From left: Director of the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary Carol Voges, Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin, Kingdom of the Netherlands Ambassador to the EU Robert de Groot and the Ambassador’s staff aide Sander Hulsof.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM–Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin paid a courtesy visit to Kingdom of the Netherlands Ambassador to the European Union Robert de Groot on Monday.
During their meeting, the Prime Minister gave the Ambassador an update on the reconstruction progress, noting that the goal is to build St. Maarten back more sustainable.
One of the main topics discussed was the French-Dutch cooperation project to construct a joint wastewater treatment plant. De Groot said all eyes were on Dutch St. Maarten and French Saint Martin to accomplish this project, as it would be the first of its kind, blending various EU financial sources.
The Prime Minister reiterated her desire to cooperate with the French authorities to build the joint plant. She emphasised that one of the main objectives of her visit to Brussels was to secure the necessary funding for the successful construction of the plant in partnership with French St. Martin.
The Prime Minister and Ambassador touched on the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Although the ultimate outcome is still uncertain at the moment, the necessary discussions are taking place within the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) and the European Commission to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible for the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).
In the event of Brexit, the number of OCTs and, as a result, their collective voice within the EU will strongly decline once the 12 British OCTs leave, it was stated in a press release. Romeo-Marlin stressed the importance of establishing bilateral relations with European Parliamentarians and will be meeting with a number of Dutch EU Parliamentarians on Tuesday to ensure St. Maarten’s voice remains heard within the European political arena.
The meeting was held at the start of the PM’s working visit to Brussels.