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International Partnerships

Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten is a Dutch Overseas Country and Territory (OCT) with a total area of 34 km², Sint-Maarten’s population numbers 50,000 and its capital is Philipsburg. Tourism is the mainstay of the economy. Within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sint Maarten has country status alongside the Netherlands, Aruba and Curaçao. The French Overseas Department Saint-Martin is its northern neighbour on the same island.

Our priorities

Sint Maarten is technically and officially associated to the EU through its OCT status. According to the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), the purpose of the association between the EU and the OCTs is “to promote the economic and social development of the countries and territories and to establish close economic relations between them and the Union as a whole”.

We currently provide development support to Sint Maarten under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for 2014-2020 with an indicative amount of €7 million. EU cooperation intends to support the water and sanitation sector in the country.

Our programmes

Under the current funding period, Sint Maarten was allocated €7 million. The aim is to continue with the projects from the previous period, assist the government in ensuring proficient waste water treatment and protecting the marine biodiversity of the island.

Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) thematic programme

With an indicative amount of €16-18 million, our focus under this programme is the sustainable use of natural resources, climate change, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable energy. The objective is to facilitate and promote the sustainable management of the OCTs’ natural resources. OCTs would be given the necessary tools and information to be able to address climate change, to recognise the specific impact that this global challenge has on OCTs. Support will also go to helping to reduce the OCT’s dependence on fossil fuels and thus promoting sustainable development of their energy production.

Caribbean regional programme

With an indicative amount of €40 million, our focus areas within this programme include:

  • resilience
  • sustainable energy
  • marine biodiversity

Regarding sustainable energy, the programme aims to provide solutions with a regional scope. The proposed programme will also address the degradation of the coastal-marine ecosystem services through effective management and improve resilience, including by engaging neighbouring countries in specific actions aiming to protect their shared marine environment. Under the horizontal resilience component, we focus activities on risk insurance and supporting pilot adaptation projects.

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