The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.
Ecuador, being currently a country considered to be of medium high income, in principle, would no longer qualify to continue with bilateral development cooperation. However, in light of the persistent inequality assessed in 2014, the decision was made to continue with the EU bilateral assistance for the development of Ecuador until 2020.
The objective of the Multi-Annual Indicative Program 2014-2020, which has a budget of 67 million euros, is to consolidate the achievements of the ongoing cooperation in order to meet the development challenges that persist in the poorest regions of the country.
Supporting the Government's willingness to diversify the country's economy and to promote sustainable trade, the EU's cooperation in Ecuador focuses its support on two main lines of intervention:
- Support for sustainable and inclusive growth at the local level.
- Promotion of sustainable trade.
Ecuador also participates in all the EU-Latin America regional and thematic programs and benefits from the Support Instruments to meet Ecuador and EU priorities in human rights, education, innovation, environment and climate change, as well as the fight against drugs.
The European Union is the largest cooperation partner in the country, through several intervention modalities: bilateral cooperation, cooperation through thematic lines and regional cooperation.
1. Bilateral Cooperation
Through bilateral cooperation, since 2008 there is work through non-refundable budget support. This financing modality generates important bonds of trust with the country, since it is granted after an analysis of the management capacity of its public finances, its macroeconomic indicators, and the existence of national development strategies or plans. This allows the interest to revolve around the achievement of the goals of the indicators beyond an audit of specific activities or expenses. In addition, since it is a disbursement that goes directly to the General State Budget, the country is free to direct these resources to the priority area that has been defined for the intervention.
Through the approval of the last bilateral cooperation package between the European Union and Ecuador, which has a budget of 67 million euros, different programs have been or are currently being executed.
- EUR 26 million of budget support to support the implementation of the Productive Reactivation agenda of Manabí and Esmeraldas, the areas affected by the earthquake of April 16, 2016.
- EUR 18.9 million for the Northern Border-Development Territory and Peace Program implemented by AECID and GIZ to empower local authorities of the Northern Commonwealth to improve access to quality public services, to the rights for people in situation of vulnerability, as well as rural and local development.
- EUR 10 million for the Trade Support Program, which will benefit small and medium businesses, through FEDEXPOR and CORPEI.
- EUR 6.4 million in support of the National Plan for Good Living, Objective 8 to promote economic development with a focus on MSMEs.
- EUR 3.4 million for accompanying measures, which includes a program administered by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in the field of knowledge, science, technology and innovation.
2. Cooperation through thematic lines
The Thematic Instruments are the complement to the bilateral programs. They support the empowerment and strengthening of Ecuadorian civil society and local authorities, the promotion and defence of human rights and democracy and the promotion of global public goods, through processes of global and national calls for proposals.
The Thematic Programs are the main source of support for civil society organizations and local authorities. They have a genuine added value in this regard since their action, through a rigorous mechanism of calls for proposals, arises from the initiatives of local actors, giving them a participatory thematic approach at strategic and operational levels. This support, as well as the structured dialogue with civil society, is of great strategic importance so that the EU and all its partners can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) together.
Although this type of financing has more modest funds than bilateral cooperation, more than 100 thematic projects in Ecuador have been funded since 2007, with a total EU contribution of around 75 million euros.
The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is a thematic program of the European Union, of which the objective is to promote democracy and human rights in all countries of the world, through initiatives to help civil society. The EIDHR for the period 2014-2020, was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in March 2014 (Regulation No. 235/2014). The aim of the EIDHR is twofold, seeking on the one hand to enhance respect, implementation and compliance with human rights and fundamental freedoms as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international and regional human rights instruments. On the other hand, the EIDHR aspires to support, develop and consolidate democracy in third countries, strengthening the democratic cycle and enhancing participatory and representative democracy.
In Ecuador, the EIDHR supports the promotion of EU values through concrete actions in favour of, for instance, the construction of mechanisms to strengthen legislative management in the National Assembly, the prevention of violence against women - in especially femicide, the protection of the human rights of indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, the strengthening and protection of human rights organizations and the right to a decent nutrition in rural communities.
The European Union (EU) is fully committed to supporting civil society organizations (CSOs) active in development, in their wide variety of forms and expressions. The EU recognizes CSOs in their function of articulating the concerns of citizens, thus strengthening development and democracy, as well as the protection and promotion of human rights.
