Months after Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos toured Europe in search for foreign aid, the European Union on Wednesday announced the creation of a fund to finance the implementation of a possible peace deal with leftist rebels.
The fund was exactly what Santos had hoped for when he toured Europe in October last year.
Back then, the Colombian head of state said he was hoping to create a joint fund with which to finance a type of “Marshall Plan,” similar to the investment program that restarted Europe after the end of World War II in 1945.
“We will stand by the efforts of President Santos to achieve a lasting peace in Colombia,” said European Council President Donald Tusk at the opening session of a summit between member states of the EU and the Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States, CELAC.
Tusk added that “the EU will set up a Trust Fund to support post-conflict actions in the country,” as requested by Santos in November last year.
According to Spanish news agency EFE, Christian Leffer of the European Union’s External Action Service explained that the fund will serve “to bring together all European contributions, which make up an international effort to support the peace deal and the implementation of necessary activities in a post-conflict context.”
While the EU-CELAC summit is mainly about strengthening economic ties between the two continents, Spanish news agency EFE said it is hoped that the EU and CELAC will jointly support a declaration of support for Santos’ efforts to negotiate peace with rebel groups FARC and ELN, negotiations that could end more than 50 years of political violence in the South American country.
Opening remarks by President Donald Tusk at the EU-CELAC summit (European Council)