Much speculation has been placed upon countries such as Cape Verde entering into the EU. Depending upon which investment company you have been in contact with, these claims can vary depending upon what the company believes their clients wish to hear.
While it can be argued that since Cape Verde is not technically a part of Europe, it can be confusing to understand how it is possible to be considered for entry into EU membership. Yet the country has a long connection with Portugal, having been a Portuguese colony for around 500 years, until it parted in the mid 70s to develop independence.
Since parting from Portugal, the country has gone from strength to strength, although it has not parted completely, as the lack of natural resources requires the country to remain hugely dependent upon Portugal for imports and exports.
Cape Verde became a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), building its ties with the West African nations. As the country is not able to be a member of both systems at the same moment, for the time being Cape Verde would not be successful in an application to become an EU member.
With the outlook for the country’s development to increase its independence and self sufficiency, the possibility of looking into membership with the EU has been considered. The surrounding Macaronesian islands are supporting Cape Verde’s interest to join the EU, and unlike Morocco, the country has not been refused the possibility to join.
In early 2008, the country set up a special-partnership arrangement with the EU, enabling assistance in return for the assistance of Cape Verde stemming the high numbers of illegal immigrants from West African nations using the country as a departure point to enter into the EU via the Canary Islands.
In order for this set up to come properly into effect, Cape Verde will be required to lessen its ties with ECOWAS, as it enables a freedom of movement for citizens of these countries.
In order to oblige with this arrangement, a special arrangement is being developed with ECOWAS, so that the country is no longer a member of this system. This will enable a better position for the country, being not quite a member of either, yet still receiving benefits from both systems.
Whether the country decides in the future to apply for EU membership remains to be seen, the special partnership arrangement can potentially greatly assist the possibilities of entry, depending upon the outcome of the arrangement so far.
As the citizens of Cape Verde were granted Portuguese citizenshipin the early 70s, their position is advantageous, and the promotion the country’s government is undertaking to develop Cape Verde as a known tourist destination is increasing its position. The country is offering a great potential emerging market and is fast becoming a tourism hotspot, which all increase the interest amongst investors, however full entry into the EU still remains to be seen.
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