Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

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An international intergovernmental organization devoted to regional integration in the Eastern Caribbean is called the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

On June 18, 1981, seven nations from the Eastern Caribbean signed the Treaty of Basseterre, pledging their commitment to working together to advance the members’ solidarity and togetherness.

In 2010, the Treaty of Basseterre was superseded by the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, establishing an economic union between the member states that lowers or eliminates trade barriers in exchange for a single market and customs union.

The OECS currently has eleven members, including Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in their entirety. With the exception of the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique, and Guadeloupe, all of these states are associate members of the OECS and enjoy all the benefits of membership in the Economic Union, including free movement of persons and products.

Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) protocol members include:
  • Dominican Commonwealth
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Grenada
  • Saint Lucia, Montserrat,
  • St. Kitts and Nevis,
  • St. Vincent and The Grenadines

The OECS’s associate members are:

  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Anguilla
  • Martinique
  • Guadeloupe

The OECS is an economic union with a free-flowing single market and customs union for commodities, persons, and capital. Along with unifying its stances on trade, health, education, the environment, agriculture, tourism, and energy, the group also strives to harmonize their monetary policy and policies relating to government taxes and income.

The Eastern Caribbean Dollar is the common currency used by the eight members. Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are among them. Martinique and Guadeloupe, which are French overseas territories, utilize the euro, whereas the British Virgin Islands use the US currency.

Geographically, these islands make up the Lesser Antilles, an almost continuous archipelago across the Caribbean Sea.

Relations with Turkey

In conjunction with the 7th Summit of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), which was held in Havana on June 3, 2016, a memorandum of cooperation between the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Türkiye was signed.

As of 2017, the Turkish Embassy in Santo Domingo served as Turkey’s OECS representation.

In the areas of disaster management, supporting SMEs, tourism, health, agriculture, environmental management, combating climate change, and cultural transformation, Turkey seeks to build collaboration with the OECD.

Benefits of OECS Membership
  • Citizens of protocol participants are unrestricted in their ability to work and travel beyond national boundaries. In addition to a passport, other acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, national ID card, voter registration card, and social security card. A person is not obliged to provide proof of financial assistance in order to reside in another protocol member state. They have an unlimited right to abode and employment in another protocol member state.
  • The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), as well as its program the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), are both larger organizations that include all protocol member states. The OECS works to match its policies with its members’ CSME involvement. British Virgin Islands and Anguilla are additionally associate members of CARICOM.
  • The OECS recognizes two other organizations in addition to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, which controls monetary policy and the Eastern Caribbean dollar: the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority. The regulatory agency in charge of regulating the region’s telecommunications industry is the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority.
Structure and Function of OECS

The elected representatives of the legislatures and houses of parliament of the member states make up the OECS Assembly. While Non-Independent States are only allowed three representatives, each Independent Member State of the Organization is allowed to elect five members of its Parliament to the Assembly.

An international group called the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) encourages economic integration and trade cooperation among its member nations in the Eastern Caribbean.

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