The Dominican Republic joined SICA as a full member last year. Starting this January, the Dominican Republic holds the pro tempore presidency of the regional body in which the EU has observer status.
President Danilo Medina was in Panama over the weekend for the regional body summit. There he held a bilateral meeting with Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, the president of the European Commission on Friday, 13 December, the eve of the plenary Assembly of the European Union-Central American Integration System summit. Both were in Panama to attend the European Union-SICA Summit of Heads of State and Government.
Introducing himself to President Medina, Barroso expressed the European Union’s interest in the Dominican Republic, the reason for the special bilateral meeting. The Dominican presidency reports that they touched upon matters related to the strengthening of relations between the European Union and the Dominican Republic. They also covered the strengthening of relations in the framework of a European Union program for increased trade between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The Presidency reported that Barroso expressed an interest in learning about the steps the Dominican Republic is taking after the enactment of Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13. Medina shared information on actions and measures his government in taking in this regard. Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo, Administrative Minister Jose Ramon Peralta and Minister of Women Alejandrina German, acting Minister of Foreign Relations Jose Manuel Trullols and Dominican ambassador in Panama Octavio Lister accompanied President Medina.