Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas and the Cayman Islands

EU Projects in Ecuador

20/07/2017 - 22:23

The European Union is the country's largest cooperation partner through various forms of assistance: bilateral cooperation, thematic cooperation, regional cooperation and blending.

Bilateral Cooperation

Since 2008, bilateral cooperation with Ecuador has been carried out mainly through non-reimbursable budget support programmes. This type of financing strengthens trust in the country´s public service, as it is granted after an analysis of the management capacity of the country´s public finances, its macroeconomic indicators, and the existence of national development strategies or plans. Budget support therefore allows cooperation to focus on the achievement of indicators rather than measuring spending on specific items. Furthermore, since budget support is a disbursement that goes directly to the state´s general budget, the country is free to direct those resources to the predetermined priority areas.

Budget support is seen as the clear expression of mutual trust between the European Union and Ecuador as well as the EU´s alignment with specific policies of the Ecuadorian State.

The last bilateral cooperation package between the European Union and Ecuador (2014-2017) has a budget of 67 million Euros to support the following programmes:

  • EUR 28.3 million to complement a program to support the Reconstruction and Productive Reactivation Plan in Manabí and Esmeraldas, areas affected by the 16 April 2016 earthquake.
  • EUR 18.9 million for the LAIF Ecuador Programme to support the country´s Technological Institutes through the National Secretariat for Higher Education, Science and Technology (Senescyt) and the reconstruction of infrastructure in areas affected by the earthquake;
  • EUR 10 million for the Trade Support Programme, which will benefit small and medium-sized enterprises, implemented by 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 small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • EUR 3.4 million for accompanying measures, including a programme administered by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) in the field of knowledge, science, technology and innovation.

Within the framework of bilateral cooperation and with the aim of promoting sustainable economic development, the European Union is financing a multiannual programme named PASES II - Support Programme for the Social, Solidary and Sustainable Economic System. This programme proposes alignment with Goal #8 of the National Plan for Good Living, which aims to "consolidate the social economic system and solidarity in a sustainable way."

The programme has a funding of 38.4 million Euros for the period (2014-2018) and has the following specific objectives:

  1. Support policies of change towards a new productive matrix, strengthening SMEs and associations of the popular economy,
  2. Enhance the processes of financial inclusion and strengthen the banking system,
  3. Reinforce the transformation of the country's productive matrix,
  4. Boost the eco-sustainable economy,
  5. Support the process of strengthening of public finance management.

This agreement is implemented through the form of budget support, which requires a high level of regular political dialogue with the Ecuadorian State and with civil society to strengthen the implementation of national policies. Moreover, direct transfers of non-reimbursable funds from EU co-operation to the general state budget are made based on the sustained implementation of specific indicators with deadlines and targets, focusing on the social, economic, solidary and sustainable development sectors.


In the context of the entry into force of the Multiparty Trade Agreement between the European Union and Ecuador, a Financing Agreement to support Ecuador´s commercial sector was signed in November 2016, with a funding of 10 million Euros for the next three years (2017-2020). Its objective is to support the transformation of the productive matrix in the field of Foreign Trade and:

  1. Promote the country's economic and trade integration in line with national objectives,
  2. Support the increase in value and volume of Ecuadorian products through the diversification of exportable products, destination markets, and the number of exporters,
  3. Support the flow of foreign investment,
  4. Target investment in air and maritime transport infrastructure and international logistics to develop trade and increase competitiveness.

This agreement is carried out through two programmes executed by two private entities, FEDEXPOR and CORPEI, and will focus on supporting economic development and formal employment through the internationalization of Ecuadorian SMEs with the aim of strengthening their presence in the European market. The specific objectives of the action seek, among others, to involve the actors of the popular economy and support innovation, as well as the promotion and quality improvement projects carried out by producers and/or exporters, federations and consortia at the national level.

After the 16 April 2016 earthquake, the European Union Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) earmarked 5 million Euros to address the emergency through projects that guaranteed food, shelter, psychosocial care, access to services such as water, and recovery of livelihoods for hundreds of people affected by the earthquake. These projects will end in August 2017.

Simultaneously, 28.3 million Euros have been allocated through the budget support instrument to support the Ecuador´s post-disaster reconstruction and reactivation plan in earthquake-affected areas (Manabí and Esmeraldas provinces).

Specific objectives include:

  1. Support the strengthening and reestablishment of productive and sale capacities in rural areas.
  2. Support the formalization of employment and the continuous training of people subject to marginalization, exclusion and discrimination (women, youth, etc.).
  3. Support the strengthening of institutional capacities and the participation of GADs (Decentralized Autonomous Governments) in local and sustainable economic development processes.

