The EU will allocate 30 million euros to boost the integration of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia

Mogherini highlights Duque's commitment to the peace process and says that differences must be resolved through dialogue


The European Union will allocate 30 million euros to boost the socio-economic integration of Venezuelan migrants who have arrived in Colombia as a result of the crisis in their country, as announced by the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Common Security, Federica Mogherini.

Mogherini made this announcement after meeting Thursday with Colombian President Iván Duque in Bogotá. “I assured the president that the EU is doing its part. We understand that it is a regional migration crisis that requires a regional response. To do this we have already been able to add an aid package for more than 130 million euros. Today I I am pleased to announce a new aid for 30 million euros aimed at the identification of migrants and their socio-economic integration, “said the head of community diplomacy.

The EU will allocate 30 million euros to boost the integration of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia
The EU will allocate 30 million euros to boost the integration of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia

After pointing out that the European Union will support the efforts of the Colombian Government to offer “employment, entrepreneurship and decent housing for refugees, migrants, returnees and also to receiving communities”, Mogherini has assured that Colombia and the EU will strengthen “together” the “capacity to Migration crisis management. In addition, he has promised that they will fight “xenophobia and all forms of exploitation and trafficking of human beings.”

The head of diplomacy has said that Colombia is “a dynamic and important partner” for the European Union and has highlighted the “excellent health” of bilateral relations. “We look back and we are proud of what we have achieved together; we look forward and share the ambition to do much more together,” he said, according to a statement from the Foreign Action Service.

Mogherini has also said that the peace process “remains the core of the European Union's commitment in Colombia”, both in political terms, and financially, through the European Peace Fund of Colombia, which currently It has 125 million euros, including contributions from 21 EU member states and also from Chile. “In total, EU support for the peace process amounts to 645 million euros, including the loan from the European Investment Bank,” he said.

In this regard, he highlighted the actions of the Colombian Government in the reintegration of ex-combatants from the FARC and in rural development programs with a territorial approach, two areas that have financial support from the European Union. “We are sure that the implementation of the Peace Agreement is moving forward,” he said.

The High Representative has reiterated the EU's support for the Comprehensive Transitional Justice System, which she has defined as “one of the pillars of the agreement and reference for other future peace agreements”. “We are supporting the Search Unit (with 3.2 million euros) and I am pleased to announce today the support for the Truth Commission (4.5 million euros). In addition, we are preparing a new support for Justice Special for Peace: Like all European support we do not come to replace the main responsibility of the State. Our support will essentially come to bring these institutions closer to citizens and victims, particularly in the most remote rural areas with difficult access to information “, has explained.

Mogherini has admitted that there are still “problems and challenges” in the framework of the implementation of the peace agreement “and will continue to emerge.” “The situation of human rights defenders and social leaders is one of the key challenges and a matter of deep concern,” he said.

Mogherini has recognized “the efforts” of President Duque “to attack this terrible situation” and has relied “on the strengthening of these efforts to protect people at risk and bring those responsible for threats and murders to justice.” “The EU is prepared to help and accompany. We work with the Government, with civil society, we support the Special Investigation Unit in the Prosecutor's Office and, together with the EU member states, we promote a campaign against stigmatization of defenders who it's called #DefendamosLaVida, “he said.

The High Representative for Foreign Policy and Common Security has stressed that building peace “requires continuous work by all parties and actors involved” and has made it clear that the way to address differences and overcome difficulties in implementation is ” dialogue and political participation “. “Violence can never be the answer,” he stressed.

After “strongly condemning” the announcement of “a small group of FARC dissidents to take up arms,” ​​he said that statement is “a setback to the peace process, but it is only the decision of a small group” because ” the vast majority of former FARC members remain committed to the agreement. ”

“Our commitment is also with them, with whom one day they decided to leave their weapons and remain in this firm position: we will increase our financial support for reintegration with a new program,” he has advanced.

In this regard, he stressed that the implementation of the peace agreement “is the only way forward” and has celebrated the “progress made by the Government” and its “continuing commitment” to the process. “I assured the president that EU support is total,” he added.

In relation to Venezuela, Mogherini has affirmed that the EU and Colombia “agree on the need to maintain pressure to find a negotiated political solution that will lead to free and credible presidential elections, as the political and humanitarian crisis worsens every day with high costs and risks for the region. ”

The EU High Representative has declared herself “impressed by Colombia's hospitality and solidarity towards Venezuelan migrants and refugees” and has concluded that her attitude “is an example for the region and for the whole world.”

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