The Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
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. 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. In July 2012, CARICOM announced that they were considering making French and Dutch official languages.
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. 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.
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.