BAHAMAS DIALOGUES WITH EU – Bahamian officials are shown meeting with representatives of the European Union as part of The Bahamas 4th annual Diplomatic Week, held in Nassau, 15-18 October, 2017. Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Darren Henfield is shown at centre along with the Head of the European Union delegation, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska and Ambassador Reuben Rahming various senior Government and diplomatic officials. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
19 October, 2017
The Bahamas Conducts Continuing Dialogue with European Union During Bahamas Diplomatic Week
The Bahamas has used the opportunity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ 4th annual ‘Diplomatic Week’ to stage the third in a series of dialogues with the European Union. The exchange took place during a meeting between The Bahamas and the EU on Thursday, 19 October 2017.
The political dialogue was held under the auspices of Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement, which states that the Parties “shall regularly engage in a comprehensive, balanced and deep political dialogue leading to commitments on both sides”. The Cotonou Agreement is an international agreement between African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the nations of the European Union, aimed at promoting a stable and democratic political environment.
The talks were led by the Honourable Darren Henfield, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas, and Her Excellency Malgorzata Wasilewska, Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to The Bahamas.
The talks covered a wide range of global and regional issues, including climate change and natural disasters, security and crime, and human rights and migration. The wide ranging dialogue also included discussions on the future of ACP-EU relations and the ongoing implementation of the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement, both in light of the Brexit process. Both sides welcomed the opportunity to restart this key dialogue, which was last held in October 2015, and looked forward to increased cooperation in the future.
Minister Henfield welcomed the European Delegation – also comprising non-resident Ambassadors attending Diplomatic Week from Germany, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and the British High Commissioner – and conveyed The Bahamas’ pleasure and honour to receive the group. He noted that The Bahamas’ relationship with the European Union continued as a high priority for the country, and that the two parties were bound by a proud democratic tradition and commitment to good governance and the rule of law. Restarting the dialogue, under the new government represented a positive step in further developing these relations.
The Minister – who led The Bahamas side comprising representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration, and the Ministry of the Environment and Housing – considered today’s exchange as frank, meaningful and opportune, as it occasioned the stipulation of important elements of the national agenda to individual members of the EU side present.
Ambassador Wasilewska described the talks as both comprehensive and dynamic. She said that the EU/Bahamas relationship was of growing importance in an increasingly global world that now faced a series of unprecedented challenges. She added that, ‘Only through partnerships such as ours will we be able to tackle those challenges and help create an enabling environment which helps all of our citizens’.