Paraguay is a bilingual country (Spanish/Guarani) located on a landlocked territory between Argentina and Brazil. After democracy was re-established in Paraguay in 1989, the EC and Paraguay signed the Framework Cooperation Agreement in 1992, which establishes the holding of periodic EU-Paraguay Joint Cooperation Commissions. The VIII EU-Paraguay Joint Commission [81 KB] was held in Asuncion on 23 April 2012.
The EU is sending an Election Observation Mission to Paraguay general elections to take place on 21 April 2013.
On the economic and trade side, the EU and Paraguay maintain a close and open bilateral dialogue on trade issues. EU-Paraguay trade relations are characterised by increasing trade flows, the EU being the 3rd trade partner of Paraguay in 2011 (after the Mercosur block and China). Since 2008 Paraguay enjoys the General System of Preferences Plus scheme (GSP+) and will continue to benefit of GSP after 2014.
For the period 2007-2013, the EU-Paraguay co-operation focuses on three priority sectors: poverty reduction, education and economic integration. These priorities were confirmed in the Mid-Term Review [90 KB] that the Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 underwent in 2010.
As a founding member of Mercosur, Paraguay is also a recipient country in line with the priorities described in the Mercosur Regional Strategy Paper 2007–2013 [431 KB] . Regarding regional integration, the EU and Mercosur signed a Framework Co-operation Agreement in 1995 whose main objective is the preparation of an inter-regional association agreement.