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EU - Colombia cooperation on regional and urban policy

The EU support Colombia's efforts in developing regional policies, for which EU experience is highly regarded, in particular in the fields of cross-border cooperation, sustainable urban development and regional innovation strategies and policies, including policies and practices aiming at the successful inclusion and integration of migrants and refugees, in particular in border areas.

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Both Colombia and the EU attach great importance to strengthening the cooperation that has been established in the framework of the EU-Colombia policy dialogue on regional policy and cross-border integration as set out in the letter of intent of 2015.

The dialogue concerns exchanges of experiences and good practices in policies concerned with promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion, which are of great importance for the post-conflict situation in Colombia. The dialogue also covers policies in the field of innovation and technological development; cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation; development policies in post-conflict situations; the setting up and implementation of regional and cross-border development and integration policies, including the strengthening of administrative capacity, in particular at regional and local level; issues relating to decentralization and multi-level governance; issues relating to sustainable economic development and to corporate social responsibility at territorial level.

Letter of intent
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On 9th September 2021, Commissioner Elisa Ferreira and Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Marta Lucia Ramirez signed a new action plan on EU-Colombia Regional Policy Cooperation (2021-2025) to strengthen cooperation and exchange experience and good practices on regional development issues around four main areas: economic, social and territorial cohesion for stabilisation and consolidation; border development and integration; economic development and economic recovery; and migration as a factor of development, including integration of migrants as part of migration policy.

Action plan
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The action plan is one of the first concrete instruments to advance sectoral dialogue and cooperation and take forward the “EU-Colombia Memorandum of Understanding on an Agenda of enhanced political and sectorial dialogue and cooperation for the next decade” adopted by the Commission on December 2020.

Other relevant initiatives carried out to further this cooperation are:

  • International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme for city-to-city cooperation on sustainable urban development and region-to-region cooperation on regional innovation
  • INNOV-AL project promotes the exchange of knowledge and good practices on the definition and implementation of decentralized innovation policies and smart specialization policies at the regional level and the cooperation between the national and regional authorities of six countries in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico) and between these and their counterparts in the EU.
  • INNOVACT project diffusing EU regional policy experience and good practices in Latin America
    • to facilitate the sharing of information and lessons between European and Latin-American cross-border regions on promoting cross-border cooperation, innovation systems, clusters and competitiveness;
    • to identify and develop strategies, action plans and concrete projects or programmes for the development of cross-border value chains;
    • and to stimulate and contribute to a learning process based on concrete examples and best practices.
    • Seven Latin Americas border areas were covered by INNOVACT, including Chile-Peru border area
Study on EU-Colombia cooperation on regional policy capacity building for urban cross-border cooperation actors in the metropolitan area of Cúcuta to identify the main challenges and solutions to support the development and promotion of tourism in the territory. Final Report
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