IV EU-Central America Summit Joint Communiqué

IV EU-Central America Summit Joint Communiqué (Madrid, May 19th 2010)
1. The Heads of State and Government of Central America and the European Union (EU), represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, with the participation of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, President of the Spanish Government and rotating President of the Council of European Union, held a meeting in Madrid on 19 May 2010. During this meeting they stressed the fruitful nature of the relations existing between the two regions, which have evolved in the framework of the San José Dialogue established in 1984, and they confirmed the views and commitments made in Lima, on 17 May 2008.

2. The Heads of State and Government warmly welcomed the successful conclusion of the negotiations for an Association Agreement between the EU and Central America and commended their respective negotiating teams for their hard work.

3. This Agreement, which comprises all aspects of the bi-regional relationship, political dialogue, cooperation and trade, is the most concrete manifestation of the strength of our links. By fomenting political dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest, and by boosting our respective trade flows as well as investments, the Association Agreement heralds a new era in relations between the European Union and Central America.

4. The Heads of State and Government undertake to act in favour of a prompt ratification and entry into force of the Association Agreement.

5. The leaders take note of the decision by Panama to launch its process of inclusion in the Central American Economic Integration subsystem, using as a reference the road map contained in the technical document „Steps to be followed by Panama for its inclusion in the economic integration subsystem“, submitted by the Government of Panama to the Council of Ministers for Economic Intergation.

6. The Heads of State and Government stressed that security is one of the priority elements on their joint agenda; insecurity poses great risks for human, social and economic development, and – consequently – for democratic stability in Central America. The Heads of State and Government agreed to intensify cooperation regarding the challenges posed by terrorism, trans-national organised crime, corruption, illegal trafficking in arms and ammunition, the world drug problem, drugs-related arms trafficking, money laundering, trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and smuggling of migrants.

7. The Parties agreed that the effective exercise of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights are essential for human security. They welcomed the evolution and efforts made by the Central American governments to develop and implement appropriate national and regional frameworks, policies and legislation in this direction. They committed to continued dialogue and cooperation on the reinforcement of the capacities of the State and of civil society with a view to further progress.

8. The Heads of State and Government noted that Central American countries share common security challenges that also have a regional dimension. Therefore, they acknowledged the importance of an effective regional strategy for security, in synergy and coordination with the national strategies of Central American countries. In this respect they welcomed the comprehensive regional security strategy being implemented by SICA. The European side reiterated its commitment to bilateral as well as extended regional cooperation in this sector.

9. The Parties emphasised that ad hoc meetings on security issues could help to improve the exchange of information and to elaborate a proactive cooperation approach.

10. The parties welcomed the holding, in 2010, of the first international support conference for the Central American security strategy, which aims to raise awareness and obtain the backing of the international community in helping the region to tackle the security problems that beset it.

11. The two regions exchanged views on the issue of climate change, particularly in preparation for a successful outcome to the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Cancún, Mexico, at the end of the year (COP 16). They agreed on the necessity to ensure a transparent and inclusive negotiation process leading to an ambitious, comprehensive, effective and legally binding agreement.

12. After COP 15 in Copenhagen and working together ahead of COP 16 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, recognising scientific views regarding the limits for the increase in the global temperature and building on progress made so far in the formal multilateral process, through the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, the Parties expressed their support to Mexico in obtaining concrete results, through an agreement aimed at reducing and limiting greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC, taking into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

13. They stressed the importance of low carbon emission development strategies and the need to urgently integrate the effects of climate change in all relevant planning and decision making, in order to guide and effectively implement national mitigation actions and adaptation measures, as stated in Bali, in the context of increased cooperation on technology transfer and climate-related finance.

14. They concurred that ambitious and comprehensive climate change policies contribute to sustainable development as well as to energy security; and that they generate multiple benefits in terms of socio-economic development, inter alia by creating jobs and investment opportunities.

15. The Heads of State and Government underlined the vast array of expertise and know-how existing in each region and encouraged the use of the existing dialogue structure as platforms for further exchange of experiences and best practices between each region and within each region

16. The Heads of State and Government welcomed the launch of the Latin America Investment Facility (LAIF) at the EU-LAC Summit and stressed that the first operation approved under that facility was an energy efficiency and renewable energy programme for Central American MSMEs, under a consortium set up between Germany’s KfW and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE).

17. The Heads of State and Government agreed to hold the next Summit within the framework of the VII Summit between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean in Chile in 2012.

Council of the European Union