New OECS ambassador Felix Gregoire

New OECS ambassador Felix Gregoire

The slow progress of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) is one of the issues that will be addressed by a CARICOM mission to Dominica next week.

Ambassador to CARICOM Felix Gregoire said at a press conference on Thursday morning that “the CSME is progressing slowly and I’m sure that, that will be an issue.”

“The question of free movement will be an issue as well. At the OECS level, the free movement includes everybody once you are a citizen of the OECS you are free to move,” he said. “At this point in time, at the CARICOM level it is for skilled professionals.”

Gregoire explained that in order for an individual to move from one island to the next in search of employment, he/she must first get a skilled certificate and be a university graduate or a top sports personality or someone involved in culture.

The Ambassador also stated that the question of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is also more than likely to be addressed during the two days of consultation.

“The CCJ is a creature of CARICOM  and the fact that few countries are taking advantage of the court of justice may become an issue as well,” he said.

According to Gregoire, the consultation is taking place as a response to directives from the heads of government to make CARICOM more effective.

At present, a reform process is ongoing at CARICOM level which will make the secretariat more efficient and also provide a new strategic plan for CARICOM.

The mission will seek to gain information from the public as to how they expect CARICOM to function.

The National Committee Regional Integration Task Force will also be visiting schools as of October 2.