- Cape Verde during the last few years has stated its interest in becoming an associated member of the European Union (EU), a proposal that is listened to seriously in several European countries. As Cape Verde's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Victor Borges, now discusses this with EU representatives, he is finding out that the EU in particular is interested in security issues, and Cape Verde could become an "outer front" of Europe.
"Security within the context of a special partnership is more important for the EU" than a true economic integration of Cape Verdean within the Union, Minister Borges reported after a seminar. The Cape Verdean Minister says he understands European concerns.
But border security and the fight against crime are issues more important to the EU than to Cape Verde, within the context of a special partnership between the EU and the archipelago, he also noted. The affirmation comes from Mr Borges after he yesterday had participated in a seminar on relations between the country and the EU as part of a Rotary Club initiative.
In the opinion of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, security in Europe depends upon security in its peripheral regions: the (Spanish) Canary Islands, the Azores, Madeira (both Portuguese) and Cape Verde. The three Atlantic Ocean archipelagos form the outer border of Africa and are also jointly termed as Macaronesia.
Minister Borges also said he believes that the European Union has a greater interest regarding the fight against terrorism, trans-national crime and trafficking than do these peripheral nations in creating a ring of protection and security.
"Threats in the Atlantic are difficult to control," and, as such, said the Minister, the approximation between Cape Verde and NATO is also one of the government's political proposals in terms of security.
The Cape Verdean archipelago, affirmed Mr Borges, has sought to maintain a pragmatic approach with the European Union concerning the special partnership, looking to move beyond the traditional logic of bilateral cooperation, in which there is typically a donor and a receptor. Prime Minister JosÚ Maria Neves has even spoken of an EU membership for Cape Verde in the long run.
This progress of creating a special partnership, according to Minister Borges, has been achieved gradually with conquests such as the creation of an EU task force to work exclusively on the special partnership between the Union and Cape Verde.
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