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Venezuela: The standoff continues

12-04-2019

Three months since Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela and won official recognition from over 50 countries, his standoff with Nicolás Maduro continues, as the Chavista regime steps up its pressure on the opposition. The outcome is uncertain, but some progress has been made on the humanitarian front.

Three months since Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela and won official recognition from over 50 countries, his standoff with Nicolás Maduro continues, as the Chavista regime steps up its pressure on the opposition. The outcome is uncertain, but some progress has been made on the humanitarian front.

South-South and triangular cooperation in Latin America

26-03-2019

Over the past few decades, South-South and triangular cooperation (TrC) among developing countries has been acquiring increasing importance as a necessary complement to traditional North-South development cooperation. The United Nations (UN) High Level Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries held in Argentina in 1978 set the basic framework for this form of cooperation with its Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA). The model was recently modified by the UN 2030 Agenda for Development ...

Over the past few decades, South-South and triangular cooperation (TrC) among developing countries has been acquiring increasing importance as a necessary complement to traditional North-South development cooperation. The United Nations (UN) High Level Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries held in Argentina in 1978 set the basic framework for this form of cooperation with its Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA). The model was recently modified by the UN 2030 Agenda for Development and its 17 sustainable development goals, together with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for financing development cooperation. The Latin American region has been a pioneer of South-South cooperation (SSC), both bilateral and regional, as well as of TrC and SSC with other developing regions. Its various regional and sub-regional integration mechanisms, including the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Ibero-American Conference, have established their own cooperation bodies. Moreover, since 2006, this cooperation has been described in detail in an annual report on South-South cooperation in Ibero-America. The 2019 UN High Level Conference on South-South Cooperation, held in Buenos Aires from 20 to 22 March 2019, 40 years after the Buenos Aires Action Plan (BAPA +40), presented a unique opportunity to tailor SSC and TrC more closely to the 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals. The EU took part in the conference and contributed to the outcome document. The EU promotes this type of cooperation as part of its European Consensus for Development, and has launched a regional facility to this effect.

Venezuela: An unexpected turn of events

07-02-2019

The election of Juan Guaidó as president of the National Assembly and his subsequent self-proclamation as interim President of Venezuela has brought an unexpected turn to political events in the country and revived hopes for change both at home and abroad. Not only has Guaidó rallied massive popular support among Venezuelans, he has also obtained official recognition from the USA and most countries in the region. The European Parliament and 19 EU Member States have also recognised Guaidó as the legitimate ...

The election of Juan Guaidó as president of the National Assembly and his subsequent self-proclamation as interim President of Venezuela has brought an unexpected turn to political events in the country and revived hopes for change both at home and abroad. Not only has Guaidó rallied massive popular support among Venezuelans, he has also obtained official recognition from the USA and most countries in the region. The European Parliament and 19 EU Member States have also recognised Guaidó as the legitimate interim President.

The 2018 Ibero-American summit

18-12-2018

The Ibero-American Summit of heads of state or government is a unique multilateral forum of 22 countries from Latin America and Europe sharing a common history, values, culture and languages. Two EU Member States – Spain and Portugal – are full members of the summit, and four others are associated observers. The 26th summit was held in Guatemala in November 2018, with a focus on establishing a common road map towards implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The Ibero-American Summit of heads of state or government is a unique multilateral forum of 22 countries from Latin America and Europe sharing a common history, values, culture and languages. Two EU Member States – Spain and Portugal – are full members of the summit, and four others are associated observers. The 26th summit was held in Guatemala in November 2018, with a focus on establishing a common road map towards implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The Venezuelan migrant crisis: A growing emergency for the region

17-12-2018

Although the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has traditionally been a country of destination for migrants, around 2010 its migratory profile started to change to that of a country of origin. In fact, in the past few years migration away from Venezuela has reached massive levels, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the region. According to the United Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of Venezuelans abroad has risen from under 700 000 in 2015 to 3 million ...