The European Union Thematic Program "Civil Society Organizations" (CSOs) is part of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), which was adopted in March 2014 (Regulation No. 233/2014) for the 2014-2020 period. The main objective of the CSO Program is to strengthen civil society organizations within the partner countries of the European Union, as well as to raise awareness and empower European citizens regarding development. The 2014-2020 Multi-Annual Indicative Program of the CSO Program has three priorities, of which one refers directly to actions in the EU partner countries.
In 2019, the EU carried out an evaluation of the cooperation projects managed by the local authorities at national level for the period 2009-2019. The publication of this evaluation can be downloaded (in Spanish) here.
The actions range from citizen dialogue and participation tables for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs in Ecuador, to sustainable, inclusive and innovative initiatives of local socio-economic development in areas affected by the earthquake, or the strengthening of collaboration between civil society organizations and universities, and also the participation of civil society in the electoral process, as well as the promotion of indigenous governance.
The Local Authorities thematic line focuses on improving the contribution of Local Authorities in governance and development processes.
The Multiannual Program, funded under Regulation No. 233/2014, establishes a cooperation instrument for the period 2014-2020, and one of its objectives is to strengthen local authorities and associations of local authorities, which in Ecuador are the AME (Association of Ecuadorian Municipalities ), CONGOPE (Consortium of Provincial Autonomous Governments of Ecuador) and CONAGOPARE (National Council of Rural Parish Governments of Ecuador).
The Delegation of the European Union in Ecuador has financed in recent years projects of Public, Productive and Solid Waste Finance with Local Authorities. Currently it finances, among others, two important projects under this scheme:
The EU Delegation in Ecuador, together with the EU headquarters in Brussels, is promoting the Territorial Approach to Local Development. This includes supporting the training of local authorities and leveraging their experience to promote a territorial approach to local development, including decentralization processes.
In this context, the EU Roadmap with Local Authorities will be launched in the last quarter of this year.
NAME OF THE PROJECT
Support for the Generation and Implementation of Local Public Policies for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CONGOPE)
Improvement of the municipal service for sustainable integral management of solid waste and implementation of public policies on ISWM in Ecuador.
3. Regional Programs
Regional cooperation programs are open to all Latin American countries under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). They strengthen relations with the EU through the exchange of experiences and the creation of networks, while establishing links between the countries of the region and promoting subregional integration.
EU cooperation with Latin America contributes to the region's efforts to reduce poverty and improve sustainable and inclusive population growth in a context of respect for human rights, the rule of law, democracy and other key elements of good governance. It is in line with the principles established in the European Consensus for Development, the regulation of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and the EU Agenda for Change.
The main programs are:
- Security - development nexus: Strengthen the capacity of the states to effectively guarantee the security conditions conducive to inclusive development (70 million euros).
- Good governance, accountability and social equity: Strengthen the responsibility and capacity of public institutions and administrations to provide high quality public services (42 million euros).
- Inclusive and sustainable growth for human development: poverty reduction through more inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Latin America (215 million euros).
- Environmental sustainability and climate change: Reduce the poverty of the most vulnerable populations by promoting environmentally sustainable development and improving the capacity to cope with climate change and disasters (300 million euros).
- Higher education: promote exchanges of higher education and cooperation between the EU and Latin America (163 million euros) under the Erasmus + program for 2014-2020.
- The Latin American Investment Fund (LAIF) was officially launched during the EU-LAC Summit in May 2010 (730 million euros).
The LAIF Fund is an innovative financial mechanism that combines grants (non-refundable financial contributions from the European Union) with other resources, such as loans from Financial Institutions for Development, in order to take advantage of additional financing for development and increase the impact of EU support. Similar to the other combined financing (blending) of the EU, LAIF acts as a catalyst to unite resources and improve coordination and coherence of donor actions, so it conforms to the principles of ownership, partnership and shared responsibilities set out in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the subsequent Accra Action Agenda (the link is external) and the Busan Association Agreement.
In Ecuador we are financing the following initiatives:
- AFD Financing of the National Program of Investments in Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste "PROSANEAMIENTO" with a global cost of € 151.17 M (of which 10 million euros are the contribution of the donation of LAIF).
- AECID Technified Irrigation Project for small and medium farmers with a global cost of € 126.53 M (of which € 8 M is the contribution of the LAIF grant).
- Program of Technical and Technological Institutes of the EIB for the construction, expansion, rehabilitation and equipment of 15 technical and technological institutes. The total budget for the operation is 120 million euros with an EU merger request of 11.6 million euros for the construction of a new institute in the city of Portoviejo.
- EIB loan within the post-earthquake reconstruction framework for technical assistance to the government and local authorities (GADs). The total indicative budget for the operation is 161 million euros with an EU Blending request of 7.3 million euros.