CARIFORUM & EU agree on multi-million Euro regional programming

Representatives of the European Union and CARIFORUM have successfully concluded technical negotiations on a multi-million Euro regional programme that will focus on regional economic integration and cooperation; the environment; climate change, disaster management and sustainable energy; as well as crime and security. Under the agreement the EU is providing EUR 346 million (US$390 million) for CARIFORUM for the period up to 2020.

Specifically, the grant aid is expected to strengthen the regional integration and cooperation process; support private sector development, investment facilitation and external trade capacity; along with further implementation of the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement. Regional resilience to the impact of climate change is to be addressed, as well as mitigating the impact of natural disasters, which can affect social and economic development.

The EU’s regional grant aid support is also expected to boost the region’s capacity in the sustainable use of natural resources and to promote energy efficiency, development and the use of renewable energy.

As it relates to crime and security the objectives are crime prevention, risk reduction, enhancing restorative justice, ensuring citizen and border security and increasing compliance with international norms on financial crimes.

The two sides met for the negotiations in Barbados on 19 and 20 March to discuss various aspects of the programming. CARIFORUM’s negotiating team was led by Guyana’s Chief Trade Negotiator Neville Totaram and Director General of CARIFORUM Ambassador Percival Marie. The EU was led by Roland Schaefer, Director for the Americas at the European External Action Service, Jolita Butkeviciene, Europe Aid Director, and Mikael Barfod, EU Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

The regional programme is intended to be signed in the margins of the EU-CELAC Summit which will take place on 10-11 June 2015 in Brussels.

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