Welcoming the French

Go Lean Commentary

CU Blog - Art and Science of Collaboration - Photo 3Truth be told, the French-speaking Caribbean wants to do more with their tropical neighbors; they want to confederate, collaborate and convene on different issues related to community development and nation-building.

On behalf of planners for a new Caribbean, we welcome them, and their INTERREG efforts.


Literally, InterRegional. See the VIDEO in the Appendix below.

This is not so new a commitment. In a previous blog-commentary, the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean heralded the addition of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint Martin to the Association of Caribbean States. More so, in the prior year to this effort, the same countries urged more economic integration with their territorial neighbors, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States:


This is the similar siren call from the movement behind the Go Lean … Caribbean book. The book serves as a roadmap to navigate the integration and consolidation of all 30 member-states into a technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). Those 30 member-states include:

  • Martinique
  • Guadeloupe
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Barthélemy (Subordinate of St. Martin)

The INTERREG targets European territories, so the Dutch Caribbean can also solicit grants. In addition, French Guiana is included. Yippee! This territory was always on the CU‘s radar screen, but because of it’s lack of autonomous administration, the perception was that French Guiana would have to be confederated in regional governance at a later time.

We will take any integration with French Guiana now, especially with funding attached.

The CU will equally incorporate participation from other Caribbean member-states, including the Dutch, English and Spanish-speaking counterparts. Our quest is simple, as envisioned by the demonstrative expression: to “raise the tide for all boats in the harbor”. The Go Lean roadmap posits that the region is failing, ill-prepared to compete on the world’s stage, but the solution is too big for any one Caribbean member-state alone; we need “all hands on deck”, to engage the full participation of the whole neighborhood. Just look at the map here depicting the neighborhood of islands:

French Caribbean Map

The Go Lean/CU roadmap seeks to integrate the entire region’s economic, security and governing engines; to employ best practices to impact our prime directives; identified with the following 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Go Lean book always anticipated the French territories INTERREG efforts. Page 96 describes the initial assembling of all the existing regional organizations into the new umbrella, the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). These initial organizations include, among others:

  • CariCom Secretariat – 22 Agencies
  • CariCom Office of Trade Negotiations
  • British Commonwealth / Overseas Territory
  • French Overseas Territory
  • US Overseas Territory
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands – Overseas Territory
  • Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
  • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

INTERREG is key for this integration effort of the European-dependent territories (French & Dutch) here in the Caribbean. The actual definition follows:

European Territorial Cooperation (ETC), better known as INTERREG,  is one of the two goals of cohesion policy and provides a framework for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges between national, regional and local actors from different Member States. The overarching objective of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) is to promote a harmonious economic, social and territorial development of the Union as a whole. Interreg is built around three strands of cooperation: cross-border (Interreg A), transnational (Interreg B) and interregional (Interreg C).

Five programming periods of INTERREG have succeeded each other:

  • INTERREG I (1990-1993)
  • INTERREG II (1994-1999)
  • INTERREG III (2000-2006)
  • INTERREG IV (2007-2013)
  • INTERREG V (2014-2020)

(Source: Retrieved February 20, 2017 from: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/policy/cooperation/european-territorial/)

From another source:

INTERREG is a series of five programmes to stimulate cooperation between regions in the European Union, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The first Interreg started in 1989. Interreg IV covered the period 2007–2013. Interreg V (2014-2020) covers all 28 EU Member States, 3 participating EFTA countries (Norway, Switzerland, Lichtenstein), 6 accession countries and 18 neighbouring countries. It has a budget of EUR 10.1 billion, which represents 2.8% of the total of the European Cohesion Policy budget.[1] Since the non EU countries don’t pay EU membership fee, they contribute directly to Interreg, not through ERDF. – Source: Wikipedia.

