Alícia Homs, MEP of the PSIB-PSOE, together with a group of MEPs from other European islands, has sent a letter to the President of the Commission and to the Presidents of the Parliament and of the European Council calling on the European Union to pay special attention to the situation of vulnerability of island regions in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
"The island territories are facing the crisis generated by the COVID19 pandemic from a situation of special vulnerability, since our economies depend on the most affected sectors, such as tourism, maritime transport, and air transport," Homs stressed in the missive.
For the socialist MEP, "a blank tourist season could mean an insurmountable economic situation for many islands if the European solidarity mechanisms are not applied forcefully".
For this reason, Homs has defended that "European regional policy must take all this into account and must help territories such as the Balearic Islands so that we are not left behind."
Regarding the transport sector, Homs has taken advantage of the letter to request "that the new limit of the de minimis rule approved in the temporary framework of State aid for island territories be maintained beyond the COVID19 crisis." In her opinion, "We believe that this would help our companies overcome the competitive disadvantage caused by insularity."
This is a de minimis limit for the transport of goods that is set at EUR 200,000 per company every three years, but which has now been changed to EUR 800,000 by 2020. And the socialists ask for this to be maintained.
In any case, Homs hopes that the European Union will meet the needs expressed in a letter that includes "the main and specific problems of island territories with the aim of raising awareness about them" and so that the European Union will take us into account when developing policies to face COVID19 ".