The Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

CARICOM Flag

Established in 1973, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is an organization of fifteen Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy.[2] Its major activities involve coordinating economic policies and development planning; devising and instituting special projects for the less-developed countries within its jurisdiction; operating as a regional single market for many of its members (Caricom Single Market), and handling regional trade disputes. The secretariat headquarters is based in Georgetown, Guyana.

Established mainly by the English-speaking parts of the Caribbean, CARICOM has become multilingual in practice with the addition of Dutch-speaking Suriname on 4 July 1995 and French- (and Haitian Kreyòl-) speaking Haiti on 2 July 2002. Furthermore, it was suggested that Spanish should also become a working language.[3] In July 2012, CARICOM announced that they were considering making French and Dutch official languages.[4]

In 2001, the heads of government signed a revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that cleared the way to transform the idea of a common market CARICOM into a Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy. Part of the revised treaty establishes and implements the Caribbean Court of Justice. Since 2013, the CARICOM-bloc and the Dominican Republic have been tied to the European Commission via an Economic Partnership Agreements known as CARIFORUM signed in 2008.[5] The treaty grants all members of the European Union and CARIFORUM equal rights in terms of trade and investment. Within the agreement under Article 234, the European Court of Justice also carries dispute resolution mechanisms between CARIFORUM and the European Union states.[6]

MEMBERSHIP

Currently CARICOM has 15 full members, 5 associate members and 8 observers. All of the associate members are British overseas territories, and it is currently not established what the role of the associate members will be. The observers are states which engage in at least one of CARICOM's technical committees.

 

CARICOM Members
Status Name Join date Notes
Full member  Antigua and Barbuda 4 July 1974  
 Bahamas 4 July 1983 Not part of customs union
 Barbados 1 August 1973  
 Belize 1 May 1974  
 Dominica 1 May 1974  
 Grenada 1 May 1974  
 Guyana 1 August 1973  
 Haiti 2 July 2002 Provisional membership on 4 July 1998
 Jamaica 1 August 1973  
 Montserrat 1 May 1974 British overseas territory
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 26 July 1974 Joined as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
 Saint Lucia 1 May 1974  
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1 May 1974  
 Suriname 4 July 1995  
 Trinidad and Tobago 1 August 1973 Founder of the Organization before handing over to Guyana
Associate  Anguilla July 1999 British overseas territory
 Bermuda 2 July 2003 British overseas territory
 British Virgin Islands July 1991 British overseas territory
 Cayman Islands 16 May 2002 British overseas territory
 Turks and Caicos Islands July 1991 British overseas territory
Observer  Aruba   Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
 Colombia    
 Curaçao   Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
 Dominican Republic    
 Mexico    
 Puerto Rico   Commonwealth of the USA
 Sint Maarten   Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
 Venezuela