PRESS RELEASE – European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and President of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association and Prime Minister of Curaçao, Dr. Ben Whiteman on, 26 February signed a Joint Declaration on reinforced cooperation in the field of sustainable energy, on behalf of the European Union and the twenty two Overseas Countries and Territories in Brussels. The signature took place in the margins of the 14th annual EU–Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) Forum in Brussels.
The signature represents a significant political gesture, signalling the importance assigned to sustainable energy by both Overseas Countries and Territories and the EU.
EU Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, OECS, CARICOM and CARIFORUM, Mikael Barfod said: “The Joint Declaration represents an important step in our cooperation in sustainable energy in the Caribbean. Its signature strengthens the links between energy policy commitments of Overseas Countries and Territories and the support that could be provided by the Union in the context of the Overseas Association Decision and the resources available via the 11th European Development Funds”.
During the 14th OCT-EU Forum discussions focused on two major topics of mutual interest: the new global agreement on climate change reached in Paris on the 12th of December 2015, and the OCTs’ response efforts; as well as growth and investment opportunities in OCTs, which sits at the heart of OCTs’ sustainable development.
The EU has already agreed to allocate EUR 40 million to finance sustainable energy and marine biodiversity projects in Caribbean OCTs.
The OCT-EU Forum represents the highest levels of political dialogue between the European Commission, Overseas Countries and Territories and EU Member States to which OCTs are linked. It was attended by the Premiers and Chief Ministers of the 22 OCTs; representatives of France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, together with members of the European Parliament, representatives from the Outermost regions and the ACP Secretariat.
The participants held in-depth dialogue on topics of mutual interest and underlined their special relationship, their belonging to the same European family and common objectives, values and principles.