Situated in the Caribbean region, the Dominican Republic has the largest economy of both Central America and the Caribbean. The country has maintained steady economic growth for nearly 3 decades and a stable democracy. Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals has also been made, with decreases in extreme poverty.
Still, the Dominican Republic faces significant government challenges when it comes to efficiency, accountability and transparency, as well as persistent corruption. Additionally, the country’s general poverty rate remains close to 40%.
The Dominican Republic is a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), and the Association of Caribbean States. The country is actively engaged in finding regional solutions to regional challenges.
The EU is an important partner of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean region. EU foreign policy in the Dominican Republic has emphasized the aspects of rule of law and regional integration as the basis for development advancement. In addition to partnering in the field of foreign affairs, the EU is an important partner for a more active economic and political role in the Caribbean region.
Considering the above, and given the global, regional and local challenges, the EU decided on the following priority areas in the MIP:
Increasing economic opportunities
We aim at creating opportunities, especially for women and youth. Despite a high economic performance in the last years, the high economic growth has not sufficiently translated into shared gains for the society. The social impacts of this crisis are severe, especially amongst the most vulnerable layers of the population while the digital gap is still prominent.
Nature and cities for people
The European Green Deal sets climate change mitigation and adaptation, and environment and biodiversity protection as key global priorities and recognizes the need to transition towards a green economy. With this priority area, we intend to contribute to the response to the numerous environmental challenges that the Dominican Republic faces and support the country in achieving the National Determined Contribution under the Paris agreement.
A modern state close to its citizens
We firmly believe that the Dominican Republic needs to continue strengthening its institutions to face its many structural challenges. These include unequal access to and low quality of public services, corruption, governance-related challenges, citizen security issues, and the citizens’ low trust in institutions. In addition, the state needs to increase its capacities in terms of digitalization especially to mitigate the rise in inequalities.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for the Dominican Republic for 2021-2024 amounts to €21 million.
Priority area 1: ‘Increasing economic opportunities, especially for women and youth’ will improve the Business Climate and enhance trade and investments with the EU which will continue supporting initiatives for inclusive economic development. The EU intervention will focus on supporting strategies that stimulate both employability and entrepreneurship, coordinating labour intermediation, and supporting the development of specific value chains, with a particular focus on women and youth.
Priority area 2: ‘Nature and cities for people’ plans to improve the integrated management of water resources by promoting the protection and sustainable use of ecosystems and biodiversity and by building resilience towards climate change and making cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.
Priority area 3: ‘A modern state close to its citizens’will contribute to the efficient provision of public services and the strengthening of public planning and investment as a priority mechanism for the allocation of public expenditure and results-based management, especially investment projects, promoting social and territorial cohesion while empowering finances and implementing local development by consolidating the rule of law and democracy. Security and justice reform are fundamental to reducing poverty, protecting human rights, and supporting sustainable economic growth.
Support measures in favour of civil society continue to be crucial for the delegation in order to contribute to its strengthening as a key factor for development, supporting democracy, and social cohesion.
Under the MIP 2021-2027, a cooperation facility, with a specific allocation, will allow for the provision of capacity building and technical assistance in support of the EU partnership with the Dominican Republic, mostly in relation to the intervention policy areas, but also open to new needs that may emerge.