At the heart of this partnership stands the EU's commitment to support the implementation of the Colombian peace agreement, with a particular emphasis on comprehensive rural reforms.
In this context, Commissioner Mimica said: "Restoring rural areas that were affected by the prolonged armed conflict is at the heart of Colombia's peace agreement, and an important priority for our development cooperation with the country. Together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, we will support Colombia's efforts to build lasting peace by strengthening rural communities and agricultural productivity".
Commissioner Mimica, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, will launch a joint initiative for Colombia. Through this initiative, the EU will support the Colombian government institutions that are involved in food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture by means of targeted policy assistance and capacity building. These actions will help to implement the comprehensive rural reform, which is one of the priorities of the Peace Agreement signed in November 2016. The initiative can be considered a significant step forward towards achieving sustainable development in the country, as it focuses in particular on improving the situation of the poor in rural areas; the capacity of the State in conflict–affected areas, and rural development.
Commissioner Mimica will also participate in the fair AgroExpo in Bogota.
The European Union and its Member States have supported peace process in Colombia since the very beginning. Over the last 17 years, the European Union and its Member States have together supported peacebuilding activities in Colombia with over €1.5 billion.
In 2016 upon the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian authorities and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), EU has reconfirmed its support to peace building through the overall support package of almost €600 million for short- and long term measures. An EU Trust Fund for Colombia was set up to a value of €95 million, with a special focus on economic development and agricultural productivity. So far, 19 EU Member States have contributed to the fund.
Colombia is a key partner for the European Union in Latin America. The EU's relations with Colombia are based on political dialogue, trade cooperation, joint efforts to achieve sustainable development and support to peace-building. Colombia is the EU's fourth most important economic partner in the region and the European Union is Colombia's second biggest trading partner.