The Canary Islands will have "difficulties" in executing European funds

Torres claims to have asked for flexibility in terms after acknowledging that there is a lack of human resources

Ingrid Ortiz-Viera

The huge amount of community funds assigned to the islands comes up against the limited capacity of the archipelago to face its execution. The Canarian President
Angel Victor Torresacknowledged this Wednesday at a meeting in CANARIAS7 that there will be "difficulties" related to the lack of human resources.

Faced with these limitations – which extend to the rest of the communities and member states – the regional government ensures that mechanisms have been addressed so that the different ministries
can increase their templates. In addition, Torres affirmed, he will involve the private sector, "because of its experience and capacity", to increase the diligence of some items that plan to give some oxygen to the Canarian economy.

While Europe requires that the funds be spent
between 2021 and 2026 – with the possibility of a three-year extension in the case of the ordinary ones – the autonomous community has asked for “flexibility” to avoid returning them.


The strong investment comes hand in hand with the green transition, which in the case of the archipelago occupies a special relevance. It was the Government of Torres that began the legislature with the declaration of the Climate Emergency and the promoter of an ambitious law to lead this change towards sustainability that also marks Europe.

However, the international context and the long political and administrative times put new obstacles to its application. Regarding the first, the president affirmed that
with the invasion of Ukraine comes a diatribe between betting on clean energy and gas supply problems. “In this case, what was urgent prevailed over what was planned,” he acknowledged.

According to the
Climate Change Lawthat
has been stalled in Parliament for six months, The Canarian president assured that the relevance of the text requires enough time for the groups to make their contributions. "We are not going to abandon the objective and I trust that the norm will be approved this legislature."

Canary Islands, at the head of the ORs

On the other hand, next year the archipelago will have a new milestone on the path to consolidate recovery: the leadership of the Canary Islands among the Outermost Regions will coincide with the Spanish presidency of the European Union.

"If we don't take advantage of that opportunity, it would be a mistake," said Torres. "Here we must have
state perspectivebecause it will be between two legislatures, and it is important to put our virtues on the table and demand our rights».

The Canary Islands will thus assume a "proactive" part in the international framework where the Executive has already begun to take some steps.

Torres pointed out the new wording of carbon dioxide emission rights, which
will exempt the Canary Islands from the fees in maritime and air transport between islands, with the peninsula and the rest of Europe. “It is an example that we have been able to lead within the ORs something that was not easy at all”, he added.

This year, the Canary Islands will also host a major conference on tourist islands and a meeting of economy ministers from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but one of the Executive's greatest ambitions will be to achieve
European Tourism Agency.

In this sense, Torres assured that "we are better positioned than a few months ago" against the number one rival, Paris, but a decision has not yet been made.

With this, the archipelago would become an administrative nerve center for the tourism sector and a powerhouse for the whole Union, instead of just "the ideal destination for the winter market".

Another question is
which island would deserve to house the agency. A question that the president did not know how to answer, since he stated that it will be an important debate in which the insular balance will also have to be taken into account. "Hopefully the question is only to decide the place, because it will mean that we have won the race," emphasized the president.

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