Following the COVID-19 crisis, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Samira Rafaela of Renew Europe/D66 has taken several actions to protect and defend the interests of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), including the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom.
In her contact with the European Commission, Rafaela has advocated for solidarity with the OCTs and has sought assistance for the islands to apply for existing funds.
In addition, Rafaela has requested a proposal for exceptional support for the OCTs in this crisis. The European Commission has currently indicated that limited use can be made of the European Development Fund (EDF). Rafaela is acting jointly with her French colleague MEP Stephane Bijoux, with whom she previously founded a Friendship Group for the OCTs Together they have called on the European Commission to open up existing European funds to the OCTs, thus also for the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
However, this will not be enough to tackle the current crisis. When the European Parliament gathers to debate and vote on a resolution regarding COVID-19, Rafaela will work hard to ensure that the OCTs are included and will call for improved financing.
“The COVID-19 crisis is hitting all corners of the world and also all parts of our Kingdom. The consequences for the world economy are almost without precedent. We must make every effort to ensure that we remain healthy and to safeguard our economy, including that of the OCTs, in the short and long term. I will continue to work hard for that,” said Rafaela.
The Daily Herald.