EC Debunks Internet Article on EU-Gambia Relations

Friday, December 14, 2007

Following the publication of an article in the Internet on Gambia Journal’s 7th November edition, the Delegation of the European Commission in the Republic of the Gambia recently expressed its disgust at what it considers to be an ill-advised attempt by the editors’ of the online newspaper to project a distorted picture of what transpired at an official function involving the Gambia government and the Head of the EC Delegation residing in Dakar. The EC Note Verbale sent to the Department of State for Foreign Affairs dismissed as false a claim that there are misunderstandings over the slow pace of objects resulting to tensions between the Gambia government and the European Commission. The following is an unedited version of the note:

The Delegation of the European Commission in the Republic of The Gambia presents its compliments to the Department of State for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of The Gambia and would like to take this opportunity to correct a press article published in the Internet on The Gambia Journal on 7th November 2007, published after the presentation of the credentials of His Excellency Mr. Gilles Hervio, Head of The EC Delegation residing in Dakar, to His Excellency, The President Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, mentioning that  “I expressed my dismay at the slow pace of the implementation of bilateral projects in the areas of decentralization, transport infrastructure and immigration”. What H.E. Mr. Hervio said, on the contrary is that we are exploring new projects in these fields in the 10th EDF. It is also mentioned in this article that “the EU’s Ambassador’s critical statement came as a surprise to many and signals the coming of new tensions between government and the EU”. I can assure you that there are simply no tensions to present between the Gambia Government and the European Union.

You were present during the presentation of H.E. Mr. Hervio’s credentials and you will recall that he announced to His Excellency, the President that the 10th EDF will provide additional financial resources compared to the 9th EDF and that we will remain the most important donor in The Gambia. He did not hide the fact that there were some delays encountered in the implementation of some current projects and we, together with the various Gambian Departments of State and the NAO are finding solutions to speed up this implementation in 2008.

As you know, the 10th EDF Country Strategy Paper/National Indicative Programme has been adopted by EU Member states on 28th November 2007 and will most likely be signed in Lisbon on the 9th of December 2007 during the AU-EU Summit. 

The Delegation of the European Commission in the Republic of The Gambia avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Department of State for  Foreign Affairs, the assurances or its highest consideration.

Source: The Point