Although the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has traditionally been a country of destination for migrants, around 2010 its migratory profile started to change to that of a country of origin. In fact, in the past few years migration away from Venezuela has reached massive levels, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the region. According to the United Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of Venezuelans abroad has risen from under 700 000 in 2015 to 3 million in November 2018. About 70 % of this human wave has been directed to South American countries such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, but also to North and Central America and the Caribbean, and even Europe. The main factors contributing to this exodus are Venezuela's deteriorating political situation, a severe economic crisis and increasing violence. This mass migration could have a destabilising effect on the main recipient and transit countries. Besides individual responses developed by host countries to provide migrants with emergency assistance and protection and to facilitate their integration, Latin American countries are trying to give a coordinated regional response to the crisis. Furthermore, migration authorities, ombudsmen and NGOs have also promoted regional initiatives to defend the rights of Venezuelan migrants abroad and their access to basic services. The UN and regional organisations are also working to help deal with the crisis, and the EU is contributing €35.1 million in emergency aid and medium-term development assistance for the Venezuelan people and the affected neighbouring countries. The European Parliament sent an ad hoc mission to Brazil and Colombia in June 2018 to assess the situation, and has adopted resolutions on the subject.

Migration from Central America

25-10-2018

Although not a new phenomenon, migration flows from Central America, in particular from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras (also called the Northern Triangle of Central America, NTCA), have grown exponentially since 2014, with a considerable increase in the number of adults and a huge one in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the borders. And the ‘caravan’ of Central American migrants that has recently reached Mexico on its way to the US border has again turned public and media attention ...

Although not a new phenomenon, migration flows from Central America, in particular from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras (also called the Northern Triangle of Central America, NTCA), have grown exponentially since 2014, with a considerable increase in the number of adults and a huge one in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the borders. And the ‘caravan’ of Central American migrants that has recently reached Mexico on its way to the US border has again turned public and media attention towards this silent exodus. The push factors that have been fuelling migration from these countries include poverty, unemployment and under-employment, rampant crime and violence – in particular gang violence – but also institutional weakness and corruption. The pull factors include family re-unification, migrants' perceptions of more permissive immigration laws in destination countries, and the existence of well-organised smuggling networks. Their main destination countries are the United States and Mexico, but other neighbouring countries such as Belize and Costa Rica are receiving growing numbers of NTCA migrants, as are some European countries, including Spain, Italy and France. Countries of origin, transit and destination have set up new instruments for alleviating the problem, such as Mexico´s Southern Border Programme, and the regional Alliance for Prosperity, which have produced mixed results. International organisations, such as the EU and the United Nations, have been providing help, and the European Parliament has also expressed its concern on the situation of these migrants and their human rights.

Mexico 2018: Elections that will make history

21-06-2018

Mexico's 1 July 2018 elections will be the biggest in its history, as people go to the polls to vote for the country's president and legislature, but also for most of its governors and local councillors. There is a record number of registered voters (89 million), 45 % of whom are below the age of 35 and 12 million are newly entitled to vote. For the first time in decades, a candidate of the left has real chances of becoming president. For the first time in the country's political history, some candidates ...

Mexico's 1 July 2018 elections will be the biggest in its history, as people go to the polls to vote for the country's president and legislature, but also for most of its governors and local councillors. There is a record number of registered voters (89 million), 45 % of whom are below the age of 35 and 12 million are newly entitled to vote. For the first time in decades, a candidate of the left has real chances of becoming president. For the first time in the country's political history, some candidates are able to stand for consecutive re-election, and independent candidates are running for president or member of the Senate. On a more negative note, the 2018 Mexican election process has been one of the most violent so far, with over a hundred politicians and candidates murdered since it started in September 2017, and hundreds others exposed to aggression. Nine political parties grouped in three different coalitions, as well as some independent candidates, will participate in the elections. There are four presidential candidates. Of these, left-wing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador leads the polls with nearly 50 % of the voting intention, followed by right-wing candidate Roberto Anaya with over 25 %, centre candidate Juan Antonio Meade with just around 20 %, and independent candidate Jaime Rodríguez with slightly over 2 %. The high number of young and new voters, the climate of political violence and US President Donald Trump's Mexican policy – or the 'Trump effect' – are among the main factors likely to influence the results. Mexico is a strategic partner of the EU and the parties hold high-level dialogues with each other. The Global Agreement between the two parties is being modernised, with a new trade agreement in principle having been reached in April 2018. This process has been supported by the European Parliament, which has also shown concern for the violence affecting the country.

