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11th EDF: Future priorities for development cooperation with the Caribbean 

The European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, debates on the future of development cooperation under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) covering the next multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 with the Caribbean region. During this seminar, to be held on September 19 and 20, the Commissioner should confirm that the EU is ready to provide 1 billion euro under the next EDF in grants for the most vulnerable people in the Caribbean region.

Europe has close ties with the Caribbean region. The EU’s relations with the countries of the Caribbean are essentially based on political, trade and development. In addition to the Cotonou Agreement, the relationship is complemented by the Economic Partnership Agreement EU-CARIFORUM1, covering issues linked to trade and joint strategies for for EU/Caribbean Partnership dealing with political issues. The EU development cooperation policy in developing countries aims to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The European Commission funds the majority of its development programmes with partner countries in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries through the European Development Fund. 
The future of development cooperation with the Caribbean will be discussed in a seminar that take place on 19 and 20 September 2013 and is expected to define programming priorities for partner countries in the region. The European Commission represented by the Commissioner for development, will discuss with the regional relevant authorities the future priorities under the budget period 2014-2020 in order to define priority sectors for cooperation under the 11th EDF.
The EU objective is to support the regional level through the recently launched Caribbean Investment Facility, which is a new mechanism for blending loans and grants. Blending can be a key instrument to scale up available resources and stimulate investments as well.
Thus, 15 Caribbean ACP states will receive bilateral allocations under the 11th EDF whose total budget for 2014-2020 is 31,589 billion euro. In addition, the EU confirms that the EU is ready to provide 1 billion euro under the next EDF in grants for the most vulnerable people in the Caribbean.
Haiti, one of the least developed countries in the region, will receive more than 40% of the total funds into the Caribbean to support its struggle towards reconstruction and the fight against poverty.
The “Agenda for Change” (the Commission’s plan that focuses its aid on regions that need it most), calls for a concentration of resources in the regions and countries more in need, where additional efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals need to be achieved.
If the bilateral funding will decrease for some countries as a result of orientations given by the “Agenda for Change”, the EU is proposing to increase significantly the allocations for the Caribbean regional programmes, under which the main areas of the cooperation will mainly concern regional integration security, climate change and environment.
This seminar in Guyana will be an occasion for the EU Commissioner for development, to meet the Secretary General of CARICOM and CARIFORUM. The Commissioner is expected to meet also representatives of the Caribbean civil society to discuss about EU funded projects that support Development Objectives.


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