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).
Development is at the heart of the EU’s external action, along with its foreign, security and trade policies. The primary and overarching objective of EU development policy is the eradication of poverty in the context of sustainable development, including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
EU action in the field of development is based on the European Consensus on Development, signed on 20 December 2005, whereby EU Member States, the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission agreed to a common EU vision of development.
EU partnerships and dialogue with developing countries promote respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, peace, democracy, good governance, and gender equality, the rule of law, solidarity and justice. European Community's contribution is focused in certain areas of intervention, responding to the needs of partner countries.
As the world's largest donor of official development assistance, the EU has, in the last years been strongly committed to improve aid effectiveness. The adoption of an ambitious Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action on Aid Effectiveness was due, in no small measure, to the strong input provided by the EU.
Policy Coherence for Development plays a central role in reinforcing the EU contribution to developing countries progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. The aim is to maximise the positive impact of these policies on partner countries and to correct incoherence.
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).
For further details on projects and programmes in Suriname funded from the European Development Fund and other thematic budget lines of the EU, please visit the project's section of the website.
Europe has strong historic ties with the Caribbean region, and several EU member states still enjoy close links with the region today.
The EU seeks a partnership for growth, stability and development with the Caribbean, aiming to:
- strengthen its political partnership with the region
- support regional integration and help Caribbean countries respond to foreign competition
- help the region address its specific vulnerabilities, including increasing its ability to respond to natural disasters and combat drug trafficking.
The EU articulated these aims in 2006 in its Communication on EU-Caribbean partnership for growth, stability and development which was confirmed by the European Council that same year.
In 2008-13, the European Development Fund (EDF) will provide €165m for the implementation of the Caribbean regional indicative programme :
- regional economic integration and EPA implementation (€140 - €149m)
- addressing specific regional vulnerabilities, social issues, natural-resource management and the environment (€16 - €25m).