EU and the Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories

According to Article 198 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, non-European countries and territories which have special relations with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are associated with the European Union. The objectives of the Association are to promote the economic and social development of the countries and territories and to establish close relationships between them and the Union as a whole.

The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) including the Dutch ones in the Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten) receive assistance from the European Union in form of grants through the European Development Fund (EDF). The projects under these assistance programmes are prepared and managed by the OCTs themselves together with the Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, in charge of assistance to Dutch OCTs.

At the moment projects under the 9th EDF are being implemented, in particular the ''Urban Infrastructure for Socially Deprived Areas'' covering Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten (EU grant of EUR 23.5 million) and the ''Bonaire Sewerage and Sanitation Project'' (EU grant of EUR 19.6 million).

10th EDF project proposals are under preparation, as listed in the table below:

EntityAmountProposed sector/ project
Curaçao11,25M €Urban Infrastructure for deprived areas
Aruba8.8 M €Budget support for the implementation of the National Education Plan
St. Maarten4,75 M €Sewerage for socially deprived areas (Dutch Quarter)
Bonaire3 M €Aid to Environment -  Sewerage and Sanitation System Hato and Belnem
St-Eustatius2 M €Trade related assistance – Port Development of St Eustatius – container area
Saba3 M€Aid to deprived communities - Under the Hill – Infrastructure for Social Housing – Phase 2

These projects are expected to start in 2012 and last until 2015. The Dutch OCTs benefit also from EU assistance through the Regional Caribbean OCT Programme managed by the Delegation in Barbados and the inter-OCT Programme managed by the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA). They also benefit from projects funded by the Technical Cooperation Facility and Community Programmes such as the Competitiveness Innovation Programme, 7th Framework Programme and Life Long Learning.

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