Saint Lucia Ranks 3rd In Global Citizenship Program Index – St. Lucia Times

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Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada jointly occupied third place in the Henley & Partners 2024 Global Citizenship Program Index among some 100 countries.

Malta nabbed the top spot, followed by Austria in the index, which evaluates various factors.

They include quality of life, visa-free travel, investment prerequisites, compliance measures, residency requirements, relocation flexibility, transparency, and reputation.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre had stoutly defended the integrity of Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).

Pierre’s defence came amid opposition United Workers Party (UWP) concerns regarding CIP transparency and security.

The UWP had warned that Saint Lucia’s visa-free access to the UK and Europe was at risk.

Opposition leader Allen Chastanet asserted that the UWP had received reliable information that Pierre had been summoned to Brussels over concerns about Saint Lucia’s CIP.

But the Saint Lucia Prime Minister, who recently returned from the trip to Brussels, told reporters he was never summoned and nobody invited him.

“I asked to see the members of the European Commission and the European Parliament. The reason why I did that, I wanted to hear first-hand for myself what was the situation regarding the Schengen visa,” Pierre disclosed.

The Schengen area comprises over 20 European countries.

“Europe has no problems with us,” Pierre declared.

The PM also disclosed that the Brussels trip had been planned a month in advance.

The Prime Minister explained, “I wanted to speak to the EU before my government signs Saint Lucia to any Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Citizen by Investment with our Caribbean neighbours.”

Saint Lucia did not sign, citing contractual arrangements with investors.

Nevertheless, the PM declared he never indicated he would not sign but wanted more information before doing so.

“The CIP Programme, not Saint Lucia’s CIP programme, the CIP Programme generally has been put as one of the reasons a country can lose its Schengen visa. But that has to be done by the parliament,” Pierre told reporters.

Pierre said the European Parliament had received a recommendation and would vote after the June parliamentary elections.

Pierre said no one knows what the result of the vote would be.

In this regard, he emphasised that vote was not because of Saint Lucia’s CIP.

He noted that counties worldwide have CIPs and Saint Lucia’ own was not under pressure.