EU relations with independent countries of the Caribbean
The EU has historically maintained strong relations with the Caribbean. This stems in large part from the colonial presence of European countries in the region; many are still present through Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).
The EU’s relations with the 16 independent Caribbean countries are shaped by various overlapping institutional frameworks, governing political relations, trade and development.
The 16 are members of the Cotonou Agreement (2000-2020) – the EU’s partnership agreement with a group of 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The related European Development Fund (EDF) – revised every five years – provides national and regional development funding for ACPs. The current EUR 346 million regional envelope for the Caribbean under the 11th European Development Fund (2014-2020) prioritises: regional economic cooperation and integration; adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, environmental disaster management and renewable energy promotion and security and crime prevention across the region.
It is complemented by the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), covering trade related issues and the 2012 Joint Caribbean EU Partnership Strategy, dealing with political issues.
The EU-CARIFORUM EPA is a pioneering agreement in the international trading system.Through the EPA, the two regions aim to build on their long-established economic ties to foster growth, jobs and development in the Caribbean.
The 2012 Joint Caribbean-EU Partnership Strategy is a structured framework for broader and deeper dialogue and cooperation, strengthening the political dimension of the relationship alongside the more traditional existing trade and development aspects. It intensifies cooperation in a number of core areas of mutual interest: regional integration, reconstruction of Haiti, climate change and natural disasters, crime and security and joint action in multilateral fora.