European Union Lauded for Support

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (left), greets France’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Jean-Michel Despax, during Monday’s (May 8) Europe Day reception, organised by the Office of the European Delegation in Jamaica, at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. At centre is Delegation Head, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska.

Story Highlights

  • The Government has expressed heartfelt gratitude for the significant developmental grant support that the European Union (EU) continues to extend to Jamaica, under a Cooperation Agreement signed 42 years ago.
  • Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the funds have been channelled into key Government focus areas, including health, housing, justice and national security.
  • Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, said the EU members are proud of the fact that “as we have grown, we have extended support to others through investments, development assistance and humanitarian aid”, while assuring that “we will continue to do so”.

The Government has expressed heartfelt gratitude for the significant developmental grant support that the European Union (EU) continues to extend to Jamaica, under a Cooperation Agreement signed 42 years ago.

Provisions under this arrangement over the period have, to date, totalled in excess of $100 billion (€1 billion).

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the funds have been channelled into key Government focus areas, including health, housing, justice and national security.

She also highlighted bilateral support that Jamaica continues to receive from individual EU member states, adding that “we are pleased that five of them have maintained resident diplomatic missions in Kingston, providing ready opportunities to strengthen our relationships in a multiplicity of areas”.

Senator Johnson Smith was speaking at a special reception hosted by the Office of the EU Delegation in Jamaica at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, to mark Europe Day on Monday, May 8.

Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, said the EU members are proud of the fact that “as we have grown, we have extended support to others through investments, development assistance and humanitarian aid”, while assuring that “we will continue to do so”.

She further noted that Jamaica’s partnership with the EU has “made a difference” for the country in a range of areas.

These, Ambassador Wasilewska said, include increasing Jamaica’s competitiveness, building resilience in agriculture and fostering development; facilitating better and faster access to justice for all Jamaicans, particularly women and children; building houses, schools and roads; providing training, scholarships and “well needed” medical supplies and equipment; and refurbishing hospitals.

She also acknowledged bilateral partnership programmes between Jamaica and individual EU members states, while expressing gratitude to the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) “for their tireless support and cooperation in the implementation of all the projects that we have (engaged in)”.

“The European Union’s partnership with Jamaica has deepened since our Cooperation Agreement was signed in 1975. It remains strong today, and I am happy to say that in my encounters with the Jamaican Government, the commitment to continue and build that relationship is strong on both sides,” Ambassador Wasilewska said.

“We will stay the course and continue the support for growth and development, to reduce poverty and improve the lives of the people of Jamaica,” she added.

The reception, which also served to mark the 60th anniversary of the EU’s establishment, featured an exhibition, documentary presentation and the cutting of a commemorative cake.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (2nd right), converses with Belgium’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Guy Servin (left), during Monday’s (May 8) Europe Day reception, organised by the Office of the European Delegation in Jamaica, at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. Others (from 2nd left) are Delegation Head, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, and France’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency, Jean-Michel Despax.

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