The European External Action Service (EEAS) is keen to strengthen diplomatic relations with Barbados.
This commitment to continue productive and cordial relations between the EEAS and Barbados was one of the areas discussed during a virtual courtesy call between Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott and EEAS’ new Managing Director/Director General, Americas, Brian Glynn.
The two officials also discussed other matters of importance, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the provision of vaccines through COVAX, Concessional Funding, the Vulnerability Index, Tax Governance (Blacklisting), Brexit and Post–Cotonou Agreement.
Minister Walcott called for a resumption of meetings between the European Union (EU) and Caribbean organisations, such as CARICOM, CELAC, and CARIFORUM.
He noted that some years had passed since the last EU-CARIFORUM summit had occurred, and stressed the need “for leaders from both regions to really sit down and discuss especially now that we’re going into a new agreement … which speaks about common political relationships and multilateral relationships”.
Director General Glynn also stressed the importance of continuous, open and frank dialogue with Barbados and other CARICOM member states, so that “we can ensure that the partnership between the EU and the Caribbean receives the attention that it deserves, in a context that’s defined by Post–Cotonou [Agreement], and of course also by Brexit”.
Concluding the courtesy call, Minister Walcott stated: “It is an honour and pleasure to have had this courtesy call; it has been extremely useful and I look forward to interacting with you in the future. Barbados has had an excellent relationship with the EU over the years and I know that this will continue.”
In response, Mr. Glynn said: “It’s been a wonderful opportunity for me to engage with a country that I have a fondness for from a distance, and I hope to get to know it in person and up close, as soon as conditions allow.”
Also present during the virtual courtesy call was European Union Ambassador to Barbados, Malgorzata Wasilewska and Barbados’ Ambassador to Brussels, Joy-Ann Skinner.
Barbados’ formal relationship with the European Union dates back to July 1976, when the EU Delegation office in Barbados was first established.