Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America : History

DCAM: Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America 

The Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America, abbreviated as DCAM, was created by a resolution of the European Parliament on 10 March 2004.

This decision split up the former "Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America and Mexico" into the "Delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee" (D-MX) and the DCAM delegation.

The new delegation's remit comprises the six Central American countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama - as well as Belize, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

EU - Central America Association Agreement

In recent years, the work of the DCAM delegation has largely focussed on the EU-Central America Association Agreement.

The Association Agreement has special importance, because it is the first real region-to-region agreement concluded by the EU.

Negotiations the agreement between between the EU and Central America were launched In June 2007.

The talks concluded in May 2010, during the EU-LAC Summit in Madrid, leading the agreement to be signed on 29 June 2012 in Tegucigalpa (Honduras).

The European Parliament ratified the Association Agreement on 11 December 2012.

Delegation's contribution

The delegation followed and monitored the negotiations from the outset and is now monitoring the implementation of the agreement's trade pillar, which entered provisionally into force in 2013.

The entire agreement has not entered into force yet, because not all EU countries have ratified the treaty.

The delegation and its Chair have made concerted efforts to convince national parliaments to speed up the ratification process.

Setting up the EU-Central America Joint Parliamentary Committee

Since 2014, the delegation has dedicated significant work to setting up the EU-Central America Joint Parliamentary Committee. This committee was described in both Article 52 Paragraph 5 of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement and Article 9 of the Association Agreement.

A proposal for the committee's rules of procedure has been drafted. However, differences between PARLACEN (the Central American Parliament) and Costa Rica about the composition of the Central American delegation have meant the rules have yet to be decided.

Cuba

The delegation has also followed negotiations for the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, which were launched in 2014.

After the agreement was signed on 12 December 2016, the European Parliament ratified it on 5 July 2017 and adopted a resolution drafted by Elena Valenciano (S&D, Spain).

Several debates on EU-Cuba relations have been held in the meetings of the DCAM delegation since 2014.

Human rights

The protection of human rights defenders in Central America has been another important topic in the work of the delegation.

The issue has become particularly pressing since a series of human rights defenders were assassinated in Central America. The murder of Berta Cáceres on 3 March 2016 in Honduras was one prominent example.

Delegation visits

The delegation travels once a year to Central America, usually visiting two countries at a time.

During the visits, Members meet parliamentarians of the host country, as well as representatives of the government, trade unions, business community and civil society.

As part of their scrutiny work - examining the efforts of the European Commission - MEPs also visit EU-funded projects in the countries.

The delegation visited Guatemala and Honduras in 2015 and Costa Rica and Panama in 2016. A visit to Cuba planned for 2017 had to be postponed. A visit to Nicaragua and Salvador is scheduled for February 2018.

Delegation Chairs
  • 2004 - 2009
    Mr Raimon Obiols i Germá (PES, Spain)
  • 2009 - 2014
    Ms Emine Bozkurt (S&D, The Netherlands)
  • 2014 - present
    Ms Sofia Sakorafa, (GUE-NGL, Greece)