The European Union (EU) plans to finance more than € 2 billion for the Azores and Madeira by 2020 in the new strategy for the outermost regions, focusing in particular on the blue economy and innovation.
According to data released today in Brussels, the Azores have budgeted 1.45 billion euros in the budget framework 2014-2020, and it is expected that the funding will result in the support of 1,045 companies, with the direct creation of 3,000 jobs, among other measures.
Madeira receives € 595 million of funds to double public investment as a percentage of gross domestic product in the same period, create 1,147 new jobs and support 450 companies, among other measures.
Funding is also provided for cooperation between the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands (€ 127 million), the European Maritime Fund and Fisheries (€ 102 million for the Azores and Madeira) and funds for agriculture (up to € 106 million of annual euros for the two regions).
These data were released during the annual conference of the outermost regions (ORs) – the nine European regions that are thousands of kilometres from the European continent – in the Canary Islands, Spain.
In the Azores, the European Commission highlights support for a project to create a space dedicated to fairs and exhibitions on Terceira island, which received four million euros from the European Social Fund (ESF).
In the archipelago, the Valorizar Network project – to validate and certify school skills – also received an amount of 10.6 million euros from the ESF.
In Madeira, the Community executive gives as examples the Ocean Observatory, supported with 1.7 million euros by the European Regional Development Fund, and the installation of a satellite control centre, which the same fund shares with 2.7 million euros.
As regards the European Strategic Investments Fund (EIFF), it provides for the mobilization of more than € 2.2 billion of additional investment mobilized in the outermost regions.
The European Investment Advisory Board (Hub platform) has also developed avenues for improving access to finance for businesses in these regions.
The European Commission wants – with the strategies for the ORs – to promote innovation, the circular economy and blue growth in the outermost regions.