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September 13, 2013

CARIFORUM-EU Dialogue at the Level of Senior Officials


Based on a proposal at European External Action Service (EEAS) in October 2011 for the convening of a Joint CARIFORUM-EU Dialogue and the agreement of Council of CARIFORUM Ministers in November 2011, CARIFORUM-EU Dialogue at the Level of Senior Officials was held in Roseau, Dominica at the Fort Young Hotel, Roseau, Dominica on May 11th, 2012 with a CARIFORUM Preparatory Meeting on May 10th, 2012.

This type of continued Dialogue was agreed upon in 2008 at the CARIFORUM-EU Summit in Lima, Peru to establish a mechanism for a structured and comprehensive political dialogue, in order to further strengthen the relationship. The objective of the Dialogue is to exchange information, foster mutual and better understanding and define common priorities and shared agendas. This is in accordance with Title II – Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, also known as the Contonu Agreement revised in June 25th, 2005 stating “The Parties shall regularly engage in a comprehensive, balanced and deep political dialogue leading to commitments on both sides.

In her welcoming remarks, Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, Deputy Secretary General of CARICOM and CARIFORUM praised the EU for their continued financial, technical and other support to the region during the current difficult economic global situation. It was also highlighted that the Dialogue provide an opportunity to discuss the development of the Joint CARIFORUM-EU Strategy for future cooperation and the proposed new EU development policy and the proposed new approach to budgetary support.

In reference to the Joint CARIFORUM-EU Strategy, Mr. Christian Leffler, Managing Director for the Americas European External Action Service and Head of the EU Team, stated that it is very close to completion and adoption and will ‘provide a useful platform or framework on which we can take our relations even further. It gives us some guiding principles and the impulses to pursue cooperation, to open up new areas, new chapters and to deepen exchanges in the areas where we are already working together‘.

The meeting was co-chaired by Dominica’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Employment, Trade, Industry and Diaspora Affairs Ms. Ruth Allport. Dominica presently holds the chairmanship of CARIFORUM for year starting in July 2011.