EPA and CSME Standby Facilities For Capacity Building

The Economic Partnership Agreement and CSME Standby Facility Projects are funded by the European Development Fund (EDF) and are being managed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The EDF is the main instrument for providing European Union aid for development cooperation to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States and Great Britain’s Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

Funding for the EDF does not come directly from the EU budget, but from voluntary contributions by the EU member states. The European Commission is responsible for the financial implementation of the operations carried out with EDF resources.

The CDB conducted the appraisal of the projects selected and the Project Steering Committee approved the projects for funding.

CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Standby Facility for Capacity Building

In 2008, CARIFORUM, (the CARICOM states plus the Dominican Republic) and the European Union (EU) signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). In spite of a commitment and continued efforts on the part of the members of CARIFORUM, implementation of the EPA has been slow and uneven. CARIFORUM states report lacking the human resources and the financial and technical capacities to take full advantage of the EPA.

The EU and CARIFORUM decided to work together to identify areas where CARIFORUM states could use assistance in strengthening their capacity to implement the EPA. As a result, in 2012, the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP) was signed.

The CRIP has contributed EUR46,500,000 to provide support to the Region in its EPA implementation efforts. There are seven components in the initiative. The EPA Standby Facility projects managed by the Caribbean Development Bank are part of Component Seven of the CRIP.

Component number seven is a EUR3.5 million fund provided by the EU and administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The objective of the Facility is the effective implementation of the EPA at the national level. The funding provided by the Facility is to be used to build the capacity of national administrations/agencies involved in EPA implementation in CARIFORUM states. These groups include National Focal Points for EPA Implementation and National EPA Implementation Units.

The Facility is administered by the CDB, with support from the National Authoring Officers (NAOs). The Facility is managed by a Steering Committee made up of representatives of the European Commission and the CARICOM Secretariat. The Steering Committee is responsible for approving proposals to be funded under the Facility, and overseeing its overall strategic direction and operation.

The resources of the Facility have been provided to CARIFORUM States in the form of grants, and are being used to finance projects in the following areas:

  • administrative, technical and other support for National EPA Focal Points
  • support for National EPA Implementation Units
  • providing technical assistance for assignments to advise on, or assist in, EPA implementation, including taking advantage of EPA-related opportunities
  • assisting CARIFORUM States in improving the quality of applications to be submitted to the Facility
  • improving the capacity of CARIFORUM States to implement projects approved under the Facility
  • covering the costs associated with establishing and administering the Facility.

Grants under the CRIP range from EUR150,000 to EUR210,000 (USD168,000 to USD236,000*).
*April 2015 exchange rates

CSME Standby Facility for Capacity Building
The goal of the CSME Standby Facility for Capacity Building is to provide capacity building measures to CARICOM Member States as they implement the CSME at the national level. It is expected that the Facility will strengthen the administrative capacity of national CSME implementation units.

The overall objective of the programme is to support the beneficial integration of the CARICOM states into the global economy through the advancement of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, while the specific objectives of the programme are:

  • To further advance the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME)
  • To advance regional and sectoral policies

The interventions will include areas such as competition law, procurement, technical barriers to trade, Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Measures, Labour Markets, Monetary cooperation and Fiscal policy.