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San Jose dialogue

Human rights dialogue between the European Union and Central America

Volume, number, page: 
28 p.
This report is a brief study of the political dialogue on human rights between the European Union and Central America and acts as a basis for the preparation of an own-initiative report by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights. Political dialogue is today considered to be the European Union’s most important instrument for external action. It entails dialogue on equal terms that recognises the different situations of the parties involved and uses cooperation as a common working method.One result of this instrument is the development of relations with the Central American isthmus, based on the Framework Cooperation Agreement with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
and Panama, which was signed on 22 February 1993 and entered into force on 1 March 1999. The socalled San José Dialogue has also helped to contribute to the stability of these relations. The instability of the Central American region in past decades, caused by armed conflicts, has had a direct impact on the limited development of these nations. Nonetheless, and in spite of their terrible consequences, there is a social desire for change in the region, focusing on the improvement of living conditions in a peaceful context. Aware of the new development situation arising in the region, the European Union decided that it was appropriate to include Central America in its human development programmes, based on the promotion of democracy and human rights. This initiative gave rise to the Multiannual Programme for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights in Central America, which establishes different programmes for each country, and involves leaders and groups from civil society. By implementing these programmes the European Union is paving the way for comprehensive development among the actors involved. After analysing the above channels, this paper suggests a series of strategic recommendations to be considered as a preliminary analysis for the formulation of a framework strategy.
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