As the captioned title says the EU is not going to directly tell any nation that there are indeed some considerations at least or prerequisites at best for same in order to qualify for said aid or grants, of course there are considerations of protocol, harmonious relations, confidentiality and just for good business negotiating terms or talks are kept out of the public domain but the very words of the representatives in the Gleaner article one Miss Malgorzata Wasilewska says it all;
“We will continue having dialogue on values that are important to us and they will include conversations on the death penalty and LGBT rights, on equality of rights to all citizens. I am convinced that the dialogue will be an honest and frank exchange between equals.”
But of course the courtesies must be observed and the deliberate use of “equals” is noted as indicated above for protocol and harmony diplomatic etiquette must be observed but let us get real, which country when dispensing of its tax payer money in grant aid or budgetary support to another country, better yet island developing states such as ours and not have expectations and attachments to such aid. What could explain the resistance by the African Caribbean and Pacific States group, ACP in years gone by in negotiating trade deals or the soon to be expired Cotonou Agreement? They have time and again claimed they will not be dictated to on gay rights or gay marriage so obviously some talk has gone on and is still going on behind the scenes. If only we can speak truth to power and just be open and honest on things but sadly the reality speaks otherwise.
Arthur Hall of the Gleaner penned:
While making it clear that Europe would prefer if Jamaica expands gay rights and abolish the death penalty, the European Union's (EU) new representative in Kingston insists that these would not be conditions for the island to continue to receive EU economic aid.
" ... There is no conditionality," Malgorzata Wasilewska, the head of the EU Delegation in Jamaica, said in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Gleaner.
"It never has been, and it never will be," said Wasilewska in response to questions if the EU would demand movements from Jamaica in line with the trends in Europe.
"But if in the course of our cooperation any of our values are not respected - for example, if we implement a project and during the project, there is a clear violation of human rights in the implementation - of course, we would raise that and have a conversation about it," added Wasilewska.
Over the past 40 years, the EU has provided Jamaica with official development assistance of approximately €1.2 billion, or J$170 billion. Some of this money has been direct budgetary support, which has helped the island meet crucial fiscal targets under its agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Only last week, the EU provided a grant of €24 million (more than J$3 billion) to support Jamaica's Justice System Reform Programme.
Of this amount, €22 million was in the form of budget support, while €1 million will be offered to civil-society organisations, through calls for proposals to contribute to improving access to justice, with an emphasis on vulnerable groups. The remaining €1 million will go towards providing technical assistance, evaluation and audits, as well as communication and visibility services.
But the issue of gay rights and the death penalty, subtexts to EU-Jamaica relations, are not areas where the long-time friends see eye to eye, and there have been concerns that the 28-member bloc will use its financial might to force the island to fall in line with its position on these issues.
Most of the money the EU has given Jamaica has been grant resources for sectors such as education, human-rights awareness, security, agriculture, and rural development, but there have been concerns expressed recently as more and more Europeans start looking inwards.
Wasilewska last week admitted that the EU does not see eye to eye with Jamaica on issues such as the death penalty and LBGT rights, but said that would not impact the billions of dollars in aid provided to the island each year.
"We will continue having a dialogue on values that are important to us and they will include conversations on the death penalty and LBGT rights, on equality of rights to all citizens. I am convinced that the dialogue will be an honest and frank exchange between equals," Wasilewska told The Sunday Gleaner on the fringes of a meet-and-greet session in Kingston.
In June, all 28 EU member states reached a consensus on LGBT rights and agreed at the Council of the European Union to work against "any discrimination" against LGBT people, and to ramp up pan-European efforts on equality.
The council urges individual national governments "to consider working together with the European Commission with regard to its list of actions to advance LGBTI equality", and "to take action to combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity".
Jamaica has shied away from any such commitment, with the recently introduced Charter of Rights failing to recognise same-sex unions or provide any specific protection for members of the LBGT community.
The death penalty has been abolished in all EU states and is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the European Convention on Human Rights of the Council of Europe.
Locally, parliamentarians voted in 2008 to retain the death penalty, even though no execution has taken place in decades.
Ministry Embarks On Human-Rights Public-Awareness Campaign - Gleaner (the goodly minister had to sing for his supper some say)