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DCAR: The Delegation to the CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee

The European Parliament's Delegation to the CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee (DCAR) monitors the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the 15 CARIFORUM states (CARIFORUM-EU EPA). Those 15 Caribbean countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

This Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has been in application since 29 December 2008. Its main objectives are to promote CARIFORUM-EU trade and investment in line with sustainable development objectives and to reduce and ultimately eradicate poverty. It is a reciprocal and asymmetric trade agreement that through enhanced trade and investment aims to boost intra-regional trade and gradually integrate the CARIFORUM states into the global economy. It is a comprehensive agreement that covers not only trade in goods and services, but also investment and trade-related issues such as competition, innovation, public procurement and intellectual property.

The institutional structures established by the agreement include the CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee, which is intended to be a forum for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and members of the CARIFORUM legislatures to meet and exchange views. It scrutinises the work of other bodies created by the agreement, notably the Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council, which meets at ministerial level and is responsible for the operation and implementation of the agreement, and the Joint Trade and Development Committee, which assists the Joint Council and is composed of senior officials.

The CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee has 30 members in total: the 15 MEPs of the DCAR delegation and 15 members of the Caribbean legislatures.

Composition

The DCAR delegation is composed of 15 full members and a number of substitute members.

Members of the DCAR delegation must also be members of either the Committee on International Trade (nine members) or the Committee on Development (six members).


DCAR delegation ordinary meetings

The DCAR delegation's ordinary meetings take place in Brussels and Strasbourg independently of and in preparation for the CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee.

The agenda for these meetings includes issues of substance related to the implementation of the EPA. Senior staff from the European Commission, the European External Action Service and ambassadors from the CARIFORUM states regularly attend these discussions.


CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee meetings

The committee's Rules of Procedure stipulate that the committee shall meet at least once a year, at a venue alternating between one of the European Parliament's places of work and the CARIFORUM states. In practice, this requirement has proven challenging to fulfil and the members of the DCAR delegation have met with their counterparts only three times since the committee was established.

These meetings have enabled parliamentarians to establish contacts and tackle issues of mutual concern. At the committee's most recent meeting, the members adopted both a joint declaration and a set of recommendations to the Joint Council.


Article 231 of the CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement

ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
between the CARIFORUM States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part

Article 231

CARIFORUM-EC Parliamentary Committee

1. A CARIFORUM-EC Parliamentary Committee is hereby established. It shall be a forum for members of the European Parliament and the CARIFORUM States legislatures to meet and exchange views. It shall meet at intervals which it shall itself determine. It shall cooperate with the Joint Parliamentary Assembly provided for in Article 17 of the Cotonou Agreement.

2. The CARIFORUM-EC Parliamentary Committee shall consist of members of the European Parliament, on the one hand, and of members CARIFORUM States legislatures, on the other. Representatives of the Parties may attend the meetings of the CARIFORUM-EC Parliamentary Committee.

3. The CARIFORUM-EC Parliamentary Committee shall establish its rules of procedure and inform the Joint CARIFORUM-EC Council thereof.

4. The CARIFORUM-EC Parliamentary Committee shall be chaired in turn by a representative of the European Parliament and a representative of a CARIFORUM State legislature, in accordance with the provisions to be laid down in its rules of procedure.

5. The CARIFORUM-EC Parliamentary Committee may request of the Joint CARIFORUM-EC Council relevant information regarding the implementation of this Agreement, and the Joint CARIFORUM-EC Council shall supply the Committee with the requested information.

6. The CARIFORUM-EC Parliamentary Committee shall be informed of the decisions and recommendations of the Joint CARIFORUM-EC Council.

7. The CARIFORUM-EC Parliamentary Committee may make recommendations to the Joint CARIFORUM-EC Council and the CARIFORUM-EC Trade and Development Committee.