The EU and Ecuador are important political partners
At the bilateral level, Ecuadorian and EU authorities hold a High Level Political Dialogue once a year, which allows high-level officials to exchange ideas to strengthen and deepen bilateral relations and develop a political and cooperation agenda.
The sixth meeting of this mechanism took place on 4 December 2020 through videoconference. The dialogue focused on a number of issues, including political and trade relations, development cooperation, cooperation on security issues, human rights and governance, environmental management and climate change, regional and multilateral issues.
Since 2020, the EU and Ecuador have established a Human Rights dialogue; its first meeting took place in July 2020.
The dialogue also falls within the broader framework of regional relations between the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), of which Ecuador is a member. This dialogue has led to a qualitative advance in the depth and scope of the relations between both parties, including new areas, such as the fight against illicit drugs, regional integration and the promotion of sustainable development.
The Commercial agreement between the European Union and Ecuador
The Trade Agreement between the European Union and Ecuador entered into force marking a turning point in Ecuador´s trade policy, which started to open up to new trade partners. The Agreement has improved commercial opportunities and eliminated a good number of trade barriers, therefore, becoming a powerful engine for sustainable economic growth and job creation. Nowadays, the parties are committed to continue implementing the provisions of the Agreement and consolidate the gains made so far.
The results of the Agreement are clearly positive. Ecuador's exports to the EU have increased by 11% since 2016. Several Ecuadorian products have increased their exports by almost 50%, and many others have maintained or increased their market share, managing to position themselves as leaders in a market as demanding as the European Union.
Member states highly appreciate Ecuadorian products. Cocoa, banana, shrimp, tuna, and flowers continue to be star products. Even amid the uncertainty and logistical problems generated by the Covid-19 sanitary crisis, Ecuador succeeded in maintaining its agro-industrial exports to Europe.
Each year the European Commission carries out an impact assessment of the Trade Agreement. The document assesses the economic, social, environmental and human rights (including labour) impact of the Trade Agreement since its entry into force. The study includes a series of case studies illustrating the findings.
To access the Ex post Evaluation of the Implementation of the Trade Agreement between the EU, its Member States and Colombia, Peru and Ecuador click here.
Commercial and Econonic Councellors of the European Union member countries and Eurochambers in Ecuador - to download the information click here.
The EU committed to sharing its achievements and values with Ecuador
Ecuador, is currently considered a high middle-income country, would, in principle, no longer qualify to continue bilateral development cooperation; however, in view of the persistent inequality assessed in 2014, the decision to continue EU bilateral development assistance to Ecuador for a period until 2020 was approved.
The objective of the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme 2014-2020, with a budget of €67 million, is to consolidate the achievements of the ongoing cooperation in order to meet the development challenges that persist in the poorest regions of the country. The complete implementation of the Programme 2014-2020 is foreseen for 2023.
Meanwhile, in coordination with the Ecuadorian government, the EU is working on a new bilateral programme for the period 2021-27, which will be ready for its implementation by the end of 2021.
Supporting the Government's willingness to diversify the country's economy and to promote sustainable trade, EU's cooperation in Ecuador focuses on two main lines of intervention:
- Support for sustainable and inclusive growth at the local level.
- Promotion of sustainable trade.
Ecuador also participates in all the EU-Latin America regional and thematic programmes and benefits from the Support Instruments to meet Ecuador and EU priorities in human rights, education, innovation, environment and climate change, as well as the fight against drugs.
South America is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world due to natural disasters. Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela are highly exposed to earthquakes, floods, landslides, droughts, cold waves and volcanic eruptions. Local capacity to cope with such disasters is limited.
The assistance of the European Commission for South America (articulated through the Directorate-General for Civil Protection and European Humanitarian Aid Operations - DG ECHO) and implemented by our partners UN Agencies, NGOs and the Red Cross, focuses on providing emergency responses to natural and man-made disasters. It also prepares communities for future disasters, by building the resilience and preparedness of the most affected populations and local institutions responsible for disaster management.
Humanitarian aid cannot stay on assisting the victims of crises once they have occurred but rather considers disaster preparedness as a key component in reducing the negative impact of disasters. Through the Disaster Preparedness Programme (DP) financed in Ecuador for an amount of 18 million euros since 1996, it has been possible to improve the capacity of the most vulnerable populations to face these phenomena.
By 2021-2022, the disaster preparedness programme aims to reduce the vulnerability of people at risk, creating a national and local awareness to respond in a timely manner to natural disasters with a cross-cutting gender and protection approach, through:
- Capacity building in communities.
- National and local institutional strengthening.
- Inter-agency coordination at the local, national and regional levels.
- Knowledge building, through methodologies, guides and other tools.
- Improve pandemic and epidemic response capacity.
- Education in Emergencies.
Similarly, in order to respond to the needs of the population in a situation of human mobility and its host communities, the 2021-2022 programme aims to provide humanitarian assistance with a protection approach in accordance with the following sectors:
- Cash Based Interventions (Card/Cash transfer delivery).
- Food security.
- Psychosocial support.
- Education in Emergencies.