The post-COVID recovery will be much longer and much more difficult in some regions than others. This, unfortunately, is especially the case for many Islands, mountainous and sparsely populated areas, which are witnessing the bankruptcy of entire economic sectors such as tourism.
As an exhaustive example, according to the available data, some islands will record a loss of around 26% of their GDP. The crisis also directly affects the daily life of many cross-border citizens in mountainous areas. For instance, in the Pyrenees, up to 89.4% of cross-border persons have stopped their socio-economic activities due to the closure of the borders.
Therefore, Euromontana, CPMR (Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions) and NSPA (Northern Sparsely Populated Areas network) sent last December 2020 joint letters to Mrs Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, and to MEP Omarjee, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee for Regional Development. Our organisations call on them to support a European strategy for our regions and to engage a dialogue between the European Parliament and the European Commission. Such a strategy could deliver on the territorial cohesion objective as per Article 174 of the Lisbon Treaty and ensure a balanced recovery across Europe, including in islands, mountainous and sparsely populated areas.7 January 2021