The 6th High-Level Political Dialogue between the European Union (EU) and Colombia took place on 10 December 2020 by video conference.
The Dialogue was constructive and productive, covering a wide-range of issues of common interest related to bilateral, regional, international and multilateral matters, with special attention given to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with emphasis on an inclusive and sustainable green recovery. This meeting was the last of a series of successful dialogues and consultations celebrated during the year 2020, notwithstanding the pandemic, on different matters such as human rights, security and defence and illicit drugs, which show the strength of the bilateral relationship.
Building on a very positive assessment of the state of bilateral relations, the EU and Colombia discussed in particular the perspectives for deepening and broadening the existing relationship and welcomed the concrete progress made towards this shared objective, namely the imminent finalisation of the “Memorandum of Understanding on an Agenda of enhanced political and sectoral dialogue and cooperation for the next decade”. They envisaged that an ambitious environmental agenda and a digital agenda should be among the key elements of such a strengthened relationship.
Peacebuilding, stabilization and protection of local leaders, human rights defenders, and ex-combatants featured on the agenda. Colombia presented an overview of the progress in implementation of the policy of Peace with Legality. The EU appreciated the achievements in areas like rural development and reincorporation and reiterated its long-term commitment with the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement in support of the national Government, local authorities and civil society. Both sides agreed that peace-building shall remain an integral part of the bilateral agenda.
Given the far-reaching impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the EU and Colombia underlined the importance of strengthening the international rules-based order and reiterated their commitment to multilateralism. They agreed to further strengthen cooperation at global level in areas such as human rights, gender, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, both delegations also agreed to work closely on vaccine multilateralism ensuring access of vaccine to all and continue working together based on COVAX initiative.
The situation in Venezuela was a key topic of the discussions, both regarding the political situation and the impact of the refugee and migrant crisis on the region and Colombia in particular. Both sides agreed that the 6 December elections were neither free, nor fair and failed to comply with the basic minimum international standards for a credible process. The EU praised Colombia’s humanitarian policy towards Venezuelan migrants and refugees and emphasized its commitment to continue supporting Colombia and the countries in the region including implementation of the pledges made at the conference organised by the EU and Spain last May.
The EU and Colombia, as incoming Pacific Alliance pro tempore Presidency, also appreciated the progress in implementing the Joint Declaration of 2019 between EU and the Pacific Alliance. In addition, Colombia, as pro-tempore Presidency of the Andean Community, presented priorities, including a closer engagement with external partners and a re-launch of the relations with the EU.
Mr Enrique Mora, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, and Vice Minister Francisco Javier Echeverri Lara and Vice Minister Adriana Mejia Hernandez Ministry of Foreign Affairs Colombia co-chaired the Political Dialogue.