Since the beginning of the 1990s, the EU and Paraguay have been gradually strengthening their ties. This strengthening has been carried out both on a bilateral level and within a regional framework.
In 1992 the European Union (EU) and Paraguay signed the Framework Cooperation Agreement to promote bilateral relations. The meetings of its highest body, the Joint Committee (composed of senior civil servants from Paraguay and the EU, meeting regularly), are an excellent opportunity to take stock of the state of relations between the EU and Paraguay.
Political dialogue with Paraguay is also carried out within the framework of European Union - Mercosur relations. In this context, it is worth mentioning that during the EU-Latin America Summit (LAS) held in Madrid in May 2010, it was decided to restart negotiations for an EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, in order to strengthen relations between the regions politically, economically and in terms of cooperation. The agreement includes the creation of a free trade area. Once this agreement is finalised, it will help further consolidate the already good relations between the EU and Paraguay (EU-Mercosur).
On a bi-regional level, the EU has developed close ties with Latin America. In order to cement relations, political dialogue was institutionalised at the ministerial level and between heads of state and senior government ministers in 1990. The EU-LAS scheme, which has developed into the current EU-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), has enabled the regions to grow closer and made it possible to strengthen cooperation systems at the highest possible level (bi-annual EU-CELAC summits of heads of state and senior government ministers). Political dialogue has also played an essential role in the defence and promotion of democracy and the defence of human rights. Thus, Latin America and Europe share concepts of freedom, human rights, social justice and regional integration, principles that have become the foundations for cooperation and dialogue between the regions. Paraguay has been and remains fully involved in this bi-regional dialogue.