PHILIPSBURG - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams is urging the community to review draft European Trans-Border Cooperation projects on the Government information Website (www.sintmaartengov.org). The Prime Minister also gave an update on the district upgrading of Dutch Quarter which will occur through the tenth European Development Fund.
“The project that is pending for Dutch Quarter is a project that is funded by the European Union. As an overseas country and territory of the European Union we are entitled to make use of the EDF, a funding mechanism of the European Union. Under the EDF St. Maarten has been making use of EDF funding from even before Country Status. Dutch Quarter will receive the upgrading as part of the tenth EDF. We have chosen the upgrading of the districts as the basis for receiving European Development Fund Monies. Now as country St. Maarten we are now responsible for the administrating and execution of these projects. We have therefore chosen that Dutch Quarter be the beneficiary of the 10th EDF as part of our district improvement program. Because of this project for Dutch Quarter the Government of St. Maarten will also invest in the district to compliment the European Funding for this area.
“Also, we are working on the European Trans-border Cooperation (ETC) where we will be working with St. Martin North on working on projects that can fit with the requirements of ETC funding. We have developed an operational program so that we can keep up with accountability to the European Union. For many months our technical departments have been looking at draft Operational Programs and have outlines projects, which in our opinion has fit the scope, and we can submit for funding. One of the requirements that we have is that we put the draft operational program available and we have made this public which is now accessible on the Governments website www.sintmaartengov.org. The French Authorities have also made sure to do the same.
We have identified projects concerning a wastewater treatment facility benefitting both sides of the islands; the quality and biodiversity protection; rehabilitation and sustainable development of the Simpson Bay Lagoon; and the risk management of the flooding in the French Quarter, Dutch Quarter, and Belle Plaine Area.
With all of these actions we are having positive developments with regards to structurally getting it right in terms of upgrading the communities through using the funding made available to use by the European Union. On August 18th we will be signing together with the authorities on French St. Maarten the Letter of Intent of Cooperation for the OP-ETC, which is a commitment to the program. (From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)