The European Commission announced on Thursday that the Falkland Islands has been allocated a sum of 5.9million Euros to support economic development activities between 2014 and 2020. The announcement of the new allocation under the European Development Fund was made at the 12th Annual OCT-EU Forum being held in Brussels this week.
The annual Forum is an event that brings together overseas countries and territories associated with European Union Member States to discuss issues of common concern and to lobby the EU Commission to promote the interests of overseas countries and territories.
This year’s Forum followed the ratification of a new Overseas Association Decision defining the legal basis of the relationship of territories to the EU. Under this new agreement the Falkland Islands will benefit from more liberal trading arrangements with the EU and simplified rules relating to products that originate in the Islands. As a direct result of this decision, products exported to the EU from the Falklands will no longer be subject to quota restrictions.
The Forum was attended by MLA Roger Edwards, FIG Head of Policy Jamie Fotheringham, the Falkland Islands UK Representative Sukey Cameron and FIG Graduate Trainee Karen Minto.
In his address to the Forum MLA Edwards re-stated the Falkland Islands commitment to sustainable management of the Islands fisheries and called on the EU Commission to seek similar commitments from the Government of Argentina, particularly in relation to co-operation on regional fisheries management and urged the EU Commission not to overlook the irresponsible actions of a nation, referring to Argentina, that has consistently sought to deny the Falkland Islanders right to self-determination and self-sufficiency.