151202_01_en, 02/12/2015
Brussels
SPEECH

Speech of HR/VP Federica Mogherini during the signing ceremony of the Visa Waiver Agreement with Colombia

Es un gran placer tomar parte hoy en la ceremonia de la firma del Acuerdo de Exención de Visados con Colombia. El Comisario Avramopoulos y yo nos alegramos de que mi amigo el Presidente Santos haya podido asistir a esta ceremonia en persona. Es el primer jefe de estado con quién me reuní después del inicio de mi mandato en Bruselas, y nuestra reunión hoy es un nuevo ejemplo de su compromiso a favor de las relaciones entre la Unión europea y Colombia.

A partir de mañana los ciudadanos colombianos podrán viajar a la Unión Europea sin visado. Este paso agilizará mucho la movilidad humana entre dos partes del mundo que son cultural e históricamente muy cercanas. Este es el resultado de un intenso trabajo de más de dos años y demuestra una buena colaboración entre la Unión europea y Colombia para conseguir este resultado. Quiero asimismo aprovechar esta oportunidad para agradecer al Comisario Avramopoulos y al ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Luxemburgo Sr. Asselborn, en su calidad de Presidente en ejercicio del Consejo, así como a sus servicios por todos sus esfuerzos para lograr este objetivo. Y también me es grato felicitar a las autoridades colombianas, y en particular al Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores Ministra Holguín, por las medidas que han adoptado para informar a los colombianos de los requisitos que tendrán que cumplir al entrar en el espacio Schengen, con el fin de garantizar una transición sin problemas al nuevo régimen.

Quisiera también mencionar brevemente el Acuerdo de Exención de visados entre la Unión europea y Perú, cuya negociación progresó en paralelo con la de Colombia. Me gustaría tranquilizar al pueblo peruano que estamos en camino de firmar este Acuerdo en el futuro cercano, gracias al cual los ciudadanos peruanos también podrán beneficiarse pronto de la exención de visado para viajar a Europa. La integración entre nuestras dos regiones seguirá aumentando en el futuro. Y dicha integración está llevando cambios concretos en la vida de nuestros pueblos.

Let me also say one word about how glad I am about the work we have done during this year within my mandate, with President Santos and with all the friends of Colombia who have been accompanying the peace process, something that could be a sign of hope after 50 years of conflict. And we know how much we need hope in these days. The EU, all its Member States , all its institutions, my special envoy Eamonn Gilmore are there to accompany step by step this process that has all our full support.  And I believe that this, together with the very important agreement that we signed today and all the things that we will do in the future together will be beneficial for the EU citizens and for all Colombians.  Muchas gracias. 

********

It is with great pleasure that I am taking part today in the signing ceremony of the Visa Exemption Agreement with Colombia. Commissioner Avramopoulos and I are also greatly honoured that my friend Presidents Santos took the time to attend this ceremony in person. He was the first head of state I met after I started my mandate in Brussels, and this is yet another example of how deeply committed he is to EU-Colombia relations.

As from tomorrow Colombian citizens will be able to travel in the EU without a visa. Such step will considerably facilitate human mobility between two parts of the world that are culturally and historically very close. This is the result of intensive work over two years and demonstrates good collaboration between the EU and Colombia to facilitate this outcome. Let me take this opportunity to thank Commissioner Avramopoulos and Foreign Minister of Luxembourg Asselborn, in capacity of the EU Presidency and their services for all their efforts to achieve this result. And I would also like to thank the Colombian authorities, and in particular the Foreign Ministry, for the steps they have taken to inform Colombians of the requirements they will have to meet when entering the Schengen area, in order to ensure a seamless transition to the new Visa regime.

Let me also briefly mention the EU-Peru Visa Exemption Agreement, as negotiations progressed in parallel with Columbia. I would like to reassure the Peruvian people that we are on track to sign this Agreement in the nearest future, so that also Peruvian citizens can benefit from visa-free travel to Europe. The integration between our two regions can only improve in the near future. And our integration is making a real difference in our peoples’ lives

Let me also say one word about how glad I am about the work we have done during this year within my mandate, with President Santos and with all the friends of Colombia who have been accompanying the peace process, something that could be a sign of hope after years of conflict. And we know we know how much we need hope in these days. EU, all its Member States , all its institutions, my special envoy Gilmore are there to accompany step by step this process that has all our full support.  And I believe that this, together with our very important agreement that we signed today and all the things that we will do in the future together will be beneficial for the EU citizens and Colombians.  Muchas gracias. 

Videos:

http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/event/eu-colombia/signing-ceremony-remarks-eu-hr-mogherini

http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/event/eu-colombia/signing-ceremony-remarks-president-colombia