The OCT Association (OCTA)

OCTA
The Overseas Countries and Territories Association of the European Union (OCTA) was established as a non-profit association in Brussels on March 5, 2003, by virtue of an agreement signed between 13 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) on September 18, 2002, on the occasion of the Second Ministerial Conference of OCTs held in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles.

This association has 22 members: all the inhabited OCTs associated with the European Union, as well as the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). Bermuda, insofar as this territory has chosen to be associated with the EU since January 1, 2014, has been a member of the OCTA since 2014. 

The Objectives of the Association of the OCTs
  • to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and discussion of problems of common interest;
  • to work for the mutual benefit of  members;
  • share specific information on issues of interest  for and benefiting all OCTs;
  • make recommendations, where appropriate, to the governments of all OCTs and EU Member States on suitable measures to be taken;
  • develop effective working relations, as a group, with the institutions of the European Union, the ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) Group and its Secretariat and other international, multilateral and regional organizations and institutions ;
  •  to share best practices with its members in  corresponding fields;
  • to defend the collective interests of the members and to represent these interests vis-à-vis the institutions of the European Union, with regard to all the subjects put forward in the Overseas Association Decision.

OCTA has its own budget, based on annual contributions from the OCTs (from €3,000 to €6,000 in dues per year per member). A Permanent Secretary, based in Brussels, has been recruited by OCTA since 2015, to support it in the coordination of its activities.

As a part  of the dialogue with the EU, OCTA is a key interlocutor for the European institutions on the EU-OCT partnership. Since the 10th EDF, OCTA has been entrusted with the role of authorizing officer for the regional envelope. OCTA is also the contracting authority for the thematic projects of the regional envelope (OCTA office project and IST-Territorial Strategies for Innovation project, 10 million euros).

OCTA has an updated website and publishes a newsletter (ON) several times a year in French and English (for more information: www.octassociation.org).

The Ministerial Conference, the association's main body, brings together each year all the representatives of the OCTs (heads of government or designated members of OCT governments accompanied by their delegations) prior to the EU-OCT Dialogue Forum.

It sets policy, approves budgets and decisions requiring its approval, and is vested with all the powers necessary to achieve the objectives of the association. The Ministerial Conference elects the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Ministerial Conference and the members, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the OCTA Executive Committee (called ExCo).

The OCTA Chairman chairs, organizes and coordinates the Ministerial Conference. The Executive Committee acts as the secretariat of the Ministerial Conference. It is composed of nine members, representatives of the OCTs based in Paris, The Hague, London or Brussels. New Caledonia was the chair of the Executive Committee from March 2011 to December 2013. Since February 2017, it has held the vice-chairmanship of the executive committee.

The OCTA Knowledge Centre is an online platform that provides Overseas Countries and Territories, as well as members of future thematic networks, with access to essential information, training and documentation related to OCTA, OCTs, partnership working groups and thematic networks. It is the privileged tool for collaboration between OCTA members and its partners.