Colombia is one of the countries that has had a particularly close historical connection with the European Union, thanks to political, trade and cooperation dialogue covering bilateral, regional and multilateral issues.

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    Ambassador Patricia Llombart greets public official from the Ombudsman Office in Quibdó.

Political Relations

A Strong, Stable and Dynamic Partnership

Political relations between the European Union and Colombia are strong, stable and dynamic. The historic ties that unite them have permitted constant multilateral to bilateral dialogue, with the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States – EU/CELAC (previously with the Rio Group) under the framework cooperation agreement between the European Union and the Andean community and at the bilateral European Union-Colombia level.

The framework for political dialogue between the European Union and Colombia is the 1996 Rome Declaration and the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding, along with the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Andean Community. This political relationship is complemented by a bilateral dialogue on human rights initiated in 2009 and the Trade Agreement that entered into force in 2013.

In recent years, European support for the peace process in Colombia has shaped the European Union-Colombia relationship. This support has found expression in the appointment of an EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process, Eamon Gilmore, as well as the launching of a trust fund for peace in Colombia, among other cooperation projects for peace.

Economic Relations

The World's Largest Trading Bloc

The European Union (EU), with its 28 Member States and a population of more than 500 million, is the world's largest trading bloc. Trade policy is an exclusive competence of the EU, i.e. only the EU (and not individual countries) is competent for trade legislation and the conclusion of international trade agreements. The scope of the EU's exclusive powers covers trade in goods, services, commercial aspects of intellectual property and foreign direct investment (FDI).

The Trade Agreement between Colombia and the European Union (in force since 2013) goes beyond trade and tariff measures by also covering the area of services, intellectual property, or government procurement, among others. In addition, the Agreement covers Trade and Sustainable Development (TDS), in line with the newly defined European trade strategy. The latter is based on fundamental principles of efficiency, transparency and respect for human rights, and aims to ensure that the benefits of trade are mutual and reach consumers, workers and producers.

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Trade Relations

Colombia: Top Trading Partner of the EU within the Andean Community

Colombia is the first trading partner of the European Union within the Andean Community and the fifth in Latin America with a volume of transactions that reached 8,305 million euros in 2020. In turn, the EU is Colombia's third-largest trading partner and the first source of foreign direct investment in the country.

In 2020, Colombian exports to the EU reached a value of €3,658 million. Fifty-seven percent of exports were agricultural products, including fresh bananas (€689 million) and coffee (€484 million).  In the same period, Colombian imports from the EU totaled 4,647 million euros, made up mainly of pharmaceutical products (764 million euros), machinery and mechanical appliances (716 million euros) and vehicles (350 million euros).

Acces2Markets is the tool that facilitates trade to and from the European Union.


The Possibility of a Green Diplomacy

Colombia's position as a country with extreme biodiversity and its environmental challenges give special relevance to issues related to green diplomacy. Recognizing the global impact of climate change and its importance for the future, the European Union seeks to incorporate these issues in all its actions, especially in Colombia.    

The EU supports initiatives to mitigate, adapt and reduce vulnerability to climate change and funds projects that seek to build sustainable development models and promote peace-building initiatives. Climate action is at the heart of the European Green Pact, an ambitious package of measures ranging from a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The EU is actively working with Colombia to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and promotes ambitious climate action in its cooperation.

Justice and Human Rights

Strengthening the rule of law, preventing violence and combating impunity

The EU places the strengthening of the rule of law and the fight against impunity as its main priorities.

The EU maintains an ongoing dialogue with the Colombian authorities and civil society on human rights, covering issues such as support for human rights defenders, child protection, women's participation and empowerment, respect for the rights of the LGBTI+ community, promotion of corporate social responsibility, promotion of the rights of Afro-descendant and indigenous communities, and strengthening of the judicial sector, with significant support for the Comprehensive System of Justice, Truth, Reparation and Non-Repetition and for victims. This dialogue is complemented by a variety of political and cooperation actions aimed at advancing the protection of human rights and strengthening democracy in Colombia.

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    Second anniversary of the Defendamos la Vida Campaign in Quibdó, Chocó.

Science and technology

The New Frontier

Bilateral relations between the EU and Colombia with regard to science and technology occur within the context of the EU's 8th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), which addresses the main social challenges, promotes industry leadership in Europe and its partner countries and reinforces the excellence of its scientific base.