The powers of the 27 Member States to the EU are translated into common policies, where the Union has exclusive competence to negotiate, conclude and enforce agreements with third countries, where the EU Delegations assume a diplomatic role and represent the Union politically. The EU Delegation also manages cooperation programs with the country and it is one of the main partners for El Salvador and the region.

Political Relations

Over the past decades, the European Union has been one of El Salvador's strategic partners.

The bilateral relations between El Salvador and the EU are based on two instruments:

  • The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (ADPC) between the European Union and Central America, which entered into force in 2014. This agreement has intensified political dialogue and strengthened the exchange of information and cooperation on issues such as regional integration, poverty reduction, social cohesion, sustainable development and conflict prevention and resolution, among others.
  • The Association Agreement with Central America, whose commercial pillar is provisionally implemented (explanatory document in Spanish), is based on three pillars: political dialogue, cooperation and trade. These priorities are mutually reinforcing as tools to promote economic growth, democracy and stability in Central American.

Likewise, the EU has played an active role during electoral events in El Salvador, participating with Electoral Expert Missions (EEM) in 2012, 2014 and 2021 elections and with Electoral Observation Missions (EOM) in 2009, 2018 and 2019.

Economic Relations, Trade and Investments

El Salvador and the EU have consolidated their economic and trade relations through the establishment of the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America, expanding and improving trade relations with a reciprocal trade liberalisation process. This has been a positive step to provide legal certainty and consolidate access to the European market for Salvadoran products.

This agreement promotes the following objectives:

  • Expansion of trade by reducing tariff barriers and facilitating trade rules and regulations.
  • The promotion of regional economic integration.
  • The effective, reciprocal and gradual opening of public procurement markets.
  • Adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights.
  • The establishment of an effective, fair and predictable dispute resolution mechanism.
  • The promotion of trade that contributes to sustainable development through collaborative joint work.

You can find updated information on bilateral trade between the EU and El Salvador here.


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Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid

The European Union is one of El Salvador's main strategic development cooperation partners and its objectives are the consolidation of democratization and the sustainable development of the country.

To that end, the EU allocates funds to State public policies and to initiatives from civil society organizations and the private sector, among others, in order to impact the most vulnerable communities.

From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, which was heightened by the tropical storms Amanda and Cristobal, the EU and its Member States provided a coordinated response through the "Team Europe" initiative. The EU has helped El Salvador to address the health crisis and humanitarian needs, as well as to strengthen the capabilities of local partners and limit a negative socio-economic impact.

In addition, Team Europe is one of the main donors of the COVAX mechanism, through which it ensures, with a contribution of more than 2.47 billion euros, the delivery of 1.3 billion vaccines against COVID-19 in 92 countries, including El Salvador, which has already received 320,400 doses.

Civil Society Dialogue

Civil society is a first level interlocutor for the European Union and its Member States, and we maintain a close dialogue with representatives of civil society in El Salvador.

In order to make this dialogue more effective, the EU Delegation, its Member States, and with the help of local civil society organisations (CSOs), a Roadmap for Engagement with Civil Society for the period 2014-2020 has been established.

Cultural and Public Diplomacy

The EU wishes to preserve Europe's common cultural heritage and helps to make it more accessible to others, as well as supports and promotes the European arts and creative industries.

With this objective in mind, the EU Delegation and the local Member States celebrate Europe Day (9 May) in El Salvador with the “Month of Europe”, which aims to be a small celebration of the cultural wealth of a continent that has created the largest space for peace, security, liberty and justice in the world.

The events of “Month of Europe” include a wide range of activities, most of them free of charge, including the European Film Festival, concerts, photography exhibitions, radio and television programmes, public conferences, family activities and sporting competitions.

The full programme of the “Month of Europe” is available every April on the websites and social media accounts of the EU Delegation and the European embassies.

Relations with SICA

The European Union and SICA have an excellent relationship that began more than 30 years ago with the San José Dialogue in 1984 and was reinforced with the entry into force of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (ADPC) in May 2014. Both regions share the values ​​of democracy, respect for human rights and the principles of sustainable development and cooperation.

The EU attaches special importance to regional integration and the need to continue strengthening SICA in the five pillars of regional integration: Democratic Security, Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change, Social Integration, Economic Integration and Strengthening of the Regional Institutionalism.

The EU offers bilateral and regional cooperation to the region and its regional integration process. The regional Multiannual Indicative Program for the 2014-2020 period amounts to € 120 million to support regional priorities.