LocalNews Joint EU/CARIFORUM strategy near completion by: – May 11, 2012 Representatives of EU/CARIFORUM member states at Friday’s meeting.A joint European/CARIFORUM strategy which is currently being devised to provide guidelines for member states is said to be near completion.That’s according to the Managing Director for the Americas European External Action Service (EEAS) European Union, Christian Leffler.Officials of the Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean Pacific States (CARIFORUM) and the European Union (EU) are meeting in Dominica to dialogue on several challenges facing member states.In December, 2007, the CARIFORUM and the EU completed a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which signaled the start of a new trade relationship between the two blocs. Managing Director for the Americas European External Action Service (EEAS) European Union, Christian LefflerLeffler, who addressed the opening ceremony of the meeting on Friday, noted the EU’s relationship and commitment to the Caribbean.“We share a commitment to democracy, to the rule of law and the respect of universal human rights and it is these values that underpin our relationship. We also share a commitment to promoting economic and social development for the benefit of all our citizens”.The EU strategy he said will provide a “useful framework and platform” which will assist in strengthening the relationship which exists between the EU and CARIFORUM member states. “It gives us some guiding principles and gives us the impulses to cooperation, to open up new areas, new chapters and to deepen the exchanges in the areas where we are already working together”.He is hopeful that the strategy will be “simultaneously adopted” in Europe and the Caribbean.Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM and CARIFORUM Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite thanked the European Union for their continued support despite the “sovereign debt crisis” which has been affecting its member states.“The fact that the EU can continue to be our most important development assistance partner is testimony to the strength of our relationship,” she noted. Ambassador Applewhaite further explained that CARIFORUM member states are also being challenged by the global financial and economic crisis; “Our fragile vulnerable and less resilient economies are still struggling with the effect of this crisis” highlighting the significance of the meeting “to dialogue with our European partners”.Among the matters on the “extensive” agenda for discussion are “the framework of political relations, EU and Caribbean Latin American relations, dialogue on new proposal on EU development policy, regional and global challenges including security and climate change”.She expressed confidence however that the meeting will be a success as long as members maintain “that mutual respect, trust, understanding and empathy which has always characterized our long standing relationship”.Dominica Vibes News Tweet Share Share Share 180 Views no discussions Sharing is caring!