands and an event at the University of the Balearic Islands. The State secretary also held three meetings with social stakeholders in Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza to hear the priorities of business associations and trade union representatives on European affairs. These meetings were also attended by the Regional Councillor for European Funds, Universities and Culture, Miquel Company, and the Regional Councillor for Economic Model, Tourism and Work, Iago Negueruela.

Lastly, Juan González-Barba met with representatives from the four island councils and the Mayor of Palma, José Hila. The State secretary also visited a traditional company in Mahon to witness first-hand the impact of European legislation on its activity.








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