EU Delegation to Turkmenistan

Trinidad and Tobago and the EU

10/05/2016 - 15:18
EU relations with Country

The European Union (EU) recognises Trinidad and Tobago both as a valuable partner and as an influential player in the Caribbean. Relations are based on the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, also known as the Cotonou Agreement, the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement, and a wide range of trade and development programmes.

The EU's political relations with Trinidad and Tobago are underpinned by the Cotonou  Agreement. This Agreement was signed in 2000 by the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, the EU Member States and the European Community. It covers a period of 20 years and has been revised every 5 years. The Agreement will end in 2020 and negotiations are currently taking place to draw up the successor agreement that will set the terms of the future relationship between the ACP states and the EU.

The Agreement foresees a regular political dialogue between the EU and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to discuss issues of mutual interest.

 

Trade relations between the EU and Trinidad and Tobago are based on the 2008 CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA covers all areas of activity, from manufactured goods to services to intellectual property and investment, and offers Trinidad and Tobago free access for its goods and services to the EU market, while Trinidad and Tobago will gradually introduce tariff reductions for an agreed set of goods over a period of 25 years for imports from the EU. In addition, Trinidad and Tobago has bilateral investment treaties with some individual EU countries, including Spain, France and Germany.

Developing Trinidad and Tobago Trade Relations

While Trinidad and Tobago already exports to Europe, the EU being Trinidad and Tobago's second largest trading partner, measures are being taken to increase trade in general. The EU provides support to CARIFORUM to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago, as well as and other countries in the region, can take greater advantage of the trading opportunities available under the EPA. For example, training and workshops have been provided in areas such as food safety requirements and technical barriers to trade. Trade missions to Europe are also organised at regular intervals, the next upcoming being the, "CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum and Authentic Caribbean Trade Expo", which shall take place in Frankfurt Germany from 26th to 28th September, 2019.

 

Since 2007, the EU has given Trinidad and Tobago grant funding worth more than €100 million. The focus of this aid is on boosting economic diversification and promoting competitive business, food security, crime reduction, and environmental protection and sustainability. It is also being used to strengthen local and regional civil society organisations and improve governance. Upcoming programmes will focus on the introduction of renewable energy and the promotion of energy efficiency.

Bilateral Programmes

EU development cooperation with Trinidad and Tobago currently includes the following programmes:

  • Measures in Favour of Civil Society (2014-2020)
  • Support to the Implementation of Trinidad and Tobago's Nationally Determined Contribution (2019-2023)

The following programme is currently under  formulation:

  • Building a Competitive and Innovative Economy (2019-2023).

Regional Programmes

EU development cooperation in the region includes the following programmes, in which Trinidad and Tobago participates:

  • Crime and Security Cooperation Programme (2014-2020): the CARIFORUM Crime and Security Cooperation Regional Programme has received €12.2 million to support the region's institutional capacity and response to reduce drug demand, prevent crime and violence, and combat illicit drug trafficking. The Regional Crime and Security Agenda of the CARICOM Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) is being supported. The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) is also being supported.
  • Participation of CARIFORUM Civil Society in Regional Development and Integration (2014-2020)

In addition, new projects, in the areas of economic integration and cooperation, crime and security and the environment and sustainable energy are under development.

Multi-Country Programmes

Trinidad and Tobago has also benefitted from a number of ACP intra-regional programmes, including:

 

Through its funded programmes and projects, the EU supports Trinidad and Tobago in various important thematic areas, most notably:

  • Environment and climate change: encouraging environmental protection and sustainability through a combination of financial support, dialogue with the Government and information for civil society institutions, businesses and the public.
  • Civil Society and Local Authorities: the EU supports a more open relationship between the Government and society, and increased participation of the public.
  • Human rights: the EU promotes the abolition of the death penalty, gender equality, the prevention of violence against women and children, the promotion of LGBTI rights, and prison reform.
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