The Government of Dominica will host a Joint Dialogue between the Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean Pacific States (CARIFORUM) and the European Union on May 11, 2012 at the Fort Young Hotel. The CARIFORUM is a grouping of sixteen (16) Caribbean States which was established formally in 1992 to facilitate economic dialogue with the European Union (EU). In December, 2007, the CARIFORUM and the EU completed a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which signalled the start of a new trade relationship between the two blocs.
In 2008, a CARIFORUM-EU Summit was held in Peru, where Heads of States agreed on the importance of establishing mechanisms for a structured and comprehensive political dialogue in order to strengthen their relationship. The first political dialogue was held in Jamaica in 2010. On July 1, 2011 Dominica assumed the Chair of CARIFORUM and is expected to chair all CARIFORUM meetings both at the ministerial and technical levels. Within that context the Government of Dominica will host this Joint Dialogue between CARIFORUM and the EU at the level of Senior Officials.
The objective of the Dialogue is to exchange information, foster mutual and better understanding and define common priorities and shared agendas. In that regard, the meeting will cover all issues of mutual interest and concern on a common global, regional or sub-regional level. Dialogue at this level comprises an exchange of views and does not involve making political agreements, undertaking specific binding commitments or issuing bilateral agreements, statements or declarations.
The EU Team will be led by Mr. Christian Leffler, Managing Director for the Americas of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and will include Head of EU Delegations in the Caribbean and other Senior and High Level EEAS and European Union Commission Officials.
The CARIFORUM Team will include high level officials from all CARIFORUM Member States including National Authorising Officers to the European Development Fund and officials of the CARIFORUM Secretariat. A preparatory meeting of CARIFORUM Member States will be held on May 10, 2012 at the Fort Young Hotel. As the current chair of CARIFORUM, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Employment, Trade, Industry and Diaspora Affairs will lead the CARIFORUM team.