OAS

 
Central America-European Union
Text of the agreement
  Background and Negotiations
   

In 1993 the European Union and Central America signed a Framework Cooperation Agreement. This agreement entered into force on 01 March 1999. At the May 2002 EU-Latin American Summit the EU and six Central American countries -- Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama -- agreed to negotiate a new Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, which was signed on 15 December 2003 in Rome.

The EU and Central American countries reiterated their goal of concluding an Association Agreement including a free trade area, in the EU-Latin America Summit in May 2004 in Guadalajara, Mexico, and in May 2005 at the EU-Central America Ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, at which Ministers welcomed the launching of a joint assessment exercise on regional economic integration and the setting up of an ad hoc joint working group in January 2005. The goal of concluding a comprehensive Association Agreement was reaffirmed at the EU-Central America summit held in Vienna, Austria in May 2006. The negotiations for the Association Agreement were launched on 28 June 2007 in Brussels. The first round took place in San Jose, Costa Rica on 22-26 October 2007. On 25-29 February 2008, Central America and the EU concluded the second round of negotiations in Brussels, Belgium. The third round of negotiations took place in El Salvador on 14 April 2008. The fourth round was held in Brussels on 14-18 July 2008. On 06-10 October 2008, countries concluded the fifth round of negotiations. The sixth round of negotiations took place in Brussels, Belgium on 26-30 January 2009.

On 06 April 2009, the EU issued a statement to inform about the temporary interruption of the negotiations for an Association Agreement between the EU and Central America. A few days later, on 24 April 2009, the EU and Central America agreed to re-initiate negotiations for an agreement.

Trade negotiators from Central American countries and the European Union met on 03 February 2010 in an informal three-day meeting in which they agreed to a work schedule with a view to finalizing an Association Agreement in May. The seventh round of negotiations was held in Brussels on 22-26 February 2010 with Panama as an Observer, officially announcing its intention to join the negotiations. A month later, trade negotiators held a new round of technical discussions in Brussels. The negotiations were concluded in May 2010, in the framework of the Latin America-Caribbean and European Union Summit in Madrid, Spain. Central America and the European Union discussed how to move forward with the agreement during the XVI Meeting of the Joint Commission that took place on 08 February 2011 in Brussels. On 22 March 2011, Central America and the European Union initialed the agreement after its legal review. On 25 October 2011, the European Commission reviewed and approved the agreement, fulfilling the first stage of the signature process. In the next stage, the Council of the European Union, in turn, will review the agreement and authorize its signature.

The European Union and Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) signed an association agreement on occasion of the Meeting of Presidents of the Central American Integration System, in Tegucigalpa. Honduras, on 29 June 2012.

Documents relating to the negotiations
11 December 2012 European Parliament approves Central America-European Union Association Agreement PDF 
29 June 2012 Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The European Union and Central America sign association agreement PDF 
  bulletHighlights of the Agreement between the European Union and Central AmericaPDF 
25 October 2011

European Comission reviews and approves the Central America-EU Association Agreement   SpanishPDF

