Since June of the year 2000, the OCTs representatives in Brussels started meeting together in order to coordinate their views with respect to a common position to be taken on the draft for a new OCT decision, which was at that time being prepared by the European Commission for adoption by European Union Ministers meeting in the General Council.
The first meeting took place on November 16 and 17, 2000, at the Borschette Center of the European Commission, in Brussels. At this first OCT Ministerial Conference, the governments of the OCTs decided to establish the ASSOCIATION OF OVERSEAS COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (“OCTA”).
On September 18, 2002, the second OCT Ministerial Conference took place in Bonaire. At this occasion, the governments of the OCTs reached agreement on the Articles of the Association and the first Executive Committee of OCTA.
OCTA is registered in Belgium and counts 22 members – including all the inhabited OCTs associated to the European Union as well as the TAAF (French Southern Antarctic Lands). A rotating Chairmanship heads the Ministerial Conference, which is the highest decision-making authority, setting the political orientations and priorities. The Executive Committee manages the daily work of the association.