2018 elections in Colombia: A test for peace?

25-05-2018

2018 is an important election year in Colombia, with legislative elections held in March, and the presidential election due on 27 May, with a second round probable, on 17 June, if no candidate gets over 50 % of the vote. It is also the first time in more than 50 years that elections are being held in peace, after an agreement was reached, and is now being implemented, with the guerilla, FARC. The legislative elections have left a fragmented Congress dominated by the right, and the presidential race ...

2018 is an important election year in Colombia, with legislative elections held in March, and the presidential election due on 27 May, with a second round probable, on 17 June, if no candidate gets over 50 % of the vote. It is also the first time in more than 50 years that elections are being held in peace, after an agreement was reached, and is now being implemented, with the guerilla, FARC. The legislative elections have left a fragmented Congress dominated by the right, and the presidential race, though still uncertain, seems to be polarised by a right-wing candidate, Ivan Duque, and his left-wing opponent, Gustavo Petro. Of the six candidates for the presidency, only Ivan Duque, from the Democratic Centre, has openly opposed the agreements made with the FARC, and has promised to make 'structural modifications', in particular regarding the Special Justice for Peace mechanism. The EU, which has actively supported the peace process in Colombia, has sent an electoral expert mission to follow the elections, and the European Parliament will also be present, through a multi-party delegation of eight MEPs.

Implementation of Colombia's peace agreement

01-02-2018

In the year since the signature of the new final peace agreement on 24 November 2016, the peace process in Colombia has not progressed smoothly. Although the disarmament of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and its transformation into a political party, as well as the reduction in violence associated with the conflict, have been a success, aspects such as reintegrating FARC members into civilian life, legal implementation, and rural reform are lagging behind. This is likely to influence ...

In the year since the signature of the new final peace agreement on 24 November 2016, the peace process in Colombia has not progressed smoothly. Although the disarmament of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and its transformation into a political party, as well as the reduction in violence associated with the conflict, have been a success, aspects such as reintegrating FARC members into civilian life, legal implementation, and rural reform are lagging behind. This is likely to influence the country's presidential and legislative elections due to be held in 2018.

The political crisis in Venezuela

07-12-2017

In December 2015, the results of elections to the Venezuelan National Assembly saw the Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition (MUD) prevail by a wide majority over the ruling Socialist Unified Party of Venezuela (PSUV) of President Nicolás Maduro. Since then, Venezuela has faced increasing political crisis. Initiatives by the duly elected Parliament have been systematically blocked, first by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and the National Electoral Council, and since August 2017 by the new National ...

In December 2015, the results of elections to the Venezuelan National Assembly saw the Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition (MUD) prevail by a wide majority over the ruling Socialist Unified Party of Venezuela (PSUV) of President Nicolás Maduro. Since then, Venezuela has faced increasing political crisis. Initiatives by the duly elected Parliament have been systematically blocked, first by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and the National Electoral Council, and since August 2017 by the new National Constituent Assembly, which has taken over most of the Parliament's legislative powers. Two attempts at dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, promoted by international mediators, have so far failed to break the deadlock. The economic and social situation in the country is far from improving, and the number of Venezuelan asylum-seekers abroad has risen exponentially. Nevertheless, regional elections were finally held on 15 October 2017 – with a PSUV victory in 17 of the 23 Venezuelan states, amid accusations of fraud from the opposition – and the government has promised to go ahead with the presidential elections due in 2018. This is an update of a briefing published in October 2017.

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