Caribbean – shift of relations with EU

Caribbean – shift of relations with EU

A special meeting of CARIFORUM Council of Ministers, March 26-27, 2018 in St. Kitts and Nevis affirmed that members of the 15-country Caribbean grouping is  preparing on four fronts to adapt to a shift of relations with the European Union.

Opening the meeting, Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation of Saint Kitts and Nevis said:

“We can all agree that we serve at a time when the tectonic plates on which our engagement with the European Union rest, continue to shift. It is a time which requires us simultaneously to:

  • Grapple with implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA),
  • Assess the impact of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (BREXIT), in an effort to mitigate against it,
  • Ensure the roll-over of the EPA into a CARIFORUM-UK Free Trade Agreement, preserve the level of market access into the UK market as obtains under the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and
  • Consider our options for future engagement with the EU, Africa and the Pacific in the Post-Cotonou era.“

“… each of these components demands that we remain focused and strategic in our approach to engagement with key partners both in our region and in Europe,” he added.

CARIFORUM member states are: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs): Anguilla, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands Montserrat Turks and Caicos Islands and the Netherland Antilles, all have observer status in CARIFORUM.

Minister Brantley added that CARIFORUM Member States were preparing texts for submission to the United Kingdom with the aim of preserving the current level of market access into the United Kingdom after 2019 under the Economic Partnership Agreement signed with all Member States of the EU.  

He said: “We are of the view that development cooperation in the form of technical assistance, capacity building, and financial mechanisms to enable our region to capitalise on the market access opportunities resulting from free trade agreements are meritorious.”

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Trade & export incentives in Caribbean Netherlands

Trade & export incentives in Caribbean Netherlands

Trade and export incentives for entrepreneurs of the Caribbean Netherlands and the Caribbean countries within the Kingdom.

As of 1 January 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened up the instruments for trade and export promotion to all entrepreneurs in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. Entrepreneurs with export ambitions from Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius and Sint Maarten can now take part in these instruments.

More information. 

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16th OCT-EU Forum, Carol Voges

16th OCT-EU Forum, Carol Voges

Carol Voges, Representative of Sint Maarten, EU Overseas Territory, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, has been re-elected as president of the Executive Committee of EU Overseas Countries and Territories Association. The most sincere congratulation to Sint Maarten and to Carol for this re-election which presents the best recognition of the high devotion and high success in moving of EU Overseas Countries and Territories Association ahead in this very important period for its post 2020 future.

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‘Sustainable Caribbean’ tastes like more!

‘Sustainable Caribbean’ tastes like more!

“Sustainable Caribbean”, a meeting on sustainability in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.

Around forty students and fifteen other guests came on January 12th 2018 to the ‘Sustainable Caribbean’ meet-up, an initiative of WeConnect Foundation in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research.

iago algaeparc bonaire

More information in the Press Release.

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Sustainable Caribbean

Sustainable Caribbean

WeConnect , Dutch educational foundation in cooperation with Wageningen University & Research (WUR), is organising the meet-up ‘Sustainable Caribbean’ on Friday January 12, 2018.

The focus is on green and sustainable initiatives on the Caribbean islands and on how to liaise Antillean and Aruban students and young professionals with these projects. It is one of WeConnect’s initiatives to turn the brain drain on the islands into a brain gain and thus reinforcing the local employment market with homegrown talents.Read more

 

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Caribbean – the world’s first ‘climate-smart zone’

Caribbean – the world’s first ‘climate-smart zone’

Agreed priorities:

• Scale renewable energy as rapidly as possible to help free Caribbean countries from the high cost of imported fossil fuels and the high vulnerability of centralised distribution systems.

• Build low-carbon and resilient infrastructure including nature-based approaches, to better withstand future extreme weather events.

• Create innovative financing models such as a debt-for-resilience swap initiative in exchange for demonstrated progress on policy reforms and investments to strengthen resilience and promote climate-smart growth pathways. Build platforms to help facilitate the large public and private investments required.

• Strengthen the capacity of Caribbean countries and key regional institutions to plan for long-term resilience and climate smart growth strategies.

Read more

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Post-hurricane reconstruction policy introduced in BVI

Post-hurricane reconstruction policy introduced in BVI

BVI Building Authority is promoting the following considerations:

• Concrete roof designs will be fast-tracked, pending the existence or inclusion of 8” structure below roof,

• Wooden roofs with separation of main roof and porch roof shall be fast-tracked,

• Roof slope on wooden roofs should be 3:12 pitch minimum, 6 or 7:12 preferred.

The policy provides the following guidelines for reconstruction of roofs, windows, doors and shutters:

• Rafters must be 3” minimum and must be securely fastened to beams and wall plates, hurricane clips and rebar connections must be used

• Plywood decking must be lapped and secured using 2.5” minimum fasteners

• Battens must be secured using 4.5” minimum fasteners 2 per rafter minimum; these must also be spaced in accordance with manufacturer specification for the roof finish;

• Roof finish must be secured according to manufacturer specification. Additional fasteners must be used at eaves, hips and valleys

• Doors and windows should be secured with shutters. Shutters must be carefully installed using manufacturer specifications.

Read more

British Virgin Islands Construction Caribbean news Lizette O. George
Reconstruction of EU Overseas Countries and Territories hit by hurricane

Reconstruction of EU Overseas Countries and Territories hit by hurricane

This letter from the European Parliament (EP) is requesting the European Commission (EC) to treat both Sint Maarten and Saint Martin equally with regards to the EU funding they can access for the reconstruction of the entire island. The French side due to its status as a European OR has access to many EU funding sources such as the solidarity fund and the newly adopted natural disaster fund that offer financial assistance for reconstruction after natural disasters. Last Wednesday during a debate at the EP many Dutch and French MEPs reiterated the need for the equal treatment of both sides of the island. The message being that we are all EU citizens and should therefore in times of dire need be treated equally and not abandoned by the EU. The Commissioner present promised after the debate to do all within his power to help. Although this will be a long process, it is a battle worth fighting, not only for Sint Maarten, but for islands, such as, Anguilla, St. Barths, Saba, Statia, BVI and TCI that have the same status as we do on the Dutch side. We have all been hit by hurricane Irma and need to do all within our power to acquire external assistance in order to rebuild our countries in a more sustainable manner to the paradises they have always been.

Original article

By Carol Voges

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The Caribbean after Irma

The Caribbean after Irma

It is the cost of the region’s unimaginable natural beauty that, by the caprice of fate, there is the periodic risk of ruin. There is nothing to be said of this past week’s tragedies that has not yet been said, and our hearts go out to the people who died.What needs to be said is this: the Caribbean will rebuild. Caribbean people: they cannot be defeated. They rebuild, they restore and they live again.

It will not be easy, it may not be quick, but it will happen.

Read more

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EU assistance for hit islands

EU assistance for hit islands

Hurricane Irma has left a trail of devastation across many countries…We stand in full solidarity with all those in the Caribbean… For as long as it takes. Last week we mobilised our emergency response tools and our 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre has been in continuous coordination with our EU Member States on any assistance required. Today additional EU funding is on its way. We have now released an initial amount of humanitarian assistance of €2 million for the most affected islands in the Caribbean. This will help support key sectors such as water and sanitation, health, waste management and logistics. Further EU funding for reconstruction efforts is of course available in terms of longer term assistance. This new support comes on top of our EU Copernicus satellite support, which has been providing essential mapping services since last week. EU humanitarian experts deployed across the region continue to help the local authorities and coordinate aid deliveries. Let me make it clear that any country in the region can request our help through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. We stand ready to provide any further assistance to the affected countries. Read more

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