Jamaica and the European Union (EU) conducted their 4th political dialogue on 21 February. Both sides committed to further deepen the collaboration on building a more effective partnership for growth and development. The talks which included 10 Ambassadors from European Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Sweden) were held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) on Wednesday, February 21st.
The Jamaican side was led by Ambassador Marcia Gilbert Roberts, Permanent Secretary, MFAFT who reaffirmed Jamaica’s appreciation for the continued collaboration with the EU at different levels and welcomed the opportunity for renewed dialogue with resident and non-resident EU Ambassadors. According to the Permanent Secretary, “as both sides look ahead to the negotiation of a new ACP-EU agreement to succeed the current Cotonou Partnership Agreement when it expires in 2020, it will be important to take account of the significantly changed global environment in which the renewed partnership will ensue”.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, who led the EU side, praised the dialogue which she explained is a corner stone in helping the EU develop its fruitful partnership with Jamaica. She noted that Jamaica and the EU are like-minded on many critical global issues and share a commitment to work together to bring consensus in the international arena. She also credited the partnership for its role in delivering a better, more modern and accessible Justice System in Jamaica and looked forward to seeing positive results in joint work on maternal health as well as the environment.
Ambassador Wasilewska described the talks as “another productive exchange of ideas which underlined the importance of the EU/Jamaica relationship for the EU and its Member States.”
Representatives from local Ministries, Departments and Agencies also participated in the meeting.
Important issues discussed included political and economic developments in Jamaica and the EU; the EU/CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement; crime and security; human rights; future of ACP/EU relations post 2020; and environment and climate change.
The Dialogue, which took place on the eve of the Ministry’s Diplomatic Day, was held at the level of senior officials. The talks are required under Article 8 of the ACP/EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement which states that “Parties shall regularly engage in a comprehensive, balanced, and deep political dialogue leading to commitment on both sides.” The previous Jamaica/EU Political Dialogue was held on 9 February2017.