Andean Community Free Trade Agreement

In May 2002, a new agreement on political dialogue and cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the Andean Community was launched at the EU-LAC summit in Madrid. This agreement, signed in Rome in December 2003, will replace, after its ratification, the 1996 Rome Declaration and the 1993 Framework Cooperation Agreement. At the 2005 EU Ministerial Meeting, EU Andean Community Ministers announced that the 2003 agreement had been signed by the Foreign Affairs Council of the Andean Community on 11 July 2004 by Decision 595 of the Andean Community. At the EU-Andean High-Level Meeting in July 2006, both sides agreed that the Agreement on Political Dialogue and Cooperation should be ratified quickly and that a future Association Agreement with political, cooperation and trade pillars should be comprehensive. At the end of September 2005, the United States issued an ultimatum to sign an agreement by November 20, 2005- before the 2006 elections in the three Andean countries and the expiration of Bush`s “quasi-track” in mid-2007. Until the end of November, no agreement was reached, with Colombia and Ecuador reluctant for several reasons and Peru declaring that it would continue alone. In 2005, Venezuela decided to join Mercosur. At first, Venezuela`s official position appeared to be that mercosur membership would allow further steps to be taken towards the integration of the two trading blocs. [Citation required] CAN Secretary General Allan Wagner said Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ala Rodriguez had said Venezuela had no intention of leaving the CAN and that its simultaneous membership of the two blocs marked the beginning of their integration. [9] “We are returning to 200 years of history of differences and divergences in Latin America. We could imagine that (Simin) Bolvar, (José de) San Martin and so many other heroes of independence, who dreamed of a great union of South American republics, were with us today,” said Eduardo Duhalde, Chairman of the Commission of Permanent Representatives of Mercosur.

In November 2010, Peru and the European Union met in Brussels to carry out a legal review of the bilateral free trade agreement. The free trade agreement is expected to be concluded in late 2011 or early 2012, after the agreement of their respective congresses.

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