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Formentera hosts presentation of CES report on Balearic economy, employment and society in 2021

foto 2022xi memoria cesToday Ana Juan and Bartomeu Escandell, president and finance councillor, respectively, of the Consell de Formentera, met with Rafel Ballester Salvà, president of the Economic and Social Council (CES), to present the CES's 2021 report on the economy, employment and society of the Balearic Islands. After the meeting, Josep Valero González and Anna Grau, secretary general and head of studies, respectively, of the CES, joined in a presentation before representatives of the media.

President Juan described the CES's work as "essential", and "key to our having a more accurate picture of Formentera's social, economic and environmental situation." She also highlighted the entity's coordination with the Formentera Data Observatory, which "will help us make future decisions that our island needs".

Councillor Escandell hailed the increasingly disaggregated nature of data in the report, and the fact that information is presented in relation to Formentera and not to Pine Islands at large. "There is still work to be done", said Escandell, "but we value the improvement." The finance councillor also highlighted "the important role of the Formentera Data Observatory in supplying the CES with information".

In 2021 the regional GDP shrink 20.6% - more than any other autonomous community in Spain. However, the 10.4% expansion that followed was not only more impressive than rebounding growth in the other Spanish regions, it also far outpaced Spain's recovery as a whole (+5.4%) and that of the rest of Euro zone (+5.1 %).

From 2017 to 2019, the Pine Islands' GDP grew faster than in the rest of the islands, but in 2020 it shrank by more than a quarter (25.4%). Dependence on tourism and foreign tourism in particular laid bare a vulnerability to sectoral fluctuations, despite the fact that 2021 also came with strong signs of resilience and an 11.8% uptick in the GDP that outstripped recovery in the rest of the islands. At 15.6%, Eivissa and Formentera's projected GDP expansion in 2022 will continue to outstrip the growth witnessed by our neighbours.

However, in 2021, the Pine Islands continued to fall short of pre-pandemic figures, with rates of change in GVA that remained negative across the region: -12.4% in the Balearic Islands as a whole; -11.9% on Mallorca; -11.1% on Menorca and -16.6% in the Pine Islands.

In the Pine Islands, the market services sector represents a larger share of the total regional GVA (71.4%), slightly above the regional average (71%). While service sector activities vary widely, the predominance of tourism is near absolute.

In 2021, the region received 8.7 million tourists, almost triple the total recorded in 2020, but still half that of 2019. Of all the visitors to the Balearic Islands, 22%, of 1.91 million, came to Eivissa or Formentera. Two thirds of our visitors are foreigners, and one third are Spanish. Ninety-four per cent of travellers come to the Pine Islands in the medium-high season.

On average, visitors stay in the Pine Islands 6.6 days - below the Balearic average of 7.2 days. And yet, their daily expenditure is higher in the Pine Islands (€146) than elsewhere in the Balearics (€141). On average, each tourist in the Pine Islands spent €963.60 in 2021.

The hydrological drought index measures changes in the availability of drinking water from surface sources and groundwater (in a given management system and over an undetermined period of time) which may prevent demands on the system from being met. In this regard, Formentera was in a pre-alert situation for four months in 2021 (March, May, June and July).

In 2021, Formentera had five ABAQUA boats for posidonia patrols. Checks were carried out on 66,518 vessels (the highest figure for all the islands) and 824, or 1.2%, needed to be moved.

In 2020, the pandemic and litigation meant that waste removal operations were not carried out along the island's coasts. A year later, one of 21 vessels in the Balearic Islands was stationed at Formentera. In 2021, 2,551.28 kg of litter was collected from the coastline, a 30% increase.

Formentera has seven swimming areas. In 2021, 100% were rated excellent, the best figure of the entire archipelago.

As for the local job market, in 2021 the number of affiliated workers increased by 9.8% (elsewhere in the Balearics the figure was 2.4%). Formentera's rate on the seasonality index -which compares the number of affiliated workers in July and December- was 144.1% (elsewhere in the Balearics it was 26.1%). In July there were 2.4 more affiliated workers than in December, which highlights the high seasonality of the island. In 2021, 87.9% of all new contracts reported were in the services sector (the share in the Balearics as a whole was 82.8%), 10% were in construction (12.7%), 1.2 % in industry (3.4%) and 0.9% in agriculture (1.1%). After 2020, an atypical year in which lost-time workday accidents were halved, they increased by almost 44% the following year (exceeding those reported in 2019).

