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The Delegation of the European Union to Eswatini was opened in Mbabane in 1976 after the signature of the first Lomé Convention.
The Delegation in Mbabane is one of 139 European Union Delegations around the world. With effect from 1 October 2013 the Delegation became a fully-fledged one after it was upgraded from being a regionalized Delegation.
Following this decision, Her Excellency Ms Esmeralda Hernandez Aragones, is the second resident EU Ambassador to Eswatini since 1979, taking over from His Excellency Mr Nicola Bellomo.
The Delegation has the status of a diplomatic mission and officially represents the European Union in Eswatini.
On 1 January 2007 the European Union completed its fifth enlargement that had started in May 2004. Today the European Union is made up of 28 member states, has a population of around 500 million and is the largest trading bloc in the world.
The Delegation's mandate includes the following:
I am pleased to welcome you to the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Eswatini. I hope that you will find the site interesting, useful, and comprehensive. Our goal is to inform you on all aspects of what the European Union is doing in Eswatini.
The EU is a long-standing and major development partner of Eswatini. This partnership actually dates back to 1975 soon after the signing of the Lome Convention (signed in February 1975 in Lome, Togo). Since then the partnership has grown in leaps and bounds over the years.
And this is our role in Eswatini. In the context of the Lisbon Treaty (which came into force in December 2009, forming the constitutional basis of the EU), the Delegation of the European Union to Eswatini has assumed the role of representing, coordinating and negotiating on behalf of the European Union. It is both a challenge and great opportunity for this Delegation to assume this new role more so because none of the EU Member States accredited to Eswatini are resident in the country.
The EU's relationship with Eswatini is, in fact, governed by the Cotonou Agreement, which was signed between the EU and African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries including Eswatini. The Cotonou Agreement is a Partnership between signatories covering Political, Economic and Trade relations, as well as Development Cooperation. It centres around a common objective of reducing poverty, consistent with the goal of achieving sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy.
The European Union is strongly committed to further expand and deepen its cooperation to augment Eswatini's efforts to stimulate economic growth leading to poverty reduction and ultimately eradication.
Our priority areas of cooperation with Eswatini span across multiple sectors, including but not limited to education, health, agriculture, infrastructure development, strengthening of good governance, institutional capacity building, helping to support access to clean and potable water, and of course strengthening of democracy and human rights as well as supporting civil society organizations. In addition, trade facilitation remains extremely important to both partners.
All of these activities are underpinned and supported by a robust and meaningful political dialogue with the Government of Eswatini which is held once a year.
I arrived in Eswatini in September 2017. I remain committed to a constructive and transparent engagement with the Government of Eswatini. Part of this is to help facilitate and strength dialogue between the government and the country's civil society with the strong belief that constructive dialogue between these partners will ensure sustainable development as well as help forge lasting peace and stability in the country. All my colleagues and I in the Delegation are strongly committed to deepen these ties between the EU and Eswatini in all aspects of common interest.
I would like to encourage you to send us comments, suggestions or requests you may have concerning the European Union and its relationship with Eswatini.
Esmeralda Hernandez Aragones,
Head of Delegation
Esmeralda Hernandez Aragones
Olivier BOGUET (Head of Section - based in Pretoria, South Africa)