Speech by President Huguette Bello on the occasion of the 20th EU-OCT Forum

This Thursday, February 29, at the initiative of the European Commission and the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA), the ministerial session of the 20th EU-OCT Forum was held in Brussels.

Bringing together in particular Ms Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner responsible for international partnerships, Ms Vivian Motzfeldt, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs of Greenland, representative of the OCTA Presidency, Ms Marie Guévenoux, Minister Delegate responsible for Overseas Territories, Mr Jeroen Cooreman, representative of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, this political session aimed to define the lines of force for better consideration by the European Union of the situations and particular needs of the countries and territories of Overseas and related issues.

Invited to speak, the President of the Conference of Presidents of the ORs wished to clearly recall the statutory differences between the ORs and the OCTs in European law but also to underline, despite very different legal statuses, that the ORs and the OCTs share a number of characteristics which encourage them to share common orientations:

Firstly, more permanent and denser links of cooperation between the ORs and the OCTs on the one hand, but also between the ORs and the OCTs with their neighboring third countries on the other hand, are desired, particularly in the areas of the environment, the preservation of ecosystems, energy sovereignty, maritime, air and digital opening up or even crisis management on a regional scale, mainly in the field of maritime rescue and population protection. civilians during natural disasters.

It is still the variation of operational solutions for the joint financing of regional cooperation projects.

Finally, within the framework of economic partnership agreements, it is necessary to take their interests into account in the commercial negotiations carried out with third countries of the EU.

The President wished to conclude her intervention by indicating the interest of the Conference of Presidents of the ORs in the approach pursued with the “Global Gateway” label and all the opportunities that can be legitimately expected by the Outermost Regions.