Since it gained independence in 1962, Jamaica has enjoyed close economic and political ties with the EU.
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Political relations between Jamaica and the EU centre around various agreements:
Jamaica also participates in the EU-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summits that take place every other year.
As a member of the CARICOMand the CARIFORUM Group of Countries, Jamaica is part of the CARIFORUM - European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that was signed in 2008.
For Jamaica, the EPA has made it easier for people and businesses from the two regions to invest in and trade with each other. This has enhanced the country’s economic performance and created jobs.
The Cotonou Agreement brought about a new era of economic cooperation between the EU and Jamaica. It has helped increase macroeconomic support and improved governance.
Jamaica has received funds from the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM). The objective of this support package is to facilitate Jamaica's adjustment to a new trading environment. As sugar industry plays a vital role in the Jamaican economy, the country also benefits from Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP).
The EU was the second largest trade partner of Jamaica in terms of exports in 2015 and the forth in imports.
Jamaica signed the EU-Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) - a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with a strong focus on development.
The EPA provides Jamaica with market access to the EU. It ensures duty-free-quota-free market access into the EU for all products. The EPA also makes it possible for Jamaican companies to set up businesses in the EU.
As a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM), Jamaica also benefits from regional programmes funded under the Caribbean Regional Indicative Programmes.
The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main source of development aid for Jamaica.
Over the years, the funds available to the country have increased dramatically, while the quality of the EU-Jamaican partnership has done the same.
Currently, Jamaica is receiving €46 million under the 11th EDF (2014-2020). These funds go towards assisting the reform of the justice system, protecting the environment, curbing climate change and managing the public finances.
Other funding sources available are:
Thanks to these funds, there are many ongoing development projects across the region.
Through its European Consensus on Development it is clear that the EU wants everyone to play an active part in shaping the futures of their countries.
For example, under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) cooperation between Jamaican non-state actors intensified for the first time. Local civil society organisations met with state actors and Members of Parliament to discuss budget support and infrastructure projects.
The Delegation also regularly attends seminars and workshops hosted by government agencies, civil society and the private sector.