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International migration, security and Caribbean CBI agreement, EU focus

By Caribbean News Global fav

TORONTO, Canada, (CNG Business) – Prime Minister Philip J Pierre’s deliberations in Brussels, Belgium this week aroused perceptions and impacts from a wide cross-section of media, the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) investment marketplace and the political directorate.

The latter was formalized by the United Workers Party (UWP), to accentuate that Prime Minister Pierre is a person of prominence in the global dimension “ … has been reliably informed that in fact Mr. Pierre was summoned … ” by the European Union, world-renowned for – “the common principles and values that underlie life in the EU: freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law, promoting peace and stability.”

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Monday, April 8, 2024, announced that the purpose of his travels is to engage in discussions with the European Commission and European Parliament regarding international migration matters.

“Specifically, the talks will focus on proposed changes to the Schengen Visa-Free Regime and how they may impact countries that have investor citizenship programs, like Saint Lucia.” The OPM continued: “Prime Minister Pierre’s visit to Brussels although planned in advance to the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between other OECS countries with similar programs assumes added significance, as the prime minister will articulate Saint Lucia’s position on the MOA, while also exploring further measures that can be taken by all countries to strengthen Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs.”

A press release from the United Workers Party (UWP) on April 9, 2024, delivered the perspective that:

“The opposition [United Workers Party, UWP] has been reliably informed that in fact Mr. Pierre was summoned due to serious concerns about the operation of this programme.”

“In addition, the government’s refusal to commit to the OECS joint protocols and the recent addition of an infrastructural option have collectively undermined confidence in our program.”

“This raises serious security and transparency concerns and threatens to impact our current visa-free access to the United Kingdom and Europe which will necessarily include Martinique and Guadeloupe.”

“The government recently announced during the budget estimates that the Donation option within the CIP programme only achieved 50 percent of its projected revenue as it was negatively affected by the Real Estate option.

“Whilst no further explanation was offered, it has been reported that the Real Estate option is being sold unlawfully at a discounted price which the government has to date not denied or confirmed.

The government has also launched a new option which will allow certain approved developers to undertake infrastructure projects for the government and to reimburse themselves by selling our citizenships for US$100,000 and receiving the funds directly.

“The government has to date, not informed the people of Saint Lucia about this new option, but there is already evidence that a particular developer has begun selling this option and, even more concerning, is the sub-par selling price of US$80,000.

“The recommended and traditional practice that CIP applications are forwarded to the Regional Security institutions for independent vetting is now being disregarded.”~ UWP St Lucia.

Caribbean CBI programs are a powerful window to re-establish control of the Caribbean region.

Engaging in discussions before the Brussels meeting, Prime Minister Pierre reiterated that Saint Lucia is fully supportive of the agreement signed by the OECS CIP countries.

On April 3, 2024, Caribbean News Global (CNG), headlined: ‘St Lucia not opposed to Caribbean CIP document’ – referring to the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBIP), Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), signed on 20 March 2024 by the prime ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

“In fact, we have implemented all but one provision. Some of the provisions are already provided for by the laws of Saint Lucia.

On the matter of pricing, we have contractual arrangements in place which will have to be observed or government will face potential legal action.

We hope to sign the Memorandum of Agreement once it becomes possible. I have a responsibility to protect our mission of ‘Putting People First.’”

“I will provide a comprehensive explanation of the future of the Citizenship by Investment Programme, in the policy statement on April 23, 2024. ~ Prime Minister Philip Pierre.

EU and IOM

In July 2012, the EU and IOM established a Strategic Cooperation Framework to enhance collaboration on migration, development, humanitarian response and human rights issues. This is built on their shared interest in bringing the benefits of well-managed international migration to migrants and society.

The objective of international migration is to address matters of evolving migration and security challenges.

According to IOM’s latest strategic plan, the organization’s three main objectives for 2024-2028 are: to save lives and protect people on the move, drive solutions to displacement and facilitate pathways for regular migration.

High-level exchange

Caribbean CBI programs and geopolitics bring new security challenges, economic opportunity, social and cultural essentials that necessitate constant monitoring and appraising.

International Migration and Caribbean CBI programs present an opportunity to attract professionals to support Saint Lucia’s needs, (health care, construction, security, logistics and distribution, manufacturing, world-view on governance, etc) to which structural barriers and discrimination are not compatible.

Saint Lucia’s CBI program from its inception has struggled to attract financing, housing projects, and infrastructural development. Changes in legislation and reduction of the price from USD$200,000 to $100,000 and now, a return to the original price underscores the turbulence and Saint Lucia’s sticking point.

Caribbean CBI programs are continually evaluated. As previously ascribed, the latest prognosis is as current as the first. “ The programme will not last.” International institutions have consistently advised governments to pay down debt on the earnings of CIP. The Caribbean has seen developments in Dominica and huge returns in Grenada, however, the recurrent advisory is such that Caribbean governments “should not pivot/build their economics entirely on CIP.”

Successive governments have repeatedly promised multiple development projects to be funded directly by CIP funds.

The reality is visible. The projects are invisible. The secrets are within.

Prime Minister Pierre’s discussion in Brussels on migration, and the integrity of Saint Lucia’s CIP has significance to the visa-free access to the Schengen Visa-Free regime – that Saint Lucia currently enjoys.

Notwithstanding the odds, Saint Lucia is expected to continue visa-free access in keeping with international norms and procedures committed to working comprehensively on global matters that leverage mutually beneficial opportunities.

Saint Lucia’s forthcoming challenges from the Brussels meeting will impact migration, stability, various policy and operational matters relevant to the EU migration policy developments and the Caribbean region.

Partnerships and initiatives cannot move forward without cooperation, mutually beneficial objectives and the rule of law to attain sustainable solutions.

The agreement signed by the OECS CIP countries highlights new initiatives to promote a model of regional reintegration; short and longer-term project implementation and policy directives in a holistic approach.

A press release from the OPM April 10, 2024, said Prime Minister Pierre’s policies improved the job market in 2023:

“It’s not just about numbers. The government is working to make the local economy more conducive for hiring and job creation. The Pierre administration will continue implementing the right mix of economic policies to attract foreign investment, stimulate wealth creation and encourage economic growth in the local economy to drive unemployment down into single digits and connect Saint Lucians with sustainable, good-paying jobs.”

The Brussels outcome

To satisfy the European Union matrix of migration decisions (trade, investment, job creation, security, health care, and governance) will shake up values and foundations. In the broader context, multilateral cooperation migration, security challenges, Caribbean CBI programs and economic opportunities are long-standing issues that must be quickly resolved.

Prime Minister Pierre’s meeting in Brussels regarding international migration matters (Caribbean CBI programs) is expected to be – instructive – under the EU-IOM strategic cooperation framework.

Expectations run high on the return of Prime Minister Pierre to Saint Lucia on Friday, April 12, 2024, reporting on the Brussels outcome.

@GlobalCaribbean  fav



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