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Aug 4, 2023

PM Briceño Attends EU/CELAC Summit in Brussels

The last time the Heads of State from the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) met was in 2015. In mid-July, sixty countries, including Belize, were represented in Brussels to adopt a Joint Declaration to work together to face persistent and aggravating challenges such as food security, poverty and inequality. On Belize’s end, a push is being made towards waiving visa requirements for travel to various E.U. countries. Prime Minister Briceño says that a decision is anticipated sometime in November.


Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“CELAC, which is the Caribbean and Latin American countries, we have not met with the EU for the past eight years.  So when they decided that they were going to call this meeting, it was important for Belize to be there.  The meeting went well, as planned, but for us, we had been campaigning very vigorously to get visa waivers to enter into the EU and get visa.  We have made the point that we have modernized our passports, it’s now digitized and it has biometrics.  It has all the security features that they have required, but also probably just as important, we have made the point that Belizeans, there’s very little risk of Belizeans wanting to go live in the European countries.  In our discussion with the different countries on a one-on-one basis, pretty much they are very sympathetic because, again, we tell them that we need to go to Mexico or we have to go to El Salvador or Guatemala to get a visa.  So almost, it’s becoming very, very expensive to be able to go.  Most of the countries have agreed that they are going to be supporting Belize.  They’re going to meet in November to make a decision and we are hopeful that it can come up in November and from all indications, if that were to happen, it seems that it’s very likely that we are going to get the visa waiver.”


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