Free movement within OECS by August
CASTRIES – The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) says all restrictions on the free movement of nationals within the sub-region will be removed by August.
OECS Chairman and Prime Minister of St Lucia, Stephenson King, said that the leaders during their meeting in St Vincent last month have recognised and unequivocally confirmed that the free movement of persons and of labour is one of the principal features of the new OECS Economic Union arrangement.
“At that meeting, those OECS member states which had not yet enacted the required legislation to give effect to the Revised Treaty gave the undertaking to do so as a matter of priority,’ King said in an address marking the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of the OECS.
“I therefore avail myself of the opportunity provided by this grand occasion to assure you, the OECS citizenry, of the absolute commitment of OECS Heads of Government to removing all restrictions to the Free Movement of OECS nationals throughout the Union by August of this year,” King said in his broadcast aired across the sub-region.
The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.
King said that the provisions of the new treaty seek to upgrade the sub-regional arrangement by creating a single economic space through which capital, goods and people can flow unimpeded.
“When fully operationalised, the new arrangement will deliver qualitative improvements in the governance and decision-making structures of the organisation that will serve to bridge the ‘implementation’ and ‘democracy’ deficits that have long plagued the integration movement. (CMC)