Cambodia has made remarkable political and socioeconomic progress since the Paris Peace Accords in 1991 which set in motion the peace process. The EU remains committed to Cambodia's transformation and will continue to support all Cambodians who work towards lasting development and democracy in the country.
At the heart of the relationship is the EU-Cambodia Cooperation Agreement. A Joint Committee that normally meets every two years, alternately in Phnom Penh and in Brussels, allows the EU and the Royal Government of Cambodia to formulate recommendations and set priorities in the field of development cooperation, human rights and trade. Collaboration also takes place on the regional and international stage through fora such as ASEAN and ASEM.
A respect for democracy and human rights is fundamental to EU-Cambodia relations. The EU supports a wide range of human rights initiatives carried out by Cambodian NGOs and other Civil Society Organisations and has also observed national and commune elections while providing support to its election reform process.
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), in particular, has a vital role to play not only in ensuring accountability for victims of the Khmer Rouge, but also in developing Cambodia’s long-term legal capacity and promoting reconciliation.
Over the years, EU-Cambodia cooperation activities have touched the lives of millions of Cambodians. The EU is Cambodia’s largest partner in terms of development assistance; details of which can be found in the Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP 2014-2020) . This country strategy paper represents a tripling of the EU assistance compared to the previous programming period. It is based on the joint European Development Cooperation Strategy for Cambodia 2014-2018 which ensures division of labour between the European partners to improve the efficiency of our joint efforts. It is also drawn in alignment with Cambodia's own development plan ('Rectangular Strategy Phase III'). The three sectors in the focus of the EU’s development cooperation are agriculture and natural resource management, education and skills and good governance and administration.