22 March 2011 Central America and EU initialed Association Agreement PDF
08 February 2011

XVI Meeting of the Central America-EU Joint Commission SpanishPDF

  Minutes of the XVI Central America-EU Joint Commission SpanishPDF
18 May 2010 Central America and European Union concluded negotiations spanishPDF
10 May 2010 Progress in negotiations between Central America and European Union spanishPDF
05 May 2010 Guatemala, Guatemala City. Negotiations between Central America and European Union continue spanishPDF
28 April 2010 Brussels, Belgium. Eighth round of negotiations between Central America and European Union spanish PDF
22-26 March 2010 Brussels, Belgium. Trade negotiators held a new round of technical discussions spanish PDF
26 February 2010 Conclusion of the Economic Association Agreement expected in May 2010 at the EU-ALC Summit in Madrid spanish PDF 
22-26 February 2010 Brussels, Belgium. Seventh round of negotiations of an association agreement Central America-EU spanish PDF 
03 February 2010 The EU and Central America agreed on a work program  with the aim of finalizing an Association Agreement in May PDF
24 April 2009 The EU and Central America agreed to re-initiate negotiations for an agreement in Spanish PDF 
06 April 2009 Statement on the interruption of the negotiations for an Association Agreement between the EU and Central America PDF 
26-30 January 2009 Brussels, Belgium. Sixth round of negotiations of an association agreement Central America-EU PDF
06-10 October 2008 Guatemala. Fifth round of negotiations of an association agreement Central America-EU in SpanishPDF
14-18 July 2008 Brussels, Belgium. Fourth round of negotiations of an association agreement Central America-EU PDF
16 April 2008 El Salvador. Third round of negotiations of an association agreement Central America-EU Spanish PDF
29 February 2008 Brussels, Belgium. Central America and the EU held second round of negotiations of an association agreement PDF
  II round of negotiations: Presentations on sanitary and phitosanitary measures
    EC legislation on food additives PDF
  EC legal instruments to ensure and to control the implementation of the EC legislation PDF
    European Commission Health and Consumer Protection Directorate General Unit E3 - Chemicals, contaminants and pesticides PDF
    The Food and Veterinary Office PDF
    Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs PDF
    Legislation on residues of pharmacologically active substances SpanishPDF
    Status of Central American Customs Union in the area of sanitary and phitosanitary measures SpanishPDF
  II round of negotiations: Presentations on technical barriers to trade
    The regulatory approach in the internal market PDF
    Free Movement of Goods PDF
    Functioning of Directive 98/34/EC PDF
    The EU market surveillance framework PDF
    Overview of the European institutional framework on standardisation PDF
    The European standardisation. An important pillar for the quality infrastructure PDF
26 October 2007 San Jose, Costa Rica. Central America and the EU held first round of negotiations of an association agreement Spanish PDF
29 June 2007 Central America and the European Union start negotiations for new association agreement. PDF
19 April 2007 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. San José Dialogue Ministerial Meeting Between the European Union Troika and the Ministers of the Countries of Central America. Joint communiquéPDF
13 May 2006 II EU-Central America Summit Joint CommuniquéPDF
2 March 2006 Nicaragua. XIV Central America-EU Joint Commission meeting Act Spanish PDF
26 May 2005 XXI San José Dialogue Ministerial meeting between the EU and Central America Joint CommuniquéPDF
19 January 2005 Act, XIII Central America-EU Joint Commission meeting SpanishPDF
28 May 2004 Guadalajara DeclarationPDF
15 December 2003 Political Dialogue and Cooperation AgreementPDF
03 October 2003 XII Central America-EU Joint Commission SpanishPDF
22 February 1993 Framework Cooperation Agreement SpanishPDF
Sources: European Union, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de El Salvador, Ministerio de Comercio de Costa Rica (COMEX), Acuerdo de Asociación entre Centroamérica y la Unión Europea- Costa Rica.

The 1993 Framework Agreement established a Joint Committee and a Sub-Committee for Cooperation that meet regularly. In addition, an ad hoc Joint Working Group was established to conduct a joint assessment of regional economic integration.

Documents relating to the ad hoc working group
7-8 November 2005 San Salvador, El Salvador. III Meeting of the ad hoc Central America - EU working group SpanishPDF
19-20 July 2005 Brussels, Belgium. II Meeting of the ad hoc Central America - EU working group SpanishPDF
30 March-01 April 2005 San José, Costa Rica. I Meeting of the ad hoc Central America - EU working group SpanishPDF
Source: European Union; Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de El Salvador

  Accession of New Members
   

Article 359 of the agreement provides for the accession of new members.

Croatia joined the European Union on 1 July 2013, and therefore, the parties of the agreement are currently negotiationg its accession to the Central America-EU Association Agreement.

