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The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States appoints its new chairman

The overlapping of intergovernmental organizations sharing Member States is one of the key challenges for achieving effective regional integration.

On the one hand, overlapping can be beneficial for the blocs involved, in the sense they can complement themselves, pursuit different aims, and use various tools to achieve such aims. On the other hand, overlapping can be detrimental for further integration because policies can occasionally clash and create a state of confusion among the ordinary citizens with regards to which rules to follow or the dispute-settlement apparatus to refer[1].

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is a clear example of this phenomenon. Some of its Member States also belong to CARICOM, and they are bound by standards of both regional schemes.

On June 18th, 2021, the Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, has assumed the chairmanship of this sub-regional organization, replacing Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit. In his inauguration speech, he identified five priorities for sub-regional integration: to accelerate regional integration to improve living standards, to reinvent the economy, to be environmentally responsible, to build resilience, and to enable equity and inclusion. According to Mitchell, all of this will contribute to further entrepreneurship, general equality, digital innovation, and youth empowerment. Time will tell whether those objectives are attained and whether they are at odds with those CARICOM’s.

The link to the speech can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB5DNSUvJdU

[1] Detlef Nolte, ‘Costs and Benefits of Overlapping Regional Organizations in Latin America: The Case of the OAS and UNASUR’ (2018) 60 Latin American Politics and Society 128

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