On 24 November 2016, the third meeting of the EU-Ecuador Bilateral Consultation Mechanism was held in Brussels. The Republic of Ecuador was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Fernando Yépez and the EU by Ms. Edita Hrdá, Managing Director for the Americas at the External Action Service of the European Union.
Both parties stressed the importance of the EU-Ecuador Bilateral Consultation Mechanism for further enhancing and deepening the relations between them, as well as for developing a political and cooperation agenda.
The meeting covered recent political and economic developments in the EU and in Ecuador and a range of other issues such as regional integration and political developments on the American continent. The parties exchanged views on the situation in other regions such as the Middle East and Africa.
The parties also welcomed the recent adhesion of Ecuador to the Multi-Party Trade agreement signed on 11 November in Brussels. Detailed discussions were held on the cooperation programmes financed under the EU development cooperation programme and Latin American Investment Fund in particular the response to the earthquake that took place in April. The EIB informed about its contribution to this programme with loan finance of € 240 mio.
The dialogue focused on a number of important themes for future cooperation and dialogue including: migration, refugees, environmental management and climate change; human rights and governance. Regarding environment and climate change, the parties discussed multilateral cooperation on the follow-up to the Paris and Marrakech Conferences, the implementation of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and on the fight against narco-trafficking.
Regarding human rights and governance, the parties exchanged views on a range of issues, including freedom of expression and of the media and civil society. The parties also exchanged views about the Inter-American System of Human Rights.
The EU and Ecuador discussed the changing nature of their partnership. The parties underlined the importance of continuing cooperation with prospects in the fields of governance and local development, science, technology, innovation, strengthening of human talent, as well as in the area of environmental protection and climate change.
The Dialogue permitted a useful exchange of views on issues of mutual concern, and contributed to a greater understanding of the respective interests and positions of the parties inter alia in the context of the EU-CELAC Plan of Action. Both sides concluded the meeting expressing confidence that the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism would continue to prove a valuable forum for discussion.