Ambassadors from the European Union pledged their countries’ willingness to assist and collaborate with Saint Lucia in several areas when they met with Honourable Prime Minister Allen Chastanet on Tuesday June 13th 2017 at the Office of the Prime Minister.
The delegation was headed by Ambassador of the EU to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, OECS, and the Caribbean Community H.E. Daniela Tramacere. The meeting is part of ongoing dialogue between Saint Lucia and the EU on a variety of areas of cooperation including justice and security, health, infrastructure and climate change. Government officials also in attendance included Honourable Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, Minister for External Affairs, Honourable Hermangild Francis, Minister for National Security, Director of Public Prosecutions Daasrean Greene, Acting Commissioner of Police Milton Desir, Attorney General Stephen Julien and Caricom Ambassador H.E. Elma Gene Isaac. The EU Ambassadors in attendance included: Belgium’s Guy Sevrin, Denmark’s Henrik Brahmsen Hahn, Germany’s Lutz Hermann Goergens, France’s Philippe Ardanaz, Jilles Gerrit Bijl of The Netherlands and UK High Commissioner Janet Douglas.
Ambassador Tramacere explained the meeting as “routine dialogue” at least twice a year with the Saint Lucia Government.
“We will be working with Saint Lucia on a wide spectrum and our dialogue has been always very strong and of course we have been supporting Saint Lucia a lot in the agricultural sector, in infrastructure, rehabilitating after hurricanes and disasters,” she noted. The Ambassador also mentioned collaboration on the EU-Owen King Hospital which the EU is hoping will become functional very soon.
“We have been supporting Saint Lucia also in becoming more competitive and we are progressively more and more active in supporting all the Caribbean countries in in strengthening the criminal justice system . . . This is not only about funds it is about our strong alliance. So we want to further strengthen our relationship with deep dialogue at the political level. So we are here because we are good partners.”
During the meeting the EU Group was also updated generally on the justice system by the Minister of National Security and the Director of Public Prosecution who provided an update on IMPACS and other matters.
“We have received strong reassurance that the due process is taking place,” the Ambassador said. “We are confident that recommendations have been followed so far. Of course the process is not complete but we came here also to see what the product has been so far and we are somehow reassured that measures have been taken and we are looking forward to see the further completion of this process.”
During the meeting Prime Minister Allen Chastanet gave the EU Grouping an overview of the direction Saint Lucia is heading in order to strengthen our economy and create employment and an overall better society. He highlighted areas where Saint Lucia urgently needed assistance and paid particular attention to the justice system and climate change.
Prime Minister Chastanet noted that despite assistance and increased collaboration between the EU and our country we must also do the necessary locally to put Saint Lucia on the right path.
“The need for us to make some tough decisions and to make sure that we get our economy straightened out is critical,” the Prime Minister told media following the meeting. “Our government is committed to making those decisions and making Saint Lucia as viable as possible and less dependent on foreign aid.”
The Prime Minister vowed to continue to work with the EU on strengthening ties and making Saint Lucia and the Caribbean region as a whole more competitive.