Seychelles-EU express satisfaction with collaboration


12-October-2017

 

Seychelles and the European Union have expressed great satisfaction working together collaboratively since establishing relationship 40 years ago. 

This was revealed by Foreign Secretary Claude Morel and the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Seychelles, Marjaana Sall, in a press conference at the end of the 5th EU-Seychelles political dialogue held on Tuesday at the Eden Bleu hotel. The aim of the dialogue was to assess and review the partnership for future long term relationship.

Leading a delegation from 13 EU member states, Ambassador Sall held discussions on the political  and economic situation in Seychelles and in Europe, their respective priorities internally and externally, and various areas of the broad and solid partnership between the EU and Seychelles. The discussion was held with stakeholders in government ministries on Tuesday but the delegation has already held discussions also with the judiciary, the National Assembly and with the civil society. The political dialogue which falls in the framework of Article 8 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement, was also a celebration of strong re-commitment to 40 years of EU-Seychelles partnership.

Seychelles has received 40 million Euros in development aid from the EU under successive European development funds, covering various sectors in environment, education, maritime security, fisheries and to the economic reform programme. Under the 11th EDF for the 2014-2020, Seychelles received an allocation of 7 million euros to implement the Economic Partnership Agreement which adds to the bilateral envelop of 2.2 million euros. Such includes the 3 million euros funding of the climate change projects such as the flooding prevention project on La Digue, 2.2 million euros grant for the new solid waste landfill at Providence among other sectors. Seychelles also benefits from several other EU instruments including regional programmes, the Common security and Defence Policy (EUVAFOR) Operations Atalanta, the Global Climate Change Alliance and the thematic budget lines for environment and non-state actors. The EU remains Seychelles’ top trading partner and is also Seychelles’ largest source of tourist arrivals.

The political dialogue under the Cotonou covers a broad range of topic, essentially “all aims and objectives” laid down in the agreement. As such, Article 8 seeks to focus the dialogue on specific political issues of mutual concern, including the regular assessment of progress regarding the respect for human rights, democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance.

Ambassador Morel said “this dialogue serves to fortify these foundations by providing a platform for an in-depth exchange of views on important political matters and global issues of mutual interest, and furthermore allow us to explore ways in which we can work together to address the challenges which we commonly face”.

He added that all money granted to Seychelles by the EU have been well spent and documented.

As for Ambassador Sall, she declared that “this 5th session of Article 8 Political Dialogue offers an excellent opportunity to discuss how to further strengthen the comprehensive partnership between the EU and Seychelles, beyond the development aid dynamics, by promoting common shared values and interests. Just as we celebrate 40 years or our solid and broad relations, we look to the future and see clear opportunities where EU and Seychelles could work closely together: maritime security, blue economy, climate change mitigation, regional economic integration, to name just a few”.

She added that the EU will be there for Seychelles even though considered as a high income country, thus minimising chances for grant allocation. She noted that the EU will grant its support to other areas deemed appropriate such as the Anti-Corruption Commission.

 

 

 

 

 

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