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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16th OCT-EU Forum, Vice-President Teva Rohfritsch

16th OCT-EU Forum, Vice-President Teva Rohfritsch

Honourable Teva Rohfritsch, Vice President of French Polynesia, took over chairmanship of EU Overseas Countries and Territories Association in the name of Edouard Fritch, President of French Polynesia. Congratulation and best of luck to French Polynesia for this highly responsible position and engaging duty.

It will be special engagement and responsibility of Caroline Tang, EU Representative but it will be the continuation of her successful work up to now, and we wish the best of luck in the coming very important period for Overseas Countries and Territories in the post 2020 period.

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16th OCT-EU Forum, Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson

16th OCT-EU Forum, Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson

Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson has demonstrated extraordinary devotion to promotion of Turks and Caicos Islands and Overseas Countries and Territories. Congratulation and thanks for great activities and extraordinary cooperation. We had very appreciated privilege and honour in hosting press club Turks and Caicos Islands BRUZZ in Brussels on 13th of July 2017. Congratulation to Tracy Knight EU Representative of Turks and Caicos Islands for her great work as member of ExCo and EU Representative of the Chairmanship of EU Overseas Countries and Territories Association.

event news OCTA Turks and Caicos Islands europeanunion-en
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.

event news OCTA Sint Maarten europeanunion-en Carol Voges
16th OCT-EU Forum, Governor Edison Rijna

16th OCT-EU Forum, Governor Edison Rijna

Governor Edison Rijna, Governor of Bonaire, EU Overseas Territory, special municipality (officially “public body”) within the country of the Netherlands, presented OCTA Innovation pilot project at the 16th Ministerial meeting of EU Overseas Countries and Territories Association. Pilot project Bonaire Algae Parc’s aim is to increase the level of food production and economic diversification in Bonaire through establishing a sustainable production chain in the field of micro-algae.

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16th OCT-EU Forum, Janice Panton MBE

16th OCT-EU Forum, Janice Panton MBE

Janice Panton, MBE, EU Representative of Montserrat called upon the heads of the governments of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories to embrace Systemic Innovation for the sustainable development of their regions. Innovation is the only way to progress for all economies and entities of the European Union and its regions as well as of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union.

Innovation needs to be impregnated in tissue of the economies across all sectors, to lead to the prosperity of the society of the Overseas Countries and Territories. To address systemic issues of the Overseas Countries and Territories, specific innovation approach and particular set of actions need to be taken to have innovation as a real driver of the economy and wider of the society. This specific approach has been recognised and developed to be implemented as Systemic Innovation for Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union.

Montserrat event news OCTA europeanunion-en
QR Code labelling of products made from Inuit sealskins

QR Code labelling of products made from Inuit sealskins

The EU recognizes that seal hunting is an integral part of the socio-economy, nutrition, culture and identity of Inuit and other indigenous communities. Geographically speaking, the relevant areas in this respect are primarily Greenland, Nunavut and Northwest Territories in Canada. It is recognized that seal hunting provides a major contribution to the subsistence and development of indigenous peoples in these areas: providing food and income to support the life and sustainable livelihood of the community, preserving and continuing the traditional existence of the community.

For these reasons the EU legislation allows under certain conditions for the placing on the EU market of seal products, which result from hunts conducted by Inuit.

Greenland news europeanunion-en
Intervention du Député Maurice Ponga au BRUZZ Nouvelle-Calédonie

Intervention du Député Maurice Ponga au BRUZZ Nouvelle-Calédonie

Discours d’introduction par le Député Européen Maurice Ponga à l’occasion du BRUZZ sur la Nouvelle-Calédonie, le 6 novembre 2017.

Monsieur le Président du Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie,

Mesdames, Messieurs,

Chers amis,

Je suis heureux d’être présent aujourd’hui avec vous pour cet évènement qui met à l’honneur la Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Comme vous le savez Bruxelles est à plus de 20 000 km de Nouméa, ce qui rend la communication parfois compliquée. Alors je suis content qu’un tel évènement ait lieu car il permet de renforcer les liens entre la Nouvelle-Calédonie et l’Union européenne.

Je suis de ceux qui défendent une relation approfondie et privilégiée entre l’Union européenne et ses PTOM.

Les PTOM devraient être selon moi des ambassadeurs de l’Union européenne dans leur région respective et ainsi faire rayonner les valeurs et principes européens sur tous les océans.

Mais les PTOM de par leurs atouts et spécificités peuvent également être des laboratoires d’expérience pour l’Europe. Je pense notamment en matière environnementale ou encore, énergétique, mais les domaines sont nombreux.

La Nouvelle-Calédonie a développé une véritable stratégie en matière d’innovation au service d’une économie durable et respectueuse de sa diversité biologique.

Cette dernière pourrait devenir un centre d’excellence européen dans la région Pacifique. Et j’en suis convaincu, le Pacifique est une région d’avenir et l’Europe doit y porter une attention toute particulière. C’est une région géostratégique à plusieurs niveaux et l’Union européenne se doit d’y être présente.

Je vous remercie.

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