Today, the European Commission, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, The Kingdom of Spain, and Sweden signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure the future of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative.
The Memorandum was announced today during a press conference of the Croatian Presidency, who has worked with all signing parties over the last months to finalise this document.
What does this mean for the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative?
The MoU ensures the establishment of a long-term structure for supporting EU islands in their energy transition. Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson highlighted in her statement that this Memorandum is an example of great cooperation among EU Member States. During the press conference, Croatian Minister of Environment Tomislav ĆORIĆ outlined the objectives of the initiative moving forward, namely
to support islands in their transition agendas;
to promote the participation, engagement and empowerment of citizens
to facilitate the creation of renewable energy communities
to promote projects
to promote the exchange of best practices
Why the Memorandum of Split?
The Memorandum of Split is a continuation of many years of efforts by the EU islands community to advance the energy transition in their territories.
In May 2017 the European Commission, together with 14 Member States, had signed the "Political Declaration on Clean Energy For EU Islands" under the Maltese Presidency.
This Declaration was born out of the recognition that islands and island regions face a particular set of energy challenges and opportunities due to their specific geographic and climatic conditions. The opportunities have the potential to make Europe’s island communities innovation leaders in the clean energy transition for Europe and beyond - a fact the European Commission explicitly recognised in its Communication on "Clean Energy for All Europeans", reassuring its commitment to ensure that the energy concerns of island inhabitants are at the forefront of the energy transition and related policy developments.
In cooperation with the European Parliament, the Commission in 2018 set up a Secretariat to deliver the objectives of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative.
Over the last two years, the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat has been supporting islands all across the EU in developing Clean Energy Transition Agendas, providing in-person and online capacity-building trainings as well as project-specific support to island communities, and supporting community building at from the local to the pan-European level.
The Memorandum of Split hence represents a continuation of the work done jointly by all members of the EU islands communities over the last years, which is now also enshrined in the EU Green Deal.