Gov’t Reaffirms Support For EU Stability

Story Highlights

  • Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the Administration will continue to partner with the EU in supporting issues of mutual interest in various regional and international fora.
  • “Part of the process includes the adoption of a new European consensus for development grounded on the five pillars of ‘people, planet, prosperity, partnership and peace. In that context, Jamaica looks forward to the European Union playing a strong leadership role in the alignment of its development consensus with the attainment of the goals established in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” the Minister said.
  • She 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, St. Andrew, on May 8 to mark Europe Day.

The Government has reaffirmed its support for the solidarity and stability of the European Union (EU).

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the Administration will continue to partner with the EU in supporting issues of mutual interest in various regional and international fora.

She 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, St. Andrew, on May 8 to mark Europe Day.

The event was also used to observe the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which laid the foundation for the EU’s establishment and the creation of the supporting Common Market.

Senator Johnson Smith noted that the EU, like many countries and regions in other parts of the world, is confronted with various political and economic challenges and changes.

Among these, she pointed out, were matters relating to the ongoing migration and refugee crises, unemployment, and serious security concerns precipitated by acts of terrorism in several countries, while noting that the United Kingdom’s (UK) impending withdrawal from the EU is a “major change”.

Senator Johnson Smith said that in the midst of navigating the rise of populism and extremism across Europe, the EU has sought to assure its international partners that it is also “proactively rethinking the manner of its engagement with the (rest of the) world”.

 

“Part of the process includes the adoption of a new European consensus for development grounded on the five pillars of ‘people, planet, prosperity, partnership and peace’.

“In that context, Jamaica looks forward to the European Union playing a strong leadership role in the alignment of its development consensus with the attainment of the goals established in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” the Minister said.

She also noted the EU’s continued support for fundamental principles such as multilateralism, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Senator Johnson Smith, in congratulating President-elect, Emmanuel Macron’s “decisive” victory in France’s national elections earlier this week, noted that “he has been very deliberate in his affirmation of the value of the European Union”.

“In so doing, (he) has encapsulated a spark and a renewed hope of the strength and stability of Europe, going forward,” she added.

While noting that the EU’s unification process is still regarded as a “work in progress”, Senator Johnson Smith contended that “in some ways, it has undoubtedly been a model of regional integration to which many regions have aspired”.

She noted that the EU’s membership has grown to encompass diverse cultures and levels of development while remaining the world’s single largest economic space.

“We are confident that the strength of the Union will be equal to the challenges that it faces from ‘within and without’, and that it will continue to play an important leadership role in regional and global affairs,” the Minister said.

“Let us collectively resolve to face the future with renewed vigour and commitment to the advancement of our partnership for the betterment of our respective peoples,” she added.

 

For her part, Head of the EU Delegation, Her Excellency Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, noted that 60 years after its establishment, the 28-member EU was more resilient than ever.

“There is a strong sense of unity and determination to continue to uphold the EU’s core values and to continue the process of integration and cooperation for our citizens and with other countries,” she said.

Ambassador Wasilewska noted that within the current global environment, nations regarded the EU as a reliable superpower for peace and human development.

“This does not mean we are perfect… far from that. Change in the European Union is necessary; but change is possible and happening. Today, the EU stands tall as the most successful peace project in our history (and) we work to promote human dignity by protecting people against all forms of discrimination and human rights abuses,” she declared.

The EU Head, who has been stationed in Jamaica for nearly eight months, indicated that she was “impressed by this beautiful country and its people”.

“Everywhere I go, I am met with warmth and smiles and welcomes, and made to feel at home. So it is an extra pleasure to celebrate Europe Day with you,” she added.

In relation to the UK’s impending withdrawal from the EU, Ambassador Wasilewska assured that relations with Jamaica would remain strong.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to strengthen cooperation with partners, notably with Jamaica, who share the values that we hold so dear to our hearts,” she added.

These values include human rights, democracy and rule of law.

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