The Islands Commission has regularly lobbied the European Commission and the European Parliament to ensure that islands and island issues are taken on board in EU legislation. Regional policy, and maritime policy such as transport, energy and the environment have traditionally been its main fields of action.
With each successive development of the Treaty, the Islands Commission has campaigned to strengthen the provisions specifically related to the islands or which are of direct interest to them.
Under the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty, it gained the inclusion of a brief reference to the islands in Article 158 on economic and social cohesion and also the adoption of a "joint declaration" on Island Regions (Declaration 30), which acknowledges the permanent structural constraints facing islands, and accepts that, whenever necessary, specific policies may be implemented for these Regions.
In 2004, the Islands Commission led a successful campaign targeted at the European Convention and the Intergovernmental Conference to ensure that the draft Constitutional Treaty :
i) considered territorial cohesion as one the Unionís objectives alongside economic and social cohesion,
ii) made an explicit reference (Article III-200) to the specific situation of regions suffering from serious or permanent geographic and demographic handicaps, including the islands.
The Islands Commission has initiated technical cooperation networks such as:
The ISLENET network, which deals with energy and environmental issues as they pertain to island communities and more specifically renewable energies, energy efficiency, smart grids, solar, biomass & biogas potential, marine energies, desalination, solid waste treatment and other technologies and policies that aim at achieving the EU 2020 climate objectives.
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