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Introduction

DAND: Delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean Community

The European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean Community focuses on developing relations with the four countries that compose the Community: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

The delegation also cultivates links with the Andean Community itself, an intergovernmental organisation and custom union, which also includes a 20-member parliament, the Parlandino.

Every year, the members of the DAND delegation participate in one visit to the region and receive visits from members of the national parliaments of the four countries and from the Parlandino. Members of the DAND delegation all also participate in the EuroLat Parliamentary Assembly, which offers further opportunities for them to meet their Andean counterparts.

Composition

The DAND delegation counts 12 full members, as well as a number of substitute members.

MEP Luis de Grandes Pascual, a Spanish member of the Parliament's Group of the European People's Party (EPP), is currently the delegation's chair. His two vice-chairs are Tania González Peñas (GUE/NGL) and Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE).

The chair and vice-chairs are elected by the other members of the delegation, while the members are nominated by the Parliament's political groups. The political balance of the delegation mirrors that of the Parliament as a whole.
Delegation meetings

In Brussels and Strasbourg, the delegation holds regular meetings to discuss bilateral issues and major political, social and economic events in the four countries.

Guests from the European Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS), academia, think tanks, civil society and diplomatic representations regularly enrich the discussions and offer their perspectives.

When important national officials - such as presidents or ministers - are invited, the delegation tries to coordinate the meeting with Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Committee on International Trade, or another committee working on the issues to be discussed.

In the last few years, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru have negotiated several agreements with the EU. The delegation's members have closely followed - and participated in the talks - which have yielded:
  • a trade agreement with Peru and Colombia, recently also joined by Ecuador;
  • visa waiver agreements with Colombia and Peru;
  • progress on a "Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement" (signed in 2003 and now being considered by Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee).
The delegation has also focused on the peace process in Colombia. Since the launch of negotiations between the country's government and FARC guerrillas in Cuba, DAND Members have monitored the talks, and supported the EU's contribution to the peace process through the adoption of an EU Trust Fund which assists Colombia in the post-conflict phase.

In the Andean Community countries

The delegation travels one a year to one of the countries of the Andean Community to meet with elected representatives, government officials, business people and members of civil society.

Whenever the EU is invited by the Andean countries to observe local elections, some DAND members may participate in the election observation missions.

Recently, DAND members took part in the EP Delegation observing the first and second round of the Presidential elections in Peru.

DAND Chair Luis de Grandes Pascual also co-chaired an ad hoc delegation to Colombia in late 2016, when a referendum was held on the peace agreement reached between the Government and FARC.