San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

European Union Agrees To Agree

An association agreement with the European Union will be a reality in 2009, according to statements from EU representatives during the second round of negotiations with Central America.
Until now, it has been up in the air whether the EU would see the initial negotiations through to an agreement in the end.
“This is very good news,” said Costa Rica’s chief negotiator, Roberto Echandi, in a statement from the Foreign Trade Ministry.
The confirmation of the EU’s intentions to see the negotiation through to an agreement came from EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson at a speech on Wednesday night.
The association agreement will include three pillars: political cooperation, EU aid and free trade.
Elements discussed included democracy, human rights, good governance and the struggle against terrorism.
The aid and political pillars went smoothly, according to the Foreign Trade Ministry statement. The commercial pillar continued under discussion until today, when the second round ended.
The second round took place in Belgium. The next round will take place in Central America within the coming months.

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