European Union External Action

Dominican Republic and the EU

The relations between the European Union and the Dominican Republic are framed in the Contonou Agreement, and agreement which seeks to promote democracy, respect for human rights, the eradication of poverty and the advantageous integration of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) in the global economy.

Along similar lines, the EU and the Dominican Republic redefined the strategic objectives of their bilateral relations in the National Indicative Programme 2014-2020, which is based on the following guidelines:

  • to be allies on the world scene, jointly promoting global public welfare with particular focus on security and the environment;
  • to promote regional integration;
  • to facilitate the deeper integration of the Dominican Republic in the global economy, by expanding trade flows and investment agreements with the EU;
  • to collaborate in the fight against poverty and exclusion;
  • to work on their commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human Rights.

Regional Relations

The EU’s relations with Caribbean countries are complemented by the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement for trade and the Joint Caribbean-EU Partnership Strategy. The latter seeks to extend and improve political relations, traditionally based on development and cooperation, by providing greater political participation through five main lines of action:

  • regional integration;
  • reconstruction of Haiti;
  • climate change and natural disasters;
  • crime and security;
  • joint action in multilateral forums.

As part of the Cotonou Agreement, the EU has contributed to the advantageous integration of the Dominican Republic in the international economy, as well as in the development of economic and trade relations.

Within this framework, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), signed in 2008, has led to the European market being opened up to the Dominican Republic under very advantageous conditions. So much so that currently, the EU is the country's second trading partner.

The European Investment Bank has a regional office in Santo Domingo, in recognition of the economic potential of the Dominican Republic.

Trade relations between the EU and the Dominican Republic have been consolidated in the last decade, partly due to the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.

The EU is the Dominican Republic’s second most important trading partner, representing approximately 10 % of the country’s foreign trade for 2015. The following are some of the figures:

  • In 2015, trade between the EU and the Dominican Republic reached EUR 2 459 billion, nearly double that of the previous decade;
  • In 2015, the Dominican Republic exported goods to the EU amounting to EUR 834 million, 75 % more than in 2005. The Dominican Republic occupies 80th place in the EU’s trading partners;
  • 62.4 % of exports to the EU are food products and 28.2% are manufactured products such as medicines and machinery;
  • The EU exported goods worth EUR 1 626 billion to the Dominican Republic, mostly machinery and manufactured goods.

EU cooperation with the Dominican Republic is governed by the National Indicative Programme, with an initial budget of EUR 72 million. It is focused on two main areas:

  • Support for inclusive, productive development and capacity building for quality employment, with an allocation of EUR 32 million; and
  • Support for the institutional reform of public administration, which has a budget of EUR 28.8 million.

Furthermore, the Dominican Republic will benefit from the Multiannual Indicative Regional Programme for Latin America 2014-2020 that has a budget of EUR 120 million.

The programme responds to the emerging needs of the region, including strengthening security, reducing impunity, measures to combat climate change and the development of the private sector as a vehicle to generate job opportunities.

Through ECHO for the Caribbean, the European Commission has assigned more than EUR 17 million for 2016 and 2017 to respond to the effects of the drought that currently affects more than 6.2 million people in the Caribbean. In the Dominican Republic DIPECHO is developing the following projects:

Additionally, the DIPECHO 2015-2016 Action Plan for the Caribbean supports 14 projects (3 regional, 2 binational and 9 national) for risk reduction and disaster preparedness activities. In total, EUR 9.3 million have been allocated. In the Dominican Republic the projects within the framework of this plan are:

  • Regional:
    • Caribbean Communities Organised and Prepared for Emergencies (CCOPE);
    • Application of the post-2015 DDR framework at local, national and regional levels in the Caribbean;
  • Binational: Haiti-Dominican Republic
  • Strengthening of the disaster risk management system, by promoting coordination and collaboration between the institutional and community stakeholders in the Southeast department of Haiti and the Enriquillo region of the Dominican Republic;
  • National:
    • Disaster preparedness and reduction of earthquake and tsunami risk on the south coast;

Strengthening urban resilience through humanitarian protection, collective centres and communication in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic. 

The EU’s commitment to the civil society organisations of the Dominican Republic is guided by the Roadmap, which guarantees structured dialogue and common strategic cooperation, with the aim of strengthening the contribution of local civil society to the governability and development of the Dominican Republic, as well as improving the impact, the predictability and the visibility of EU actions.

The priorities are based on the suggestions received by various Dominican civil society organisations, compiled in the EU communication 'The roots of democracy and sustainable development: Europe's engagement with Civil Society in external relations'. They are as follows:

  • Promote the effective application of the existing regulatory and institutional framework to ensure a favourable environment for the work of civil society organisations in the Dominican Republic;
  • Encourage the significant and structured participation of civil society organisations in national policies, in EU cooperation programming and in international processes;
  • Strengthen the capacity of local civil society organisations to carry out their role more effectively as independent development actors.

There may be later additions and updates to these goals, since the Roadmap is considered a work in progress. 

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