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

development strategy Caribbean news European Commission feature news europeanunion-en Sint Maarten Carol Voges

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.

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Sint Eustatius British Virgin Islands Caribbean news feature news Turks and Caicos Islands St Barts Saba Anguilla Sint Maarten
OCTA Innovation Issue 23/ 2017 – Team Leader Missions

OCTA Innovation Issue 23/ 2017 – Team Leader Missions


Missions to BVI and St. Martin were very short but very engaging and promising. Two meetings with the Premier of British Virgin Islands, honourable Dr. Orlando Smith, and a meeting with the Prime Minister of St. Maarten, honourable William Marlin as well as multiple meetings with innovation directors and key stakeholders, were very fruitful due to the progress of moving from consultations and innovation strategies to actual implementation of the strategies.

Particularly meetings with head of governments and extensive discussions on how to how to implement innovation as well as to make innovation sustainable during and especially after the end of the project. Establishing innovation ecosystem and developing different innovation supporting instruments and enhancing public private partnership have been recognized as priorities.

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British Virgin Islands Innovation Missions Lizette O. George newsletter-en Jude Houston Sint Maarten
Mission in Sint-Maarten

Mission in Sint-Maarten

Mission of Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, OCTA Innovation Team Leader to Sint-Maarten on 10th and 11th August 2017 assisted in progressing on different innovation issues on the island. The key innovation person in Sint-Maarten is Jude Houston, Innovation Director for Sint-Maarten. All meetings and actions have been developed and coordinated by Jude Houston.

Very key meeting was with Prime Minister Honourable William Marlin and his collaborators Marc Arnold, Cassandra Janssen and Jude Houston. Prime Minister Honourable William Marlin confirmed enthusiasm and optimism for accelerating implementation Innovation for sustainable growth in Sint-Maarten. Innovation is now regarded as the vehicle towards improvement of this country’s economic competitiveness.

The Secretary General H.G.A. Plantijn LL.M. shown keen interest in systemic innovation and in the manner how to progress with systemic innovation implementation.

Marc Arnold and his team from the department of the Interior and Government relations, Olivia Lake and Thijn Laurensse, evaluated opportunities to move towards innovation in several aspects: internal restructuring, innovation board reestablishment and developing different instruments for propelling innovation. There was discussion on regional experience and practice, as well as exchange of information and how to enhance having more synergy.

Dr. Francio Guadeloupe, Dean of the University has highlighted high engagement of the university in promoting academic tourism as one of the ways where OCT has benefit in synergy of capacity-building, education, training and attractive locations of the OCTs. Furthermore was discussed cooperation based on exclusive academic experience of Dr. Francio Guadeloupe in several OCTs.

During his stay in Sint-Maarten, OCTA Innovation Team leader also had the opportunity to meet Mervyn Butcher, from the Permits and licences & Economic control department to discuss about the fishery issues including regional cooperation with Anguilla and Saint-Martin.

news Innovation Missions Jude Houston Sint Maarten