Prime Ministers discuss European funding and relationship next Monday

POSTED: 11/24/11 8:31 AM

St. Maarten – The issue of obtaining funding from the European Union for joint projects and relations with European Union has been proposed as a discussion point for next Monday’s meeting between Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, Prime Minister Mike Eman of Aruba and Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte of Curacao. The meeting will be held in Willemstad and is a follow up to a gathering held last year in Aruba.

Wescot-Williams will fly to Curacao on Sunday for the meeting that will span the day on Monday. Other points on the draft agenda are the installation of tripartite committees agreed to at the Aruba meeting, further detailing of several points in the agreement between prime ministers that was signed in Aruba and participation in the Kingdom Conference, which will be held in the Netherlands on December 14.

The discussion on the E.U. funding will focus on the need to find joint projects as the union prefers to finance regional projects.

“We have identified several of those and one of the important issues that St. Maarten continues to talk to our neighbor – French St. Martin – because in that context too the difference of our side being and OCT (Overseas Country and Territory) and the French side being a UPT (Ultra-Peripheral Territory) can be bridged if we can find a project that can be considered a regional project. We already have some in execution right now and we’re always looking at ways of bringing together two or more countries in order to seek funds that can be considered for regional projects,” Wescot-Williams said.

Proceeding with seeking joint funding with either the French side or Curacao or Aruba requires that parties clearly define the areas of cooperation at the technical level. At the moment the ministries on the Dutch side have been reaching out to their counterparts on the French side to create a plan of action that could lead to actual projects that need to be financed parties would seek joint funding.

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