Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, has met today Ms. Isabel De Saint Malo de Alvarado, Vice President of Panama and Minister of Foreign Affairs, to sign a bilateral strategic partnership between the EU and Panama in order to work together towards the shared goals of implementing the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.
At the margins of the European Development Days, EDDs, Neven Mimica said: "This signature consolidates the strong partnership between the EU and Panama. Panama is an important partner for the EU in Central America. It is a like-minded country with whom we share a common view in a broad range of issues from multilateralism to gender equality. With this signature we are strengthening our relationship for the long term. I expect this new framework to bring give opportunities to innovate and introduce new forms of cooperation with Panama."
This Memorandum of Understanding opens a new path towards new modalities of cooperation between the EU and Panama, in areas such as triangular cooperation. In this context, Panama can provide other countries in the region with expertise and know-how in areas of common interest such as finance, logistics, the service sector and sustainable tourism. It also provides a framework for enhancing cooperation in areas of common interests (drug policy, security, governance, fiscal transparency, climate change, social cohesion).
Panama as higher level middle income country is no longer eligible for receiving EU bilateral assistance. However, Panama continues to benefit from EU thematic budget lines, regional programmes for Latin America and from sub-regional programmes for Central America. Panama already participates in the first phase of the triangular cooperation facility in the project "Emprendimiento y desarrollo empresarial - EDEM", aiming to support and develop the regional strategy of entrepreneurship, innovation and business development in Mesoamerican countries.