In addition, to respond to the needs of the country as a consequence of the earthquake, the existing PASES II (Programme for Support the Social, Solidary and Sustainable Economic System) budget support programme has been extended and endowed with additional funds to respond to post-disaster needs. An addendum to the PASES II Financing Agreement was signed by both parties in March 2017 with the implementation period extended until June 2018 and an additional amount of 6.4 million Euros to cover the needs of the affected provinces, Manabí and Esmeraldas, and to promote their sustainable economic development.

Finally, the Board of Directors of the Latin American Investment Fund (LAIF), which aims to promote additional investments and key infrastructure developments in the transportation, energy and environment sectors, as well as to support private sector growth, approved the Programme of Technical and Technological Institutes of the EIB to finance the construction of a new technological institute in the city of Portoviejo, one of the most affected by the earthquake. LAIF will also provide technical assistance to accompany the reconstruction efforts.


The Thematic Instruments complement the bilateral Geographic Programmes. They support the empowerment and strengthening of Ecuadorian civil society and local authorities, the promotion and defence of human rights and democracy, as well as the promotion of global public goods through global and national competitive bidding processes.

The thematic programmes are the main source of support for civil society organisations and local authorities. They have a genuine added value as their actions, through a rigorous mechanism of Calls for Proposals, come from the initiatives of the local actors themselves. This support and the structured dialogue with civil society are of great strategic importance for the EU and all its partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) together.

Although this modality of funding involves more modest funds than in the case of geographical cooperation, more than 90 thematic projects have been financed since 2007 in Ecuador with a total EU contribution of around 60 million Euros.

On-going thematic line projects in Ecuador:

  • On going CSO thematic line projects - 2015 -
  • On going CSO thematic line projects - 2016 -
  • On going CSO thematic line projects - 2017 - PDF iconcuadro_2017.pdf

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is a European Union programme whose objective is to promote democracy and human rights in all countries of the world through initiatives that support a vibrant civil society. The EIDHR for the period 2014-2020 was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in March 2014. The EIDHR has two objectives: on one hand, to enhance the respect, implementation and enforcement of human rights and freedoms as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international and regional human rights instruments. On the other hand, the EIDHR aims to support, develop and consolidate democracy in third countries, strengthening the democratic cycle and enhance participatory and representative democracy.

In Ecuador, amongst other actions, the EIDHR supports the promotion of EU values through concrete actions in favour of building mechanisms to strengthen legislative management in the National Assembly, prevent violence against women (in particular femicide), protect human rights, indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, and strengthen and protect human rights organizations, and help implement the right to adequate food in rural communities.

The European Union is fully committed to supporting civil society organizations (CSOs) that are active in development. The EU recognizes CSOs for their role of articulating the concerns of all citizens, thus reinforcing development and democracy, as well as the protecting and promoting human rights.

The European Union's "Civil Society Organizations" (CSOs) Thematic Programme is part of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) which was adopted in March 2014 for the 2014-2020 period. The main objective of the CSO Programme is to strengthen civil society organizations in the European Union´s partner countries as well as to raise awareness and train European citizens about development. The 2014-2020 Multi-Year Indicative Programme of the CSO Programme has three priorities, one of which directly addresses actions in EU partner countries.

The actions specifically supported vary from citizen dialogues to enhance the implementation and monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ecuador, to fostering inclusive and innovative initiatives for local socio-economic development in areas affected by the earthquake, or strengthening collaboration between civil society organizations and universities. Other projects support the participation of civil society in the electoral process or promote indigenous governance.

Some of the 2016 projects include:

  • Organized Women for a Resilient and Inclusive Ecuadorian Coast: implemented from 21/12/2016 until 20/12/2019.
  • Strengthening Links between CSOs and Universities in Ecuador: 18/12/2016 – 17/06/2019
  • Ecuador DECIDES: from 9/12/2016 to 08/12/2017
  • Strengthening of civil society organizations and their partnership capacities for the promotion, exercise and defence of human rights: takes place from 19/12/2015 until 18/12/2017.
  • Strengthening and protecting organizations that defend the collective rights of both people and nature (Defender Program 2015 - 2017): from 1/1/2016 to 31/12/2017.
  • Organizational strengthening, protection and defence of the DESCA of the rural populations of the Coast, Sierra and Amazonia in Ecuador: began on 1/2/2015 and implemented until 01/31/2017.
  • Construction of mechanisms to promote citizen participation to strengthen legislative management in the National Assembly of Ecuador: from 1/2/2015 to 31/07/2017.
  • Democratization, Rights and Intercultural Dialogue for Ethnic Inclusion in the Northern Border Areas of Ecuador: from 1/2/2014 to 31/01/2017.
  • Promoting the eradication of torture in Ecuador with prevention actions: implemented since 03/2017 until 03/2019.
  • Protection of the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation: from 14/03/2017 to 13/03/2019.
  • Prevention of Violence against Women, with a focus on Femicides: from 1/1/2017 to 31/12/2018.
  • Women with Voice? Local and national agreements for the generation of agendas, restitution of rights, and prevention of violence against women: implemented from 1/2/2017 to 31/01/2019.
  • SURD DEFENDERS PROGRAMME to strengthen individuals and organizations that defend human rights and nature in the south of the country: from 1/1/2017 to 31/12/2018.
  • Observatory and citizen dialogues to support citizen participation in the implementation and monitoring of SDGs in Ecuador: from 1/2/2017 to 31/01/2020.
  • Promotion of the Solidary Corridor of Cocoa in the Central Zone of the Coast of Ecuador with small producers of the provinces of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas and Manabí, Ecuador: from 1/2/2017 to 31/01/2020.
  • Promotion of indigenous governance for the inclusion of new groups that have emerged in the villages and nationalities of Ecuador: from 21/12/2016 to 20/12/2019.
  • Strengthening Civil Society after the Earthquake: towards inclusive and participatory social and economic development: from 1/3/2017 to 31/08/2019.
  • For the Right to Defend Rights: mechanisms of enforceability and protection of the right to adequate food in rural communities in Ecuador and Colombia: implemented from 1/1/2017 to 31/12/2018.