In 2021 only four autonomous communities reported population gains, among them the Balearic Islands, with 1,465 more people. The year closed with a total of 1,173,008 residents. Among the characteristic features of the Balearic Islands is a high proportion (46%) of residents born outside the region. Specifically, 21.6% were born in another autonomous community and 24.4% -the highest rate in Spain- were born in another country. On Formentera, 64% of the population was born outside the Balearics -the highest figure in the archipelago. More specifically, 30.8% were born in another autonomous community and 33.2% were born abroad.

Individuals over the age of 65 account for 16% of the total population in the Balearics - for the first time, this group represents a larger portion of the total than individuals under 16 (15.6%). On Formentera, however, the share of under-16s (13.1%) is still comparatively larger than the share of over-65s (12.7 %). The average Formentera resident is 41.3 years old. In 2021 the average pension was €803, well below the Balearic average of €967.

At €107,711, the average of residential properties is 27% above the Balearic average, and the figure has increased by 402% since 2011. Since 2020, building permits  in the Pine Islands increased 60%, the highest increase of all the islands.

24 November 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

In 2023 regional funding to Formentera reaches €11.4m–up €2.5m from 2022

foto 2022x financamentToday Ana Juan and Bartomeu Escandell, president and finance councillor of the Consell de Formentera, respectively, together with Iago Negueruela, regional minister of economic model, tourism and labour, unveiled the Balearic government's planned funding for Formentera in 2023. At €11.4 million, the figure exceeds this year's package by €2.5 million.

As highlighted by Minister Negueruela, with the draft budgets for 2023, the Balearic government plans to provide the island councils with "the most funding to date, for an overall year-on-year uptick of 28.8%". If approved, the combined increase of nearly €124 million will set a new funding record of €553 million.

The president of the Consell described the funding bump as "good news for Formentera because it enables us to advance in self-government and direct management so we can continue developing actions and projects to improve the island's social equilibrium". Juan insisted that with social policies, "understanding and coordination between the local and regional administrations is crucial".

Councillor Escandell also applauded the funding boost, and voiced hopes that it would be "structural and not temporary, enabling us to continue making Formentera a better island for residents and visitors".

Formentera's funding from the Govern balear has gone from €4.6 million in 2014 to €11.4 million in 2023.

Elsewhere in the islands, the Consell de Mallorca will receive €392.4 million–an increase of €87.9 million compared to 2022. The Consell d'Eivissa will get €77.8 million (€17.2 million more than this year) and the Consell de Menorca €71.5 million (€7.5 million more). Overall, the current shape of regional funding in 2023 would mean an expansion of about 104% compared to 2015.

Today's data represent funding under Balearic legislation on financing for island councils (Law 3/2014) and are based on previsions of non-financial income and liquidated resources from 2021.

7 October 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera endorses draft legislation on agreed or contractual succession in Balearic Islands

The Consell de Formentera has indicated its satisfaction following represented political parties' tabling of a draft law on agreed or contractual succession in the Balearic Parliament. The document was drafted by the Civil Law Advisory Council of the Balearic Islands (Consell Assessor de Dret Civil de les Illes Balears).

Bartomeu Escandell, councillor of finance and general services, praised the work of Formentera's CADCIB representatives, calling it "key to tailoring succession agreements in life to our reality today". "This is something we have always campaigned for", he said, "and such succession agreements are very common on our island". "This amendment gives greater legal certainty to individuals relying on this type of succession", added the councillor, who hopes that definitive approval will come quickly.

The law creates two sets of rules to govern succession agreements: one for Formentera and Eivissa and another for Mallorca and Menorca, thus accommodating the idiosyncrasies of each island with respect to local civil law. The Consell de Formentera also asks that the law be included in the Third Book of Provisions on the Islands of Eivissa and Formentera of the Balearic Islands Civil Law Compendium, and that it remain within the remit of regional government.

The CADCIB is a consultative and advisory body of the Balearic Parliament and Government in matters of local civil law. The proposed legislation has also received the endorsement of the Eivissa-Formentera Civil Law Advisory Council.

Succession agreements are not recognised in all Spanish civil law regimes; only in the Balearic Islands, Galicia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Navarre and Aragon.

