EU and Central America start negotiations for new Association Agreement

The negotiations between the EU and Central America for a comprehensive Association Agreement have started today in Brussels on the occasion of a high level meeting between the European Commission and Central America. The Association Agreement is envisaged as a comprehensive agreement, embracing the whole array of the multifaceted relations of the EU with Central America. Its objective is to enhance the political dialogue between both regions, intensify and improve their co-operation in a vast variety of areas, as well as to enhance and facilitate bi-regional economic links, including trade and investments. The Agreement will be negotiated with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. As soon as Panama takes the decision to join the economic integration process SIECA in Central America, it will be fully involved in the negotiations. The European Commission recently adopted an aid package of some €840 million for the period 2007-2013 to assist the region and its countries to address the most important challenges.