EU Relations with Republic of Colombia

Colombia is a dynamic and open economy, of growing regional importance and a key partner for the EU in Latin America, generally like-minded. Together with Chile, Mexico and Peru, it created the Pacific Alliance, a promising regional initiative aiming to promote free trade. Colombia is still suffering from a longstanding internal conflict but the country has taken key steps with a view to ending this conflict, through negotiation with the main guerrilla group, the FARC. The EU is strongly supportive of the Havana process and it is expected that a final peace agreement could be reached it the near future. In recognition of the importance of Colombia's efforts to build peace HR/VP Mogherini appointed in November 2015 former Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore as her Special Envoy for the peace process in Colombia.

The EU’s relations with Colombia are built on political dialogue, trade, and development cooperation, and cover a wide range of bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. In August 2014 the EU and Colombia concluded a Framework Participation Agreement, which will facilitate Colombia's participation in EU-led crisis management operations in the framework of the CSDP. As a token of its commitment, Colombia deployed a navy vessel in support of EU naval operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta off the Horn Africa, even before it could formally participate, pending ratification of the FPA.

The priorities in EU-Colombia financial cooperation are laid down in the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (MIP) [add document], with a budget of €67m for 2014-17. It is broadly focused on supporting Colombia's efforts in achieving a pacific resolution in the short, medium and long term and builds on the EU's earlier efforts to foster peacebuilding, in particular via the so-called 'Peace laboratories' (local-level initiatives to foster economic development and reconciliation).

The EU supports the peace processes between the government of Colombia and the guerrilla movements FARC-EP and ELN to put an end to the internal armed conflict and has committed to provide financial assistance to the implementation of a final peace agreement.The main vehicle will be anEU Trust Fund thatbrings together resources from the EU and willing Member States, with a focus on local and rural development, through short and medium term actions.

In addition, projects aimed at overcoming the legacy of the internal conflict are also funded under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights and the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).

Political and policy dialogue is based on the 1996 Rome Declaration , and a 2009 Memorandum of Understanding . The political dialogue is strengthened and institutionalised through the Political and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Andean Community, which is implemented through high-level political and sectoral dialogue meetings at regional or bilateral level. Colombia is the EU’s fourth most important economic partner in the region, with a trade volume of more than €14 billion in 2014. The EU is Colombia's second biggest trading partner. Trade and investment , already burgeoning, will be encouraged through further mutual market opening under the Trade Agreement between the EU and Colombia (and Peru), initialled in 2011 and whose provisional application started on 1 August 2013.. The trade agreement should also help Colombia diversify its trade structure and make it easier for Colombian SMEs to export to the EU.

A fruitful bilateral human rights dialogue complements relations between the EU and Colombia.

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