7 July 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera requests €3.9m in EU funding to improve the towns of Sant Francesc, La Mola and La Savina

foto 2022 aetibThis morning Alejandra Ferrer, Vice President and Councillor of Tourism, and Bartomeu Escandell, Councillor of Economy and Finance, met with Xisco Mateu, managing director of the Strategic Tourism Agency of the Balearic Islands (AETIB).

At the gathering the three started work on the proposal that the Consell de Formentera has submitted in response to the call for Plans for Sustainability in Tourist Destinations (Planes de Sostenibilidad Turística en Destinos, PSTD). Three projects were included in the administration's €3.9 million request:

- Improvements and rehabilitation of Carrer Gregal in La Savina, opening a new side of the village towards Ses Salines.
- Expansion of pedestrian area in Sant Francesc and pedestrianisation of Carrers Santa Maria and Es Vedrà and a portion of Carrer Antoni Blanch.
- Improvements in the historic environment with a view to connecting La Casa del Poble and Plaça de l'Església and creating a large walking area in the centre of El Pilar de la Mola to showcase various nearby features of local heritage.

Councillor Escandell explained that the projects continued in the line of "making the villages of our island friendlier, designed for people and for social and economic revitalization".

The officials also discussed a special line of PSTD funding approved in 2021 which includes €2 million to implement the following Consell de Formentera projects:

For the green and sustainable transition, €250,000 to improve and apply smart solutions regulating access to Ses Salines Natural Reserve and ensure that people enjoy the unique and highly protected natural space in ways that are sounder and more sustainable.

€1,150,000 to instal solar panel-equipped pergolas in public car parks with recharge points for electric vehicles.

For the digital transition, €250,000 for massive data processing to drive tourism research, a project under development through the Data Observatory.

Finally, €350,000 to improve management of the formentera.eco project to regulate vehicles brought, driven and parked on Formentera with an expanded remote system of controls on in-bound vehicles.

30 March 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

CES presents 2020 report on economy, jobs and society in Balearics

foto 2021 CESToday Ana Juan, President of the Consell de Formentera, and Bartomeu Escandell, Councillor of Economy and Finance, met at the head offices of local government for a presentation from Rafel Ballester Salvà, Chair of the Economic and Social Council (Consell Econòmic i Social, CES); Josep Valero, CES Secretary, and Ana Garau. Ballester, Valero and Garau's report focused on the economy, employment and society in the Balearic Islands in 2020. After the meeting, representatives of media outlets sat for a presentation as well.

President Juan began by calling the CES's work "essential" and said the independent body of participation and analysis "serves to offer an accurate picture of the current situation in the Balearics and helps us to rethink our future". The 2020 report emphasises "the highly seasonal nature of our economy and the significant summertime strain on Formentera" – strain which, she insisted, "is more acute than on any of the other islands". She offered, "These aspects should make us reflect on the path we have travelled and the future we want for the island".

The CES representatives described a report marked by the impact of COVID-19 on the region. As for data that speak to the economic outlook, the Balearic archipelago has been the most affected of all the regions of Spain. Gross value added (GVA) shrank 20.7%, tourism shrank 81% and spending on tourism fell 83.9%. Dependence on international tourism drove the Pine Islands' GVA down 24.6% – the most marked adjustment in the archipelago.

Compounding things further, at €11,275.50, Formentera's gross disposable income per capita was the lowest in the region: 28% below the Spanish average and 30% below the Balearic average.

On Eivissa and Formentera the service sector accounts for 71.1% of the total GVA – a higher proportion than elsewhere in the region (83% of Formentera companies registered with social security operate in the service sector).

The 80.3% drop in tourism on Eivissa and Formentera was very similar to that of the Balearic Islands as a whole. Differentiating by place of origin, in the Pine Islands, foreign tourism fell 87.8% and national tourism 50.1%.

Meanwhile, construction, which fell in 2020 in the Balearic Islands as a whole, increased on Eivissa and Formentera: by 0.8% in terms of construction permits and by 4.8% in terms of housing permits.

On the job market, social security registrations sagged 15.3% on Formentera – twice as much as across the archipelago. At 123.3%, Formentera's seasonality index rating outstrips all of its regional neighbours'.

From a demographical perspective, 28.69% of Formentera's population is foreign-born and 64.53% were born outside the Balearics Islands.

24 January 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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