CU Blog - Welcoming the French - Photo 1

According to the foregoing “prime directives“, the Go Lean/CU effort leads first with an emphasis on regional economics. Follow the money! This INTERREG V has a budget of of €10.1 billion (Euros); this is money that we cannot afford to ignore in our Caribbean region, especially since the purpose is cross-border development activity of the island-nations. See this portrayed in this article/Press Release:

Title: New INTERREG Caribbean programme launched
Press Release: December 22, 2016 – The new INTERREG Caribbean programme was officially launched last Wednesday, 14th December 2016, in St. Lucia by representatives and officials of the French Overseas Departments and Collectivities of Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana & Saint Martin, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the European Union (EU), with support from the Honourable Mr. Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of St. Lucia.

By launching the INTERREG V Caribbean programme in St. Lucia, the organizers made a statement of their commitment to consolidate regional partnerships (between the French Caribbean and the English-, Spanish- and Dutch- speaking countries and territories of the region), by strengthening the involvement of regional organisations, and to achieve a better co-ordination and distribution of the European Regional Development Funds to the benefit of the greater Caribbean.

The work carried out in consultation with all partners focused on the evaluation and selection of a large number of projects that have been submitted, which testifies to the growing success of the INTERREG Caribbean programme, opening up real prospects for strengthening Caribbean partnerships, and allowing all regional stakeholders to be a part of the effort to put transnational co-operation at the heart of the sustainable development of the region.

The preparation and realisation of the three-day conference constituted important moments of sharing, exchanging and building a true policy of regional co-operation and on Wednesday, 14th December, the new INTERREG Caribbean program was officially launched in the presence of many regional partners and stakeholders.

At the public meeting, Mrs. Marie-Luce Penchard, 2nd Vice-President of the Guadeloupe Region, in charge of regional co-operation, European affairs & Universities, took the opportunity to urge “project developers, who play a most vital role in the programme development, to get even more involved in order to build together a real partnership for the benefit of our [Caribbean countries and] territories”. She also expressed the strong will of the Region of Guadeloupe to support the development of their activities in the greater Caribbean, in a genuine sustainable and co-operative way.

“While the previous programmes have brought closer together project developers and regional stakeholders [to our territories]”, she continued, “the new INTERREG Caribbean programme intends to go even further by supporting projects in terms of economic competitiveness, natural risks and joint natural and cultural heritage.”

The programme also seeks to provide concrete answers to common issues and challenges shared by Caribbean countries and territories, which pertain to public health, renewable energy development and skills development.
Source: St Lucia Times – Daily Newspaper – Retrieved February 20, 2017 from:  https://stluciatimes.com/2016/12/22/new-interreg-cbean-programme-launched

There was a previous effort to integrate the region’s economic apparatus, the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME). It faltered! It was limited to the CariCom (Caribbean Community) countries – mostly English-speaking Caribbean sovereign territories (15 member-states).

The Go Lean/CU is a second – better – attempt of those same hopes and dreams behind CSME. For starters, this CU effort engages all 30 Caribbean member-states. So we can truly say: “Last time, we knocked on the door; this time we kick it in”.

Why will we succeed this time?

The Go Lean book addresses this exact issue; Page 132 of the book details the following reasons; (notice #7 specifically; this applies to INTERREG):

10 Reason Why the CU Will Succeed

  1. Emergence of a Giant Market
  2. Modeled after the European Union
  3. Declaration of Interdependence
  4. Economic Engine
  5. Alternative to North America, and European Colonial Legacies
  6. More American Support
  7. International Cooperation and Support
    Many other economic blocs and some countries (i.e. Canada) will only deal with developing nations in a regionalized effort, rather than individual foreign aid. We are still Third World, and we want/need international grants – free money.
  8. Direct Foreign Investment: Risk and Reward
  9. Diversity – 4 languages; 5 colonial legacies – is the Spice of Life
  10. Reverse Migration / Repatriation

There are so many benefits that stem from a larger “economies of scale”, a Caribbean Single Market unites 42 million people for the potential of an $800 Billion GDP market. This end-result furnishes an improved environment for commerce, security and governance. This is how the Go Lean book explains that we can make our homeland a better place to live, work and play.

