Overseas Countries
and Territories Association

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OCTA participates in the Antilles – Guyana international mobility committee Restitution Event

On 23 June, the French Erasmus+ Youth and Sport Agency, in collaboration with the Rectorat de Martinique (DRAJES), organised an event in Martinique to review the actions of the Antilles – Guyana International Mobility Committee.

This committee started in november 2019, when the French Erasmus+ Youth and Sport Agency initiated the creation of a network of actors in Guadeloupe, Guyana and Martinique. The objective of this network is to work towards making European and international mobility a lever for integration for young people. Together, they represent the voice of their territories and help to ensure that the overseas territories are better taken into account at national and European level.

This event, which was held both in person, in Fort-de-France (Martinique), and online, was organised with the goal to highlight the actions carried out and their impact on the territories over the last two years. In particular, there was a focus on the Erasmus+ “AREA” Alliance (Alliance for Remote EU Areas), a direct result from the “Let’s Rock” actions, which gathers Erasmus+ Youth organisations active in the Outermost Regions (ORs) and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). In addition, it aimed to raise awareness and promote European and international mobility of young people from this region, and to strengthen the impact of these actions carried out by the Antilles-Guyana Committee in this framework.

OCTA, represented by Ms Marta Fernández Fornieles, EU Programmes Advisor, was invited to the event to present the axes of collaboration between the OCTs and the ORs at EU level in the field of mobility.  Due to the nature of OCTs, small populations, the distance, and their very particular status, accessing EU opportunities is not exactly an easy task for these islands.

In this context, she highlighted that collaboration between ORs and OCTs, has been the most successful strategy to address the lack of access of these territories to large-scale EU programmes, such as the ones dedicated to biodiversity or culture. This collaboration is notably reflected in the actions of the Overseas Steering Committee of the Erasmus+ Youth National Agencies, and of the newly formed AREA Alliance. Initiatives strongly supported by OCTA. Concrete examples of EU co-funded actions that promote OR-OCT collaboration include: the BEST initiative (Voluntary Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Scheme for the ORs and OCTs), launched at the initiative of the European Parliament in 2010; and the Archipel.eu project a pilot project launched in 2020 offering funding opportunities to artists and cultural organisations from the ORs and OCTs, in which OCTA is an implementing partner.

In the case of Erasmus+ projects, the participation figures of ORs and OCTs is quite high despite the very different starting points in comparison to continental Europe organisations, demonstrating a high-level of expertise and resilience. Nevertheless, Marta underlined the need to continue working with the European institutions to make Erasmus+ a programme that recognizes the differences and creates tools that embrace them. Equal access is not having the same conditions for everyone.

OCTA will continue working closely with the European institutions and the Erasmus+ National Agencies towards a more inclusive Erasmus+ programme that becomes a flagship of Europe also in the European Overseas.

Find all the information related to the OR-OCT joint actions on our EU programmes section in OCTA’s website.

For more information, please contact Marta Fernández Fornieles, EU Programmes Advisor at OCTA: marta@overseas-association.eu