The ambassador for the European Union (EU) , Jernej Videtič made a courtesy visit to Aruba. Videtič was recently appointed and stationed in Guyana as head of the EU-Delegation. The Delegation of the European Union represents the Union in nine countries and territories in the region. These include Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago as well as six Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT’s) which form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten.
The ambassador is stationed in the Caribbean for a period of four years and has big plans. “Mr. Eman and I will have regular contact. I wanted to meet with him to talk about his presidency of OCTA, the organization of overseas countries and territories with ties to countries that are part of the EU.” The Aruban Prime Minister takes over the presidency of OCTA at the end of February and has an ambitious agenda. One of his main focal points is to shift the relationship between the EU and the Caribbean partners from the current development relations to economic relations. “We have to focus more on the strategic location of the Caribbean, between Europe and the Americas. We have to exploit that much more”, Videtič said.
The ambassador and the Prime Minister talked about the role of the Europe House in Aruba. “It would be a good idea to make better use of this institution to promote the EU. One of the benefits would be that the local people better understand what the EU is and does. The EU for instance, is very active in research and development of infrastructure, but there are undoubtedly more subjects that can benefit from cooperation.”
Videtič supports the ideas of Eman to involve the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) more in the discussion about climate change. “SIDS are not a big source of that problem, but suffer disproportionately from the effects. Maybe we can use EU-funding for concrete projects to realize the climate agreement of COP21 in Paris.”
Videtič also visited the Multidisciplinary Center of the Department of Education. This facility is partly funded by the EU. Children and adolescents with behavioral challenges are diagnosed here, so they can receive customized support. “What I see here is a beautiful institution, with a good program. Children receive the help and support they need. I’m very proud that the EU contributed to this initiative ”, Videtič said._