small islands by designing island-archipelago support schemes. Grants or loans for investments in farming, fishing, crafts and services are reserved for such regions, under the administration of local or regional authorities. Sometimes the islands link up with adjacent areas on the mainland.

1 This organisation nowadays includes 149 regions from 27 states. In 1980, it set up a separate Islands Commission.

2 UNESCO's "Man and the Biosphere" programme considers an island "small" when its area is less than 10,000 square kilometres and its population is under 500,000.

3 At EU level, this was first expressed in the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties and subsequently in the Conclusions of the Presidency at the Nice Summit.

4 Notably, Martinique, Guadalupe, Reunion, Madeira, the Azores, the North Aegean islands, Saaremaa, Hiumaa and eventually Gozo.

5 In addition, Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain receive assistance for environmental and transport projects from the EU Cohesion Fund. Following EU enlargement, new countries, including Malta and Cyprus, should be added to this list.

6 For more information on this network the reader is referred to its website : http:// .