October 18, 2011 | 11:35 am | Print
Above: the Antiguan Parliament (Photo: ABG)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Antigua’s Lower House of Parliament passed the Revised Treaty of Basseterre yesterday, establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Economic Union Act 2011.
The revised treaty creates a single economic and financial space covering the OECS, and is aimed at further integration.
“What we are doing here today, we are part of a fundamental, historical development of Herculean proportions,” said Antigua Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer. “If this thing works in the way we are anticipating, [it's] not just a question of us collaborating and working more on the economic front, but inherent in this is the ultimate goal of integrating the OECS politically as well. That is the ultimate goal.”
The OECS is already doing such collaboration in areas like civil aviation, its currency union and the judiciary.
“We want to show to the world that we can go beyond that, moving at a higher level, integrating the sub-region in a fundamentally deeper way,” he said. “The founding fathers years ago … that’s how they envisaged it; that is what they wanted to create. We lost it, we got derailed along the way, but we have now reached a point where this is clearly the way to go.”
Antigua signed the treaty in June 2010.