Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government have adopted a Protocol which should create opportunities to further the principles, goals and objectives of the Community through Enhanced Cooperation.
The “Protocol to Amend the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy to allow Enhanced Cooperation among Member States and to address Related Issues” was approved at the recent Inter-Sessional Meeting in Belize.
It provides for groups of at least three Member States to seek to establish Enhanced Cooperation among themselves in areas where they feel the targeted objectives cannot be attained within a reasonable period by the Community as a whole. Approval to pursue the Enhanced Cooperation will require the support of two-thirds of the membership of the Community.
Decisions adopted in the specific areas of Enhanced Cooperation will only be binding on the participating Member States and the rights and obligations created will be solely for those Member States and their nationals. Established areas of Enhanced Cooperation will, however, be open to other Member States, subject to compliance with the conditions of participation and the decisions already adopted.
The Protocol takes effect after ratification by the signatories to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Four Member States – Barbados, Belize, Dominica, and Grenada – signed the Protocol at the Belize Inter-Sessional Meeting.