BRUSSELS, Belgium – Today, The European Commission (EC) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed a Framework Agreement to expand cooperation between the two institutions on economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is the first ever Framework Agreement to be signed by the Commission and a Regional Development Bank.
The President of the IDB, Luis Alberto Moreno, and the Director-General of DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid, Fokion Fotiadis, signed the document, which will help to strengthen collaboration in areas such as climate change, energy efficiency, education and housing.
This new Framework Agreement is signed within the context of the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between President Moreno and European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, on November 19, 2007. The Memorandum identified several areas of shared priority: social cohesion and poverty reduction; regional integration and trade development; renewable energy and energy efficiency; climate change; and collaboration on statistical information. The new agreement will establish the guidelines under which resources from the European Commission would be administered by the IDB.
At the signing ceremony, President Moreno indicated: “The IDB is pleased to extend the collaboration between the European Commission and the Bank, as key partners for development in Latin America and the Caribbean. We hope that the approval of the Framework Agreement will increase the flow of resources from the European Commission to the IDB and will complement other efforts in resource mobilization, benefiting the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Director-General Fotiadis said: "This Agreement is the fruitful outcome of our ever-improving cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean and means that the European Commission and the Inter-American Development Bank will be able to do even more to help reduce poverty in developing countries in the future. We have already worked together successfully on several projects. I hope that this Agreement will lead to even closer collaboration going forward."
In the past, the European Union established two bilateral trust funds at the IDB, the European Union Special Fund for Small Projects in Latin America (ECP) and the European Union Special Fund for Microenterprises (ECM). Recently, the European Union provided contributions to IDB programs for professional training in Haiti, phyto-sanitary program in Haiti, and microfinance capacity building in the Caribbean, among other areas.
The IDB is also participating in the European Commission’s Latin American Investment Facility (LAIF), which provides EC grants to co-finance projects in the Region.
Some areas in which collaboration might be strengthened include climate change, energy efficiency, and reforestation; education and emergency housing in Haiti; Small and Medium Enterprise development in Haiti; sustainable cities program in Latin America and the Caribbean, among others.The IDB also has participated in the biannual EU-LAC Summits. At the Madrid 2010 Summit, the Latin American Investment Facility was officially launched, as well as a proposal to constitute the EUROLAC Foundation (the Santiago 2012 Summit is currently being prepared.)
- Pablo Bachelet