Green and Circular Economy in the Outermost Regions

This report presents the state of play of legal and operational issues to be tackled with a view to better support a transition towards a green and circular economy in the EU Outermost Regions (ORs), including Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion Island, Saint-Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands.

The report has been developed through direct engagement with experts from the Commission, from the Members States and the ORs as well as a questionnaire circulated to the ORs. It provides information for the upcoming Commission Communications on a renewed EU strategy for the Outermost Regions, foreseen to be adopted in 2017.

The report assesses the state of play of in the ORs as regards to the shift in green and circular economy. It focuses on identifying barriers and drivers for progress while also exploring priorities to further catalyse and mainstream the green and circular economy, focusing on policy and regulatory needs, funding requirements and the role of the EU. Finally, the report identifies a range of concrete good practices that can inspire further action, with a potential to be replicated across different ORs or even more broadly in the EU.

The report concludes that the ORs can act as innovation centres and frontrunners for green and circular economy transition. In particular, the ORs are characterized by their rich biodiversity and unique natural heritage and - together with environmental quality - these aspects are a strong asset for ORs’ future development. However, their relative isolation, fragmented territory, limited economies of scale due to size, economic reliance on a few sectors and import dependency hampers the shift to a greener and circular economy. These specific aspects should be reflected by the European Commission in the 2017 Communication. Finally, policies and actions in the ORs on the green and circular economy can usefully take into account international fora and processes such as the SDGs, to ensure wider coherence and mutually supporting processes.

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