EU Commission representatives, including the Head of Visa Policy and the EU’s liaison in Barbados, recently visited Dominica to meet with the five OECS islands offering citizenship by investment programmes. The meeting took place at the Intercontinental Dominica Cabrits Resort last week.
The goal was to have productive talks with technical teams and help the EU understand how these countries manage risks. Discussions happened between EU officials and representatives from the CBI Units of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia.
The EU met with each country separately to assess their internal processes technically. The officials were impressed with the safeguards that have been put in place in each of the units.
In their meeting, European Union officials understood the importance and influence of the Citizenship by Investment industry on these islands and their residents.
They were notably impressed by the sight of various new infrastructure projects underway in Dominica. The officials also acknowledged the positive contribution that the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) industry is making to overall development.
EU Officials noted that all the countries were willing to improve the industry, recognising that CBI contributes positively to the economic growth and development of the participating nations.
They further emphasised the shared commitment to enhance policies and practices, ensuring that the Citizenship by Investment Programmes bring about sustained benefits and foster prosperity and opportunities for both the islands and their residents.
Furthermore, the officials added that the European Union is always open to listening and appreciates the warm welcome as well as extensive dialogue on the CBI industry.
During the meeting, the representatives of the European Union said that they understand the importance of the Citizenship by Investment Programme for the region.
Officials emphasised the EU's understanding of the CBI industry's objectives for participating countries, highlighting its crucial role in fostering economic development and growth. This acknowledgement underscores the positive impact that Citizenship by Investment initiatives have on these countries' overall well-being.
Expressing admiration for the island's dedication to meticulous background checks, the officials recognised the crucial importance of upholding stringent standards in the vetting process for applicants.
Marie-Therese Johnson, the head of Dominica's CBI Unit, stressed that rigorous due diligence serves not only to maintain the integrity of the Citizenship by Investment Programme but also guarantees that citizenship is granted exclusively to qualified and reputable individuals. This commitment, she emphasised, is essential for the continued success and credibility of the initiative.
EU officials commended Dominica for enhancing the due diligence process by implementing mandatory interviews for all applicants and their dependents aged 16 and above. This additional layer of scrutiny was recognised as a valuable measure in ensuring the thorough assessment of individuals seeking citizenship.
The constructive meeting between the Caribbean CBI Jurisdictions and the representatives of the European Union has notably paved the way for promising collaboration opportunities.
The EU recognises the potential for mutual cooperation in enhancing and fortifying CBI Programmes in the Caribbean region. This collaborative approach aims to cultivate shared expertise, implement best practices, and establish regulatory frameworks to ensure that the Programmes align with international standards.
Officials added that such partnerships present an avenue for knowledge exchange, promoting transparency and integrity in the implementation of Citizenship by Investment initiatives.
The recent meeting is also a part of the EU's acknowledgement of collaboration opportunities and underscores a commitment to working together for the continued success and development of these programmes.