(GOSIER, Guadeloupe) — Following an initial evaluation process, a shortlist of several projects in partnership with Anguilla, Dominica, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, along with a number of other Caribbean countries is due to be presented to the InterregCaraïbes programme Selection Committee on May 30 and 31 at the Hotel Salako, Gosier, in Guadeloupe.
The InterregCaraïbes Programme
The InterregCaraïbes programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and supports cooperative actions addressing common regional challenges in order to strengthen the territorial and sustainable economic development of the Caribbean region.
The Guadeloupe region is the managing authority for this fund. It is intended to support projects involving players from the French “Outermost regions” (RUP) of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Saint Martin, in partnership with organizations in the Caribbean area representing nearly 40 countries and overseas territories (OCTs).
Initially, 114 projects were submitted as part of the call for expressions of interest (MAI) in November 2016. Thirty obtained a favourable initial evaluation, of which 24 then filed the following thematic priorities:
1. Competitiveness, innovation, employment, economic diversification, development of a business flow in the region;
2. Strengthening capacities to respond to natural hazards;
3. Protection and enhancement of the natural and cultural environment;
4. Concerted response to public health issues;
5. Support for renewable energy development initiatives; and
6. Strengthening of human capital (training, mobility, language learning).
The Monitoring Committee validated the strategic decisions to ensure the proper functioning of the Interreg programme. It consists of the representatives of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe assisted by the Joint Secretariat, the Territorial Communities of French Guiana and Martinique, the Community of Saint Martin, the prefectures, the network of embassies in the area, the European Commission, representatives of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The Selection Committee, with a more restricted composition, will decide on the programming of the projects submitted to it. Thus, on May 31, twenty-four projects will be presented to the selection committee; they will be approved, rejected or deferred at the end of the day.
Some of the main projects submitted to the Selection Committee are:
1. OHADAC – Guadeloupe and Saint Lucia (Harmonization of legal rules for maritime transport in the Caribbean)
2. Escc E Santé – Guadeloupe, St. Martin, St. Barts and all OECS countries (Development of medical cooperation between the French West Indies and the Caribbean)
3. PAIRE – Guadeloupe, St. Maarten, Antigua and Dominica (Facilitation of cooperation between air transport operators in the Caribbean area)
4. TEECA – Martinique and all OECS countries (Development of commercial relations between Martinique, Guadeloupe, OECS and CARICOM)
5. CARIB COAST – Guadeloupe, Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the British Virgin Islands (Networking of competences in the field of coastal erosion risk management and marine submersion)
6. CARIFORT – Martinique, Guadeloupe, Antigua and Barbuda, St Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Haiti (Creation of a network of forts and fortifications of the Caribbean for a multi-destination tourist offering)
7. CARI’MAM – Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Bonaire, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and Cuba (Networking of Marine Protected Areas for the Conservation of Marine Mammals in the Greater Caribbean)
8. ODYSSEA BLUE – Martinique, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Mexico and Cuba (Creation of the first transnational ecotourism itinerary of the “Blue Ways” of the Caribbean space)
9. HCB – Martinique, Saint Lucia, Dominica and Haiti (Improving Access to Care for Caribbean Patients in Martinique)
10. OSAIN – Martinique, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Cuba, St. Barts, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Curacao, Belize and Colombia (Identifying and evaluating medicinal plants in the Caribbean)