EU to start negotiations for Association Agreement with the Andean Community; aid package for the region of 713 million Euro

The EU and the Andean Community announced yesterday in Santo Domingo[1] their intention to start negotiations for an Association Agreement in the margins of the next EU-Andean Community Joint Committee that will be held in La Paz at the end of May 2007. By then, it is expected that the Andean Community will have made further progress on regional integration. The Commission will carry out the negotiations on behalf of the EU. During the meeting, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner presented a large aid package for the Andean region, amounting to around 713 million Euro for the period (2007-2013), adopted by the European Commission to assist the region to address the most important challenges they face. The allocations are 234 million Euro for Bolivia, 160 million Euro for Colombia, 137 million Euro for Ecuador, 132 million Euro for Peru and 50 million Euro to support regional integration. The bilateral cooperation envisaged by the Commission for the four Andean countries for the period 2007-2010 will address mainly social inequalities, the fight against poverty and against illicit drugs, good governance, rule of law and justice.