Senator the Honourable Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs met with His Excellency Peter Cavendish, Ambassador of the European Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago at the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs on 6th October 2023 at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs.
The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss an upcoming mission to Trinidad and Tobago by a delegation from the European External Action Service (EEAS), led by Her Excellency Ms. Helena König, Deputy Secretary-General for Economic and Global Affairs, on 11th October 2023. The high level mission to a number of Caribbean countries represents an opportunity for the European Commission to directly engage its partners in the region and advance bilateral relations.
The interaction between the Minister and Ambassador Cavendish presented an opportunity for frank discussion on issues ranging from Trinidad and Tobago’s ongoing energy transition, the future of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in 2008, capacity building to enhance policing through technologies that include facial recognition and the steps to be taken to remove Trinidad and Tobago from a number of negative lists published by the European Commission.
The Minister expressed optimism in the future of the relationship between Trinidad and Tobago and Europe, but reiterated that consideration must be given to the steps being taken by the country to improve its market access to Europe and strengthen governance. Additionally, the Minister invited the Ambassador to provide clarity on the specific measures to be taken by Trinidad and Tobago to ensure that livelihoods, which depend on the partnership, are not affected.
Trinidad and Tobago’s relationship with the European Union spans over forty-five years, and is anchored by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which was signed in 2000 by the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (OACP) states, the European Union Member States and the European Community. The successor to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, is scheduled to be signed in Apia, Independent State of Samoa on 15th November 2023.