Documents relating the accession of new members
13 May 2014 Croatia's accession to the Central America-EU Agreement advances SpanishPDF
Source: Ministerio de Comercio de Costa Rica (COMEX)

 

  Draft Text
   
22 March 2011 Texts of the European Union-Central America Association Agreement PDF
Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade

  Entry into Force
   

On 21 May and 01 July 2013, Costa Rica’s National Assembly approved in first and second debates, respectively, the Central America-EU Association Agreement.

On 31 July 2013, the European Commission announced the provisional application of the EU Free Trade Agreement with Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama starting on 01 August 2013.

The Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union entered into force on 01 October 2013 for Costa Rica and El Salvador. Two months later, on 01 December 2013, the agreement entered into force for Guatemala.

Documents related to the entry into force
01 December 2013 EU-Central America Association Agreement enters into force for Guatemala PDF
26 September 2013 EU-Central America Association Agreement to enter into force on 01 October 2013 for Costa Rica ESPand El Salvador ESPPDF
01 August 2013 European Union Trade Agreement with Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama entered into force PDF
01 July 2013 Costa Rica’s National Assembly approves -in second debate- the Central America-EU Association Agreement Spanish PDF
21 May 2013 Costa Rica’s National Assembly approves -in first debate- the Central America-EU Association Agreement Spanish PDF
Source: Ministerio de Comercio de Costa Rica (COMEX)

  Implementation of the Agreement
   

Article 4 of the Agreement establishes an Association Council to supervise the implementation of the Agreement.

Documents relating to the Association Council
27 June 2014 San Pedro Sula, Honduras. First meeting of the Central America-EU Association Council Spanish PDF
Source: Ministerio de Comercio de Costa Rica (COMEX)

The Association Agreement establishes an Association Committee and the trade part of the Agreement foresees the creation of a number of sectoral subcommittees as well as a Board on Trade and Sustainable Development, which comprises high level authorities from within the administrations of each Party. The Board on Trade and Sustainable Development will meet within the first year after the date of entry into force of the Agreement, and thereafter as necessary, to oversee the implementation of Title VIII (Trade and Sustainable Development), including cooperative activities undertaken under Title VI (Economic and Trade Development) of Part III of the Agreement. The decisions and recommendations of the Board will be adopted by mutual agreement between the Parties and will be provided to the public, unless the Board decides otherwise.

The first meeting of the Board on Trade and Sustainable Development of the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union was held in Managua, Nicaragua, from 18 to 19 November 2014.

Documents relating to the Board on Trade and Sustainable Development
18-19 November 2014 Managua, Nicaragua. First meeting of Board on Trade and Sustainable Development of the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union Spanish PDF New!
Source: Ministerio de Comercio de Costa Rica (COMEX)

 

  Related Articles and Studies
   
November 2015 Ministerio de Economía, Guatemala. Evaluación de las Relaciones Comerciales entre Guatemal y la Unión Europea Spanish New! PDF
November 2014 Ministerio de Economía, Guatemala. Evaluación de las Relaciones Comerciales entre Guatemal y la Unión EuropeaSpanishPDF
2013 Gobierno de El Salvador. Acuerdo de Asociación: Ofreciendo Oportunidades para el Desarrollo. Documento explicativo del Acuerdo de Asociación entre Centroamérica y la Unión Europea SpanishPDF
April 2005 Ministerio de Fomento, Industria y Comercio (MIFIC). Informe de Relaciones Comerciales Nicaragua-Unión Europea Año 2003-2004 SpanishPDF
December 2003 European Commission. Central America Integration: What's Next? The Integration Process in Central America and the Role of the European UnionPDF
December 2003 Ministerio de Comercio de Costa Rica (COMEX). El estado acutal de las relaciones comerciales con la Unión Europea SpanishPDF

  Sources
   
 

Spanish version 
Recent Developments
 

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