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Brussels Forum Boosts Relations with the EU

The Hon. Roger Edwards MLA led a delegation in Brussels from 23-26 March for the four-day Forum for Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the European Union, arranged and paid for by the European Commission.  Cllr Edwards, who is the portfolio holder for European Union affairs, was accompanied by the Falklands London Representative, Sukey Cameron MBE, and Michael Poole, Senior Economic and Statistical Analyst for the Falkland Islands Government.

The Forum provided an opportunity for the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) to put its views forward on the new Overseas Association Decision, the document that governs the relationship between the European Union and its Overseas Countries and Territories.  The Falkland Islands sends representatives to the Forum to enhance communication between the EU and the OCTs; to achieve a clearer understanding amongst OCTs about the financial assistance available from the Tenth European Development Fund; to promote the economic and social development and self-reliance of OCTs within the global economy; and to ensure better co-operation and co-ordination on sustainable development strategies suitable for OCTs.

Cllr Edwards also met representatives of the UK™s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, to discuss Rules of Origin issues for the Falkland Islands fishing industry, and to lobby the British Government to support the Falkland Islands Government™s position.