EU Commerce Accord with Colombia subject to "in depth" Human Rights debates

The future EU Commerce Commissioner states that an accord with Colombia cannot be finalized without an “in depth” debate regarding Human Rights

BRUSSELS January 12, 2010 (Europa Press)
         Future Commerce Commissioner Karel de Gucht of Belgium asserted today that the commerce accord that the European Union is working on with Colombia will not come to fruition until the “in depth” debate with this Central American country regarding Human Rights has been resolved.
         In the examination that De Gucht underwent by the European Parliament this Tuesday to evaluate his appointment, De Gucht stated that he is confident that a commerce accord with Colombia and Peru could be reached this semester.
         De Gucht announced that next week a communal delegation will participate in a “technical” reunion in Lima to continue the efforts of bringing this accord to resolution.  According to De Gucht, this new round of debates “will not have political character,” but rather will only take place at the technical level. De Gucht warned that a conclusion might not be reached during this conference due to “many remaining open issues.”
         Brussels began “multipart” negotiations in 2009 with Peru and Colombia after stating the difficulties of carrying out conversations “piece by piece” with the four countries that comprise the Community of Andean Nations.
         De Gucht reiterated that when the technical debates end, “it will not signify the finality of the accord.”  Rather, the outcome of the accord, in the case of Colombia, will be dependent upon an “in depth” debate regarding Human Rights. The Spanish President of the EU mentioned that this accord could be finalized at the EU-Latin American summit that will take place this May in Madrid.

Translated by Emily Hansen – CSN’s Program Assistant

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