Caribbean entertainers free to move across Europe

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EU&Caricum.jpgCaribbean entertainers thanks to a historic agreement inked on Sunday between representatives of the region and the EU, will be able to move freely across Europe.

According to the website officials of CARIFORUM - CARICOM and Dominican Republic and European Union officials signed off on the new Economic Partnership Agreement, just days before the December 31 deadline set by the EU.

The new agreement replaces the Cotonou Agreement which expires at the end of this year. The agreement came after two days of talks over the weekend but after about three years of bilateral. And after Caribbean officials agreed to grant EU products access to its market.

But Deputy Director General for Trade of the EU Commission, Karl Falkenberg, who signed the document for the EU, admitted the deal was a hard one for the EU.

"This is a very, very difficult concession for Europe. It allows musical performers and artistes to move into Europe to present their talent and to seize business opportunities. This is a novelty that was
very difficult to achieve," Falkenberg commented.

But he added, "We are convinced that the result that we have achieved will strengthen the CARIFORUM region, the integration of the region, the potential for doing business here. We think that the conditions, once this agreement comes into effect, will be better and should, therefore, lead to more diversified economies, to more creation of employment, eventually to more revenue and thereby combating poverty and contributing to the overall economic development of this region."

The document is the first comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to be completed between the European Union and any of the ACP members.