Under the thematic line of Civil Society Organizations and Local Authorities, the Thematic Programme - MAAP 2015-2017-LAs, the first priority at the country level focuses on improving the contribution of Local Authorities in governance and development processes.

In this context, the EU Delegation in Ecuador signed in 2016 two direct contracts with an EU contribution of 1 million Euros for each contract:

  1. The first, "Improving the sustainable integral management of solid waste in municipal services and implementing public policies on solid waste in Ecuador" was signed with the Association of Ecuadorian Municipalities (AME). This project aims to improve the integral management of solid waste in Ecuadorian municipalities by defining management plans, providing technical, administrative and financial tools, and promoting inclusive and sustainable management models at the economic, social and environmental levels.
  2. Another contract was signed with the Consortium of Autonomous Provincial Governments of Ecuador (CONGOPE) and deals with actions aimed to address climate change. The project´s full title is "Support for the Generation and Implementation of Local Public Policies for Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change".

The regional cooperation programmes are open to all Latin American countries. These programmes strengthen relations with the EU through the exchange of experiences and networking, while strengthening links between the region´s countries by promoting sub-regional integration.

EU cooperation with Latin America contributes to the region's efforts to reduce poverty and increase sustainable and inclusive population growth while respecting human rights, the rule of law, democracy and other key elements of good governance. The main regional programs fall under the following themes:

  • Security and Development Nexus: Strengthen the capacity of states to effectively ensure adequate security conditions for inclusive development. (€ 70 million)
  • Good governance, accountability and social equity: To reinforce the accountability and capacity of public institutions and administrations to deliver high quality public services. (€ 42 million)
  • Inclusive and sustainable growth for human development: To reduce poverty through more inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Latin America. (€ 215 million)
  • Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change: To reduce poverty in the most vulnerable populations by promoting environmentally sustainable development and improving capacities to cope with climate change and disasters. (€ 300 million)
  • Higher education: To promote higher education exchanges and cooperation between the EU and Latin America. (€ 163 million) (Erasmus+ programme for 2014-2020).

For more information:

The Latin American Investment Fund (LAIF) was officially launched during the EU-CELAC Summit in May 2010. This Fund is an innovative financial mechanism combining grants (non-reimbursable financial contributions from the European Union) with other resources, such as loans of financial institutions to leverage additional funding for development and increase the impact of EU aid. LAIF acts as a catalyst for pooling resources and improving coordination and coherence of donor actions, in accordance with the principles of ownership, partnership, and shared responsibilities, as set out in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Agenda for Action, and the Busan Partnership Agreement.

In Ecuador, the EU finances the following initiatives:

  • AFD Financing for the National Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste Programme "PROSANEAMIENTO" with an overall cost of 151.17 million Euros (of which € 10 M are LAIF contributions). (in preparation)
  • AECID Technical irrigation project for small and medium farmers, with an overall cost of 126.53 million Euros (of which € 8 M are contributions from LAIF). (in preparation)
  • AFD's Sustainable Forestry programme, which Ecuador´s integrated forest management policy, with an overall cost of 43.2 million Euro (of which € 6.2 M are LAIF contributions). (in preparation)
  • Technical and Technological Institutes Programme of the EIB (European Investment Bank) for the construction, extension, rehabilitation and equipment of 21 technical and technological institutes. The total budget for the operation is 191.4 million Euros, with a blending request of € 11.6 M for the construction of a new institute in the city of Portoviejo.
  • EIB earthquake reconstruction loan for technical assistance to the Government and local authorities (GAD). The total indicative budget for the operation is 161 million Euros with an application for EU blending of € 7.3 M.

For more information:

Latest projects


Editorial Sections: