The EU's institutional relations with Honduras and the other countries of Central America - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama - were originally based on the San José Dialogue. Launched in 1984, this sought to resolve armed conflicts in the region through dialogue and negotiation; it now provides a basis for strengthening cooperation, economic links and regional integration. Central America-EU relations are governed by the 2003 Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement .
The ambitious, wide-ranging EU-Central America Association Agreement signed in June 2012 in Tegucigalpa (Honduras) is based on political dialogue, cooperation and a free trade area. Only the section relating to trade is currently in force, and this will remain the case until the EU Member States complete ratification.
The agreement's political dialogue mechanism enables the 2 sides to share views on issues including
The trade section, which establishes an EU-Central America free trade area, will boost trade and investment flows between the 2 regions. It takes account of their disparity in terms of economic development, as does the wide-ranging cooperation section: see the 2007-2013 Regional Strategy Paper and the Mid-Term Review of the Regional Strategy Paper 2007-2013 for Central America .
The EU is the main donor of official development aid to Honduras. The priorities for the latest cooperation programme are set out in:
A new cooperation programme for 2014-2020 was approved in August 2014.
At the invitation of the Government and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Honduras, the EU sent an election observation mission to the 2013 elections; see EU EOM Honduras 2013.
The EU also supports various initiatives by NGOs and other groups in the areas of human rights (through the EIDHR instrument), local development and the environment.
Honduras and the EU held their first Voluntary Partnership Agreement negotiation session under the EU's Forest Law Enforcement and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan in January 2013 in the capital, Tegucigalpa. The Voluntary Partnership Agreement will help ensure that only timber that is demonstrably legal under Honduran law can be exported to the EU. See EU FLEGT Honduras.