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  • Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (left), and Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, raise a toast to celebrate Europe Day 2019, during a reception held at the Ambassador's residence in St. Andrew on May 9.
  • She noted that through collaboration spanning some 44 years, the EU has provided support to key sectors of the country, helping to drive social and economic progress.
  • “Areas such as youth development, rural development, security, justice, capacity building in a range of areas, don’t even begin to touch the range of sectors, which have been positively impacted by EU support,” she said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, says the European Union (EU) remains a solid and reliable development partner for Jamaica.

She noted that through collaboration spanning some 44 years, the EU has provided support to key sectors of the country, helping to drive social and economic progress.

“Areas such as youth development, rural development, security, justice, capacity building in a range of areas, don’t even begin to touch the range of sectors, which have been positively impacted by EU support,” she said.

The Minister, who was addressing an EU Day reception in St. Andrew on May 9, said that Jamaica places great value on its relationship with the union.

She noted that the Government is “looking forward to the conclusion, in the coming months, of the process of negotiation for a successor arrangement to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which expires in 2020.”

The agreement is the legal framework governing relations between the EU and 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

Last month, Jamaica hosted the CARIFORUM-EU Regional Consultations aimed at creating a modern partnership to replace the Cotonou arrangement.

Head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, in her remarks, said she is proud of the EU’s relations with Jamaica.

“It is a partnership that is built on respect and trust and is geared towards supporting Jamaica to achieve its own clearly defined development goals expressed in its Vision 2030 (national development plan),” she said.

Ambassador Wasilewska said the EU’s support “is intended to create value and benefit that Jamaicans can feel.”

“That is why, over the years, we have supported development actions in several sectors. There is no sector in Jamaica and there is no community in Jamaica that has not been touched by the assistance of the European Union,” she noted.

Europe Day marks the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman Declaration’ on May 9, 1950, when then French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, delivered a speech in Paris, where he set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe.

The plan, for the creation of a single authority to control the production of steel and coal in France and West Germany (now Germany), to be opened for membership to other European countries, laid the foundation for establishment of the EU.