EU wants new paradigm regarding its investments in CARIFORUM

(CMC) The European Union says while it is moving to reform its relationship with the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries it is also necessary for there to be a new paradigm regarding its investments at the regional level.EU Ambassador to CARIFORUM, Daniela TramacereThe Barbados-based EU Ambassador to CARIFORUM, Daniela Tramacere, said it was important now for the investments at the regional level resonate at the national level.“Indeed, national ownership is the single most important ingredient in regional integration. To reword an old maxim, in this new world paradigm you need to strategise globally, think regionally, and act locally. Be assured that in this new normal the EU will always stand with you,” she told delegates attending a workshop dedicated to the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Standby Facilities financed by the EU under the Caribbean Regional Programme.The two-day workshop ends later on Friday.The EU diplomat noted that an independent appraisal of the CSME commissioned by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments a few years ago confirmed that the limited administrative capacity at the national level was a hindrance to capitalising on the benefits of the CSME that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the 15-member regional grouping.The CSME is regarded by regional governments as the Caribbean’s response to a changing global environment characterised by the loss of preferential treatment for the goods and services on the international market and Tramacere said the outcome of the appraisal was the establishment of the CSME Standby Facility dedicated to interventions at the national level; with a complementary facility being established for the Economic Partnership Agreement.“This approach recognises that whereas the European Union (EU) and CARIFORUM/CARICOM are committed to the implementation of the CSME and EPA, we both acknowledge that final responsibility for implementation, ownership, and sustainability must lie with the CARIFORUM member states.“Further, I must underscore that we see the EPA and CSME as two interrelated dimensions of the region’s integration thrust. This interconnectedness of the EPA and CSME is further evidenced by the similarity of the support areas under the respective standby facilities.”She said these included support to quality infrastructures; improved market penetration through export readiness and establishing contacts between retailers and producers; and strengthening of accreditation and certification systems for greater opportunities for citizens working in a CARIFORUM member state other than their home country.“As we continue to transform our relationship with the region from one of donor-recipient to one of mature partners in development, it will become increasingly important that our investments at the regional level through CARICOM, CARIFORUM, or organisations such as CROSQ and Caribbean Export, resonate at the national level.The diplomat told the delegates that they should use the event “as an unfiltered lens for determining whether the facilities were the right tools for the job of member states in their efforts.“If not, you should also provide practical solutions as to what might be better tools, or if we need to change the job description,” she said, urging them to get beyond the rhetoric to address various pertinent questions including did the facilities work as the right vehicle for support at the national level and what can be done differently.Tramacere said that over the past decade, the EU has invested approximately EUR 37 million (One EURO=US$1.29 cents) in support of the CSME and another EUR 46.5 million to support EPA implementation.“As we move into the 11th EDF (European Development Fund), it is imperative that our continued support is premised on demonstrated utility, efficiency, and value-for-money from our previous investments. This is not only a requirement of our EU taxpayers, but a commitment to the citizens of the Caribbean,” she told the workshop. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related10th EDF capacity building project in CARIFORUM launchedMarch 26, 2015In “Business”EURO$346M deal struck between EU, CARIFORUMJune 12, 2015In “Business”CARIFORUM prepared for 11th EDFSeptember 18, 2013In “Local News” read more

Flights and ferry crossings impacted by bad weather

first_imgHEAVY SNOW IN Belfast has forced the closure of the runway at George Best Belfast City Airport.Persistent snowfall has resulted in the airport’s decision to “snow close” the runway until at least 8.30am this morning, while the airport itself remains open.In a statement issued at 6.30am this morning, the airport advised passengers to check with their airline before travelling to the airport.The airport have said that they will be providing updates throughout the day via Twitter and Facebook, with the next update expected at 8.30am.Separately, bad weather has forced the cancellation of all Irish Ferries Jonathan Swift fast craft sailings between Dublin and Holyhead.These include the 8.45am and 2.30pm sailings from Dublin and the 11.50am and 5.15pm sailings from Holyhead.Irish Ferries have said that passengers that were booked on any of these cancelled services will be accommodated on the MV Ulysses Cruise Ferry, which is operating as follows:Dublin to Holyhead 8:05am and 8.55pmHolyhead to Dublin 2.40am and 2.10pmRead: Flash floods and road warnings as heavy rain pours >last_img read more