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Monday, 22 August 2011

Trade in cultural services and cultural exchanges after the Cariforum-EU EPA, where do we stand?

In the framework of the Cariforum-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the EU is improving market access conditions for entertainment services suppliers from Cariforum countries. According to a study conducted by KEA for the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), the European provisions allow artists and entertainers from Cariforum countries to work in an EU member state if their company has a commercial presence in this country. Caribbean nationals are still faced with discriminatory limitations when entering the European Union, however, among others an assessment of qualifications or an Economic Needs Test. In addition, visa difficulties may arise; while some countries such as Antigua and Barbuda or the Bahamas have a visa waiver agreement with the EU, the situation is different for Trinidad & Tobago or Grenade who are still in the application process.


On the Caribbean side, the KEA report finds that some Caribbean countries are still waiting to ratify the cultural provisions of the EPA until the entire ratification process has concluded. For the moment, the EPA concluded in 2008 is applied on a provisional basis.