The European Union and its Member States are Belize’s largest development partners and important trading partners. Our Embassy represents Belize’s interests in our engagement with the institutions of the European Union, including the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council.
Our Embassy works to ensure that Belize’s development priorities and objectives are effectively represented to the EU, that development financing flows smoothly and timely to Belize and that Belize maximizes the opportunities to access development cooperation. Belize engages with the EU bilaterally and on a regional basis. Belize has access to grant aid through the European Development Fund (EDF) at the national level (national indicative programme), at the regional level (regional indicative programme) and the ACP Group level (Intra ACP programme).
Belize has also benefited from the Accompanying Measures for Sugar and the Banana Accompanying Measures, which provided financial support to those respective industries and their wider communities. The EU will more than double direct grant aid to Belize –over € 27m for the period 2014-2020. Belize is also a party to the CARIFORUM EU Economic Partnership Agreement, which provides the framework for trading relations with the EU. Over a third of Belize’s exports are destined for the EU market, including commodities such as sugar and bananas.
The European Union
As small state, coordinating positions and advancing common interests with regional groups is imperative not only to promote regional interests but also to consolidate regional integration. Belize is a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
These regional groups have become a key platform for engaging with the EU on a bi-regional basis. Belize is also a member of the African, Pacific and Caribbean (ACP) Group. The ACP promotes the development and trade interests of its members globally and in particular vis-a-vis the EU, the Group also coordinates the implementation of the ACP - EU Partnership Agreement (Cotonou Agreement). The ACP’s unity and solidarity as a cross regional bloc of developing countries has been critical to its success.
Our Embassy also has accreditation to the World Trade Organization, which is headquarted in Geneva. The WTO has oversight of the regualtion of trade among its Members. Among our priorities in the WTO are ensuring that the ongoing Doha Development Round yields real benefits for developing countries, and that the rules of the multilateral trading system are fair and equitable for small states like Belize.
In addition to its accreditation to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Embassy of Belize in Brussels is also accredited to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Germany. The Embassy is tasked with pursuing development cooperation, investment and trade opportunities with these countries as well as promoting Belize as a tourism destination.