Public Spending Cut-backs in Europe, but EU Invests in the Caribbean

[John Besic, EU Affairs Contributor]

According to a report by Dominica Central Newspaper, the Dominica Water & Sewage Co ltd (Dowasco) with part-funding from the European Union, is forecasting that 2011 will be a very good year for it.  Water storage and distribution projects throughout the island are being funded in the region of some EC$30 million of which a significant part is being provided by the European Union.   However, these kinds of investments by the EU, outside Europe, when it is calling for its member states to exercise austerity in public spending, are bound to provoke controversy among EU citizens feeling the pinch of the prevailing bad times.

With mass protests taking place in London in recent weeks about the country’s EU-imposed austerity program, should the EU be continuing to invest outside Europe even at times when it is ‘bailing’ out its member states in dire financial difficulty and insisting on sharp reductions in public spending in member states which are impacting severely on EU citizens?  Also, as the EU in its history has never passed any public audit of its finances, what are the implications for transparency in respect to the donors of the funds invested by the EU?

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