During the EU-CELAC ministerial meeting held in Santo Domingo on 25-26 October 2016, the European Union announced new programmes to support sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean amounting to over €74 million. Overall, the EU committed over €710 million in 2016, in key sectors such as climate change, trade, private sector and investment, security and governance. By doing so, the EU wants to improve the populations' living conditions and to achieve the Sustainable development goals by 2030.
The programmes signed in Santo Domingo will focus on the following areas:
For the Caribbean, €44.2 million were announced: €9.2 million have been allocated for the technical assistance programme for sustainable energy in region (TAPSEC). The programme intends to support the region in its effort of achieving a transition towards sustainable energy and a low-carbon economic growth path.
The assistance will be clustered in three main lines of action:
(1) In adopting and implementing regulatory frameworks that enable investments in new renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies,
(2) In improving the availability of energy information and statistics, and
(3) In establishing financing mechanisms for the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects
For Dominican Republic, two programmes were signed: one in support to more efficient public administration through institutional strengthening and improving quality of services (€14 million). Another project will aim to improve the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in the country (€11 million).
For Dominica, a new €10 million programme will assist the country's rehabilitation efforts following the tropical storm Erika in August 2015. The main objective of the programme is re-establishing the provision of basic services to the public, such as providing clean water infrastructure and sustainable energy.
For Latin America, new programmes amounting to €30 million were announced. These programmes include the new continent-wide security programme EL PACTO (€20 million). EL PACTO covers all 18 Latin American countries eligible under the Development Cooperation Instrument (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela). It is the first EU cooperation programme in Latin America that covers the whole penal chain: police, justice and the penitentiary system. The second one supports South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives in fields such as agriculture and private sector development. The programme aims at supporting the consolidation of peer-learning among countries in the LAC region and promoting joint cooperation with emerging donor.
Furthermore, the EU announced disbursements of over €31 million, under the following existing programmes:
The Guyana Sugar Accompanying Measures programme focuses on critical areas to assist the country in its efforts to reform and diversify the sugar industry. These include the conversion of fields to mechanically friendly layouts, drainage, expansion of the participation of the private cane farmers in the sugar industry, upgrading of factories, and improvement of agricultural operations. The forthcoming disbursement of € 24.4 million, aims to assist the country in its efforts to reform and diversify its sugar industry in particular to improve opportunities in employment and education.
The Barbados programme for the diversification of the economy away from the sugar industry disburses its final payment of almost € 4 million. The programme has assisted the country in the implementation of its human resources development strategy, which focuses on the promotion of sustainable growth and poverty alleviation through increased competitiveness. It has among other created better alignment between the needs of the labour market and the education system, as well as improving the professional development of public officers.
In Paraguay, the programme in support of public policy for social development disburses € 3.4 million. The programme focuses on social inclusion and poverty and inequality reduction through the implementation of a social protection system. It has contributed to the reduction of extreme poverty in the country from 10.47% to 9.97% since 2014.
The European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean have enjoyed privileged relations since the first bi-regional Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1999, which established a strategic partnership. They are natural partners linked by strong historical, cultural and economic ties.
For more information:
Factsheet: EU-CELAC relations