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Date: 15/01/2010

Cape Verde is a “success story” as a country in Africa and in its relations with the European Union, according to affirmations made by the European Commission representative in Praia, Jospe Coll, in an interview with newspaper OJE and Portuguese news agency Lusa. The EU official says that the country offers “new cooperation opportunities” to its foreign partners.52-year-old Josep Coll, who hails from Spain’s Catalonia region, says that this has made Cape Verde “special,” a “very adequate” term to describe the country’s relationship with the European Union, especially considering its macroeconomic and social performance over the past several decades. “Its graduation to middle-income country, clearly a success story within the African context of a well-managed development policy, and its desire to join and contribute in the global world are more than enough for the EU to be present in the country and want to work with it toward fulfilling the ambitions of both sides,” he stressed.

Recalling Cape Verde’s joining of the World Trade Organization in 2008, the former European Commission Foreign Relations Commission spokesman stressed that the country is already participating in discussions of major global themes such as climate change and the promotion of regional stability.

“Cape Verde’s special partnership [with the European Union] stimulates this convergence of wills. It’s a relatively young process of rapprochement that is being developed to the full satisfaction of all of the parties involved. Only the future will tell if other spaces of conjunction between the EU and Cape Verde will be necessary. Both sides are building this future,” he said.

With a degree in Political Science and International Relations, Coll, who has been stationed in Praia since March 2007 after heading the European Commission delegation in Barcelona, said that the special partnership between Cape Verde and the EU was “exemplary” and that the business opportunity climate is “good.”

“In soliciting the establishment of a special partnership, Cape Verde demonstrated a level of political ambition, effort and responsibility that I would like to highlight because of its uniqueness and the fact that it is indicative of this archipelago’s capacity to look far ahead in an uninhibited way. In this respect, the country’s performance in the formulation, construction and management of the partnership has lived up to these ambitions,” he claimed.

Nevertheless, Josep Coll stressed that the partnership was only two years old and that, as such, it was “difficult” to make an assessment of the actions carried out so far, although he highlighted the fact that mobility, security, stability and good governance are all on the right track.

“Actions of reinforcement” for the future have been defined in other areas, such as regional cooperation, normative and technical convergence and the information society, without losing sight of the State Reform Program that is part of the transformation agenda being promoted by the government.

“Cape Verde, a country of rapid growth, offers new cooperation opportunities to its foreign partners. This is the case of the business environment sector, where positive cooperation between the private and business sectors of Cape Verde and of European business organizations could prove to be very fruitful,” he concluded. (asemana)

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