The Go Lean/CU roadmap is also a better plan than the previous CSME because it encompasses more aspects of Caribbean life, not just economics; it includes security mitigations and government empowerments. This total focus allows CU stakeholders to impact the existing societal defects and to incentivize the adoption of new community ethos.

Community ethos refers to the underlying attitude/spirit/sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of society. One ethos recommended in the Go Lean book – Page 35 – for the region to adopt is “Sharing”; see this quotation:

“Sharing is promoted as a community ethos; not in the form of a re-distribution of existing wealth, but rather the sharing of the tools to create new wealth for all to benefit from. The treaty also enables a collective security pact to assuage against systemic threats, including emergency management and responses to natural disasters.”

The Go Lean book details a full series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies designed to facilitate regional integration; see a sample here:

Anecdote – Caribbean Single Market & Economy Page 15
Anecdote – French Caribbean: Organization & Discord Page 17
Community Ethos – Money Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategic – Vision – Integrated Region in a Single Market Page 45
Strategic – Vision – Agents of Change Page 57
Tactical – Confederating a Non-sovereign Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing to $800 Billion Regional Economy Page 67
Tactical – Separation of Powers Page 71
Anecdote – Turning Around CariCom – The Single Market Page 92
Anecdote – “Lean” in Government Page 93
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up Page 102
Implementation – Security Initiatives at Start-up Page 103
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region Page 127
Planning – Ways to Model the EU Page 130
Planning – Reason Why the CU Will Succeed Page 132
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Anecdote – Governmental Integration: CariCom Parliament Page 167
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 180

All of the Caribbean, despite the languages, have had societal failures. Large swaths of the population has fled to foreign shores for refuge. In the French (and Dutch) Caribbean, it is not uncommon for high school graduates to leave soon after graduation. No society can thrive with this disposition. Communities need its people, young and old. But the people need opportunities for prosperity.

The Go Lean roadmap stresses the need for a fully integrated Caribbean Single Market with the French, Dutch, English and Spanish territories, all 30 member-states.  The foregoing “News Release” urges the Eastern Caribbean states specifically and the whole Caribbean generally to “double-down” on the integration movement. There are benefits galore … and money too.

This is the consistent theme – to dive deeper in the waters of an integrated Single Market – in so many previous Go Lean blog-commentaries; see sample here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10043 Caribbean Integration Plan for Greater Prosperity
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9487 Things We Want from Europe: Model of an Integrated Economy
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8351 A Lesson in Economic Fallacies – Independence: Hype or Hope
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7929 Chambers’ Strategy: A Great Role Model for Caribbean Integration
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7989 Caribbean Integration Benefits: Free Money
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7896 Caribbean Integration Model for Disaster Relief
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7789 Caribbean Integration Model for Global Trade
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7749 Caribbean Integration Model for Regional Elections
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7601 Caribbean Integration Model for Caribbean Sovereign Debt
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7586 Caribbean Integration Model to Cure High Drug Prices
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7327 Caribbean Integration Model for Disease Control
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7103 Caribbean Integration Model for Mitigating Climate Change
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6399 Caribbean Integration Model for Mitigating Income Inequality
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6341 Caribbean Integration Model for Tourism Stewardship
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6103 Caribbean Integration Model to Mitigate Deadly Threats
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1193 EU Willing to Fund Study on Discontinuing Caribbean Integration
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=833 European Integration Currency Model: One Currency

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean – the people and governing institutions – to lean-in for Caribbean integration. We can get it right, this time. This Go Lean roadmap is conceivable, believable and achievable.

So we welcome all stakeholders; we welcome the French.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix VIDEO What is Interreg? – https://youtu.be/MDvfwsiDLew

Published on May 25, 2016 – An introduction to the Interreg funding instrument in the framework of EU cohesion policy – recorded live at the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE lead applicant training in Zagreb on 10 May 2016. For more information on Interreg, our transnational cooperation programme and the funding we provide, please take a look at www.interreg-central.eu

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