Relations between the EU and Bolivia are conducted both bilaterally and also in the framework of regional cooperation between the EU and the Andean Community. The EU’s priorities in Bolivia are to accompany the political process of democratisation and to support the country in fostering economically sustainable development. These relations are governed by the regional Framework Cooperation Agreement of 1993. This was updated and strengthened with the regional Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement , which was signed in December 2003 but has not yet entered into force as the ratification process has not been completed by all parties.
In September 2011, an informal mechanism of High Level Policy Dialogue [85 KB] , which comprises political and economic discussions, was launched in La Paz. The second edition of this annual High-Level Dialogue took place in Brussels in November 2012.
The EU is Bolivia's fifth main trade partner (€626 million in 2010), and enjoys privileged market access to the EU through the GSP Plus scheme. Between 2006 and 2011, European investments in Bolivia were more than 2 Billion $ and concentrated in mining and hydrocarbons. European investments came from Spain, France, the Netherlands and UK. In 2011, European investments accounted for 65% of the total FDI in Bolivia, totaling a gross FDI of 666 Mio$.
The EU has delivered strong support to Bolivia’s democracy through election observation and assistance, demarches and by accompanying the national dialogue process that led to the new Constitution of 2009. Part of this support has been undertaken under the Instrument for Stability (IfS). Bolivia was selected in 2010 as the only "pilot country for democracy" in Latin America and a case study for what the “Council Conclusions on Democracy Support Towards Increased Coherence and Efficiency” and the Agenda for Action (adopted on 18 November 2009) foresee.
Bolivia is the largest recipient of EU bilateral development cooperation in Latin America. The three main areas of EU involvement are:
• the creation of economic opportunities through decent work,
• the fight against illicit drug production and trafficking (Bolivia is the world's third producer of coca leaf), and
• the preservation of the environment.
These aims are set out in the EU’s Country Strategy Paper [565 KB] and were extended in the Mid-Term-Review [668 KB] . The EU has also been very active in the field of food security. Since 1997 and under the Food Security Thematic Programme, the EU has contributed with €124 million to strengthen Bolivia's capabilities in this field.