INTERREG Caribbean of­fers sup­port for projects in the Caribbean

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Last week rep­re­sen­ta­tives and of­fi­cials of the French Over­seas De­part­ments and Col­lec­tiv­i­ties of Guade­loupe, Mar­tinique, French Guyana and Saint Martin, the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of East­ern Caribbean States (OECS), and the Euro­pean Union (EU) of­fi­cially launched the new INTERREG Caribbean pro­gramme in Saint Lu­cia, with sup­port from the Honourable Mr. Allen Chastanet, Prime Min­is­ter of Saint Lu­cia.

By launch­ing the INTERREG V Caribbean pro­gramme in Saint Lu­cia, the or­gan­is­ers made a state­ment of their com­mit­ment to con­sol­i­date re­gional part­ner­ships (be­tween the French Caribbean and the English-, Span­ish- and Dutch- speak­ing coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries of the re­gion) by strength­en­ing the in­volve­ment of re­gional or­gan­i­sa­tions, and to achieve a bet­ter co-or­di­na­tion and distribution of the Euro­pean Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Funds to the ben­e­fit of the greater Caribbean.

The work car­ried out in con­sul­ta­tion with all part­ners fo­cused on the eval­u­a­tion and se­lec­tion of a large num­ber of projects that have been sub­mit­ted, which tes­ti­fies to the grow­ing suc­cess of the INTERREG Caribbean pro­gramme, open­ing up real prospects for strength­en­ing Caribbean part­ner­ships and al­low­ing all re­gional stake­hold­ers to be a part of the ef­fort to put transna­tional co-op­er­a­tion at the heart of the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the re­gion.

The prepa­ra­tion and re­al­i­sa­tion of the three­day con­fer­ence con­sti­tuted im­por­tant mo­ments of shar­ing, ex­chang­ing and build­ing a true pol­icy of re­gional co-op­er­a­tion. On Wed­nes­day, 14th De­cem­ber the new INTERREG Caribbean pro­gramme was of­fi­cially launched in the pres­ence of many re­gional part­ners and stake­hold­ers.

At the pub­lic meet­ing, Mrs. Marie-Luce Pen­chard, 2nd Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Guade­loupe Re­gion, in charge of re­gional co-op­er­a­tion, Euro­pean Af­fairs & Uni­ver­si­ties, took the op­por­tu­nity to urge “project de­vel­op­ers, who play a most vi­tal role in the pro­gramme de­vel­op­ment, to get even more in­volved in or­der to build to­gether a real part­ner­ship for the ben­e­fit of our [Caribbean coun­tries and] ter­ri­to­ries”.

She also ex­pressed the strong will of the Re­gion of Guade­loupe to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of their ac­tiv­i­ties in the greater Caribbean, in a gen­uine sus­tain­able and co­op­er­a­tive way.

“While the pre­vi­ous pro­grammes have brought closer to­gether project de­vel­op­ers and re­gional stake­hold­ers [to our ter­ri­to­ries],” she con­tin­ued, “the new INTERREG Caribbean pro­gramme in­tends to go even fur­ther by sup­port­ing projects in terms of eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness, nat­u­ral risks and joint nat­u­ral and cul­tural her­itage.”

The pro­gramme also seeks to pro­vide con­crete an­swers to com­mon is­sues and chal­lenges shared by Caribbean coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries, which per­tain to pub­lic health, re­new­able en­ergy de­vel­op­ment and skills de­vel­op­ment.

Left to right: Mrs. Bev­er­ley Best (OECS), Al­fred Marie-Jean (Mar­tinique), Mrs. Marie-Luce Pen­chard and Prime Min­is­ter Allen Chastanet.

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