Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 15th 2015 Contents A27
SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015 • Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
CHARLES KONG SOO
The European Union (EU) has set aside €400
million in grant money for its programmes in the
region. One of the major concerns for the EU is
crime and the organisation has alloted €40 million
to help combat this. They will also invest in the
areas of integration and climate change.
So said EU Charge d'Affaires Daniela Tramacere
Delegation of the European Union to T&T.
She was speaking to the Sunday Guardian from
her office in the Sagicor Financial Centre, Queen's
Park West, Port-of-Spain.
Tramacere said, "We're working with the region and
the EU has set aside a substantial cooperation enve-
lope of €400M for work in the areas of integration,
climate change and crime and security.
"We're very concerned about the security
issue, T&T has become a major trans-
shipment point for drugs and the illicit
trafficking of people and arms.
"The pressure has been put in the
past years on Central America, so
international crime is very cunning,
they go and flow through the weak-
est point where they can get
"Unfortunately because of its
porous borders, T&T has become
one of the transhipment points
and this has implications not
only for the quantity of small
arms which trickle down to
the gangs here, but also the
transfer of money, money
laundering, which creates
major problems of where
does the money go and to
She said the EU had a vested interest in this since
T&T was not only a transshipment point to the US
but particularly to Europe, which can have a destabilising
effect on all countries involved.
Tramacere said the EU was of course concerned
about the security issues not only in this region but
also in Latin America and as a result, the EU intends
to support more crime fighting in the region.
She said what was being discussed currently was
an envelope of €40M for the region.
Tramacere said an action plan was currently being
developed and it is the intention of the EU to discuss
and endorse the plan at the CELAC-EU meeting in
Brussels in June.
Tramacere said there was good news on this front
regarding visas for Trinidadians wishing to travel to
She said an agreement had been initialled for a visa
waiver for citizens of T&T for short stays less than
Tramacere said the decision must now be ratified
both in Europe by the Council of the EU and by the
Tramacere said the treaty would come into force
one month after the last party ratifies the agreement.
Human rights/death penalty
Tramacere said the EU has always maintained that
the death penalty is not the remedy for crime. She
said the EU has been actively pursuing the complete
abolition of the death penalty or at least a moratorium
on capital punishment. Tramacere said the EU con-
tinues to dialogue with the Government on this issue.
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
Tramacere said The EPA was signed to bring the
EU into compliance with World Trade Organization
She said it has granted duty free and quota-free
access for goods (not services) to Europe with an asym-
metric reduction/dismantling of tariffs over a period
of up to 25 years by Caribbean states.
Tramacere said the EPA implementation had not
been smooth---one issue has been how much does
T&T and the region as a whole have to trade substan-
tively with Europe.
She said to deal with this the EPA did include a
developmental component in an effort to shore up the
region's ability/capability to export to Europe success-
Tramacere said examples of this were the Support
to the Caribbean Export Development Agency and
Support to the Caribbean Forum of ACP Countries in
the Implementation of Commitments undertaken in
the EPA---Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures.
EU €400m purse
in the region
...integration, climate change,
crime, security on the front burner
CONTINUES ON PAGE A28
Charge d' Affairs,
Delegation of the
European Union to
Trinidad and Tobago.
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