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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 7 October 2013

The European Union confirms its commitment to the sustainable development of Nicaragua

The European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, is to visit Nicaragua on 6 and 7 October in the context of the establishment of the new EU-Nicaragua cooperation programming for the period 2014-2020. One of the objectives of the visit is to strengthen EU-Nicaragua bilateral relations and ascertain the country's socio‑economic situation.

Piebalgs' visit will take place one week after the signing of an agreement between the EU, the World Bank and the Nicaraguan government for the implementation of the Education Sector Support Project in Nicaragua (PROSEN). This new project, which will benefit 551 000 students, is one of the most important actions included in the programming of cooperation for the period 2007-2013. The EU is contributing a total of €32 million to PROSEN.

The EU's cooperation strategy for the coming years, drawn up in collaboration with the Nicaraguan government, will focus on education, economic and trade development and adaptation to climate change. The EU plans to allocate approximately €204 million, pending approval by the European Parliament and the European Council.

Commissioner Piebalgs stated: 'I am pleased that my first visit to the country will be made in the context of a new cooperation cycle and that the cooperation strategy has been established with the active participation of the government and key sectors in Nicaragua. Together we will share the challenge of increasing the impact of our actions, focusing on the sectors where the population is in most need of our support.'

In addition to a possible meeting with the Nicaraguan President, Daniel Ortega, Piebalgs plans to visit the Forensic Laboratory of the National Police, which was equipped by the EU under a project to improve access to criminal justice. During his visit, Commissioner Piebalgs will sign the Financing Agreement for the project 'Prevention and Control of Organised Crime and Drug Trafficking'.

Another of the projects that will be visited by the Commissioner, the Colonial and Volcano Route, has a budget of over €8 million (€7 million from the EU) to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The agenda for the Commissioner's visit to Nicaragua includes bilateral meetings with the top-level authorities at the ministries which will be implementing the new cooperation programming for 2014-2020 together with the EU.

Background

EU cooperation in Nicaragua

The main aim of the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Nicaragua covering the period 2007-2013, with an amount of €214 million, is to ensure the sustainable development of the country, providing financial support to Nicaragua and stepping up the political dialogue and the transfer of European best practices that will guarantee and strengthen this sustainable development. Social cohesion and regional integration are an important part of this strategy.

The priority areas for intervention in Nicaragua in this period are:

  • Improving democracy and good governance

  • Education

  • Economic and trade issues

  • Socio-economic development in the rural environment

For more information:

Delegation of the European Union to Nicaragua:

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/nicaragua/eu_nicaragua/tech_financial_cooperation/bilateral_cooperation/index_es.htm

IP/13/900: Significant new EU development assistance foreseen for Central America

MEMO/13/838: EU relations and development cooperation with Central America

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

Website of the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Contact persons:

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)


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