EU-CELAC Summit to strengthen peace and sustainable development for a promising future

During the summit, the heads of state from the Caribbean countries will engage with the European Union to discuss various important topics, including climate change and security.

EU-CELAC Summit to Strengthen Peace, Sustainable Development
EU-CELAC Summit to Strengthen Peace, Sustainable Development

The third EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government will take place in Brussels on 17-18 July 2023. The summit’s main focus is to strengthen the partnership between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) with the goal of promoting peace and sustainable development.

During the summit, the heads of state from the Caribbean countries will engage with the European Union to discuss various important topics, including climate change and security.

Additionally, the discussion will also encompass the Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CBI) of the five Caribbean nations, along with their due-diligence aspects.

The five countries currently offering CBI programmes in the Caribbean are Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, and Saint Lucia. These programmes are critically acclaimed for their proactive and transparent due diligence approaches. By conducting thorough background checks, these countries have successfully safeguarded both international investors and their own citizens from unscrupulous individuals or organizations.

With their streamlined vetting process, the Caribbean CBI nations have enhanced their reputation within the international community. The entire phase has led the investors to develop their confidence that their investments are safe.

With their rigorous background checks, the Caribbean nations with CBI programmes gained global recognition. The countries are maintaining their reputation on the global stage as two countries such as St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica are ranked number 1 in the CBI Index 2022 published by PWM of Financial Times.

Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis top the chart

Financial Times through the CBI Index recognized the due diligence process of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis as one of the best and most robust. Recently, the Commonwealth of Dominica becomes the first country to introduce mandatory interviews with all applicants aged 16 and over applying for its CBI Programme. This step shows the country’s commitment to cooperating with international stakeholders and increasing due diligence processes, with the aim of reducing threats posed by illicit actors.

The due diligence of these Caribbean countries is carried out by renowned third-party firms based in the United States and the United Kingdom. These firms are highly supported by local and international policing authorities.

Multi-layered process

Due diligence is a multi-layered process, with different steps. Mainly it is carried out both online and from the ground. After multi-layered due diligence checks, citizenship is granted only to the applicants once their application received the green signal, i.e. to the applicants who successfully pass all the checks. In case, there is a possible threat or a person has any criminal background, the due diligence agency will red-flag the applicant and subsequently, the citizenship application would be rejected.

While following a multi-layer process, the documents of the CBI applicants undergo stringent vetting through online and on-the-ground checks.

Two methods are utilized during due diligence checks which ensure top-notch diligence:

Online method: Under this method, the online presence of the applicants is vetted. The firms check the social media profiles of the applicants in order to phase out the risks of any anti-national elements. The method ensures the credibility of the investors on social media so that only reputable ones can be awarded citizenship.

The connections of the investors on social media undergo a stringent vetting process. The applicants who are not involved in any of the anti-national or terrorist activities become able to pass out the checks.

On-the-ground checks: The second method involves the checking of the association of the investors in the cases such as money laundering. Additionally, the legitimacy and source of the funds being invested are also checked under the process. These firms held strict due diligence to assess the source of the fund and the ability of the investors to invest in the country.

They also checked the financial history for the period of 10 years so that the legitimacy of the investors can be ensured.

Besides this, the character assessment of the applicants is also taken place during the vetting process. The on-ground checking is taken place in order to get feedback on the character of the investor so that only reputable applicants can move forward in the CBI process. While conducting rigorous background checks, the firms also visit their office to ensure its reputation and integrity.

 The 3rd EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government

It is a historic occasion to bring together European, Latin American and Caribbean leaders to renew and strengthen relations between the two regions after almost a decade of absence of bi-regional dialogue at the highest political level.

Aiming to uplift the EU-CELAC partnership, the summit will discuss global peace, trade, economic recovery, ways to mitigate climate change, justice and research and innovations.

The summit will be co-chaired by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel and the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves as the CELAC pro tempore president.

The bilateral ties between EU, Latin America and the Caribbean have built on common values and a shared commitment to democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The foundation of their engagement will be formed on the opportunities offered by the twin green and digital transitions and enhanced cooperation in multilateral fora.