Camrac undertakes Exploratory MRA Mission to the EU Dinah Hippolyte
The Saint Lucia Coalition of Services Supports Regional Efforts on Mutual Recognition of Architects under the CARIFORUM EU Economic Partnership AgreementFrom 17-21 October 2011, the CARIFORUM delegation comprising members of the CaribbeanArchitects Mutual Recognition Committee (CAMRAC) representatives of the CARICOM Officeof Trade Negotiations (the OTN) and the Saint Lucia Coalition of Services Industries undertookits exploratory mission on a mutual recognition agreement on architects between CARIFORUMand the European Union from 17 – 21 October 2011. Article 85 of the CARIFORUM EUEconomic Partnership Agreement (the EPA) encourages the relevant architecturalassociations from both groupings (this would be ACE for the EU and CAMRAC representingCARIFORUM) to jointly develop and provide a recommendation on mutual recognition to theCARIFORUM-EC Trade and Development Committee no more than three (3) years after thesigning of the EPA.According to Ms. Dinah Hippolyte, Trade Advocacy and Communication consultant with theSLCSI, the purpose of the mission was to conduct an exchange of information on theregulatory regimes for practicing architecture in the CARIFORUM and EU states; and discuss
possibilities for co operation on negotiating an MRA on between the two parties. During themission, the delegation visited the Royal Architects of British Architects (RIBA) andCommonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) in London. In Belgium, the delegation heldmeetings with the ed This was followed by meetings with the Order of Architects in Brussels(Ordre des Architectes – Conseil National, Orde van Architecten - Nationale Raad) and theAgency for Territorial Development in Brussels. The mission concluded in Paris where theCARIFORUM delegation held clsoed sessions with the, International Union of Architectcs(UIA), the Architects Council of Europe and National Council of the Order of Architects ofFrance (Conseil National de l’Ordre des Architectes).The meeting with RIBA and CAA emphasized the need for the accreditation of schools ofarchitecture in the CARIFORUM region. Further, as a large number of CARIFORUM studentsalso attend schools of architecture in various parts of the world, it was recognized that asystematic method for recognizing qualifications obtained by these CARIFORUM studentswas also of paramount importance. The CAA extended an offer to support the region in thisprocess, having accredited schools of architecture in several countries including the UK,Australia, South Africa, Australia and Hong Kong. Opportunities for co operation assistancewere highlighted under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between CARIFORUMand ACE.Notwithstanding these fruitful discussions, the signal given by the Architects Council forEurope which represents the architects regulatory boards across the EU was that its membersconsidered negotiations with Canada for an MRA in Architecture as its top priority. Accordingto Ms. Dinah Hippolyte, this shift in focus away from CARIFORUM may be attributed to theongoing negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada. The generalimpression during the mission was that forward movement on an MRA with ACE would only beachieved through the persistent efforts of CARIFORUM architects.
A recurring theme was the need for CARIFORUM to accelerate its efforts in developing its ownintra regional MRA. This will require work between the Caribbean School of Architecture andeducational authorities in the Dominican Republic on the subject of equivalence as well asdeveloping either a methodology for equivalence or a list of schools to be reputed asequivalent to promote the intra CARIFORUM MRA.It was also agreed that at the country level, coalitions of services should work in tangent withtheir institute of architects in promoting the development of strong national regulatoryframeworks including viable registration boards as this is a crucial factor for ensuring theparticipation of local architects in overseas trade and building their competitiveness in the localmarket. As a follow up to the mission, a plan of action has been developed with the SaintLucia Coalition of Services providing administrative support to CAMRAC in order to move theprocess for negotiations on the MRA forward.For further Information please contact:Ms. Dinah Hippolyte