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Dutch & French Side Governments rekindle cooperation discussions

On Sunday morning February 11th Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin together with Minister of Finance Michael Ferrier, Minister of Justice Cornelius Deweever, and Minister of VROMI Miklos Giterson lead a delegation of technocrats to French St. Martin to meet President Daniel Gibbs, Prefet Anne Laubies and their Civil Servants team at the Collectivitie in Marigot.

The rekindling of discussions between both Governments ends a period of 14 months where no talks have taken place. This meeting begins the process of reversing the potential risk of jeopardizing the continuation of important EU funded joint projects that are essential and beneficial to the people of St. Martin / Sint Maarten.

The goal of this initial meeting was to reaffirm the commitment to the St. Martin / Sint Maarten Territorial Cooperation Programme 2014 – 2020. A progression update on three existing projects were discussed namely; Belle Plaine drainage project, Simpson Bay Lagoon cleanup & Waste to water treatment plant for the Simpson Bay / Cole Bay area.

The waste to energy solution for the sanitary landfill/dump was also discussed as a possible 4th project but those discussions are preliminary and exploratory in nature at this early juncture as both sides still require much more research and development before going forward with any possible proposal.

In conclusion both Governments expressed the need for a unified message when having discussions with their respective European counterparts on issues of mutual cooperation. They also conveyed that cooperation on a local level must continue on structural basis and the historical unity and cooperation that has been displayed for many years must continue to be an example for countries in the world to recognize and admire.

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