Political & economic relations

European Union – Guyana Cooperation  

The strategic objectives of cooperation between the European Union and Guyana are two-fold:

1.      Development of a strong mutually beneficial partnership on the international scene where the two partners will work together towards the shared ideals of democracy and human rights in the fight against poverty and global threats to peace, security;

2.      Via EU assistance, enhancing Guyana's reform and development agenda to strengthen progress towards achievement of Guyana's national goals and objectives.

In enhancing Guyana's own reform and development agenda, the objectives of the EU's approach are based on three dimensions:

1.      Shaping a political partnership based on shared values;

2.      Addressing economic and environmental opportunities and vulnerabilities;

3.      Promoting social cohesion and combating poverty.

The strategic and programming framework to facilitate Guyana-EU cooperation for the period 2008 to 2013 is articulated in the 10th EDF Country Strategy Paper (CSP) and National Indicative Programme (NIP). The 10th EDF CSP has identified two priority areas of support:

1.      Contribution to Guyana's Sector Policy on Coastal Management (support to the maintenance and strengthening of Guyana's Sea Defences);

2.      Macroeconomic support to assist the Government in the implementation for the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper [4 MB] (PRSP) and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

In addition the EU provides technical assistance to the Government of Guyana, non-state actors and other stakeholder groups involved in promoting and advancing good governance. Under the EDF the EU provides funding for a technical cooperation facility to support studies, seminars, training and conferences. Furthermore, the EU supports the Guyanese sugar industry and the implementation of Guyana's Action Plan on Sugar to generate economic growth by bringing about sustainable improvements in the competitiveness of the industry and of the non-traditional agricultural sub-sectors.

Under the 10th EDF NIP, Guyana has been allocated a total amount of € 55.4 million.

Suriname and the EU

Partnership between the European Union and Suriname is based on the framework of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement. In a framework of respect for the universal Human Rights, this landmark pact reaffirms the willingness from the EU to make a significant contribution to poverty eradication, sustainable development and gradual (regional and global) integration of African Caribbean and Pacific countries in the world economy.

The Agreement recognised the importance of an equal participation of all relevant stakeholders in a fruitful and constructive political dialogue. For that purpose several common institutions were created – the Council of Ministers, the Committee of Ambassadors and the Joint Parliamentary Assembly).

The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is one of the most visible outcomes of this partnership which provides a new reciprocal platform for trade relations between the two regions with a view to facilitating regional integration and attaining development objectives.

As a consequence of this discussion, Development Cooperation Strategies have been transposed in country strategy papers and negotiated into multiannual national (Suriname) and regional (Caribbean) programmes; and as a means to transpose these strategies into concrete results the European Union Member-States established a European Development Fund (EDF).

Frameworks for cooperation including political dialogues and assistance, involving both the EU and Suriname include the EU-LAC Strategic Partnership and the EU-Rio Group.

Bilateral Assistance

The total EC bilateral assistance to Suriname, since its independence in 1975, amounts to some €165 million. Both the Country Strategy Paper for Suriname and the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for Suriname provide general orientations of bilateral cooperation. For the period 2008 – 2013, €19.8 million Euro have been allocated to Suriname.

The EU contributes to the Government’s objectives - namely poverty reduction, sustained income base and equitable access to services – by maintaining the transport sector as focal sector complementing programmes of other development partners, and targeting the specific objective of improved connectivity, flow of goods and persons within Suriname and between Suriname and its neighbours.

On the other hand, it is also very important to highlight the volume of EC assistance through a specific budget line to the restructuring of Suriname's banana industry over the last ten years (more than €22 million).