Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America : Introduction

Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America (DCAM) 

The European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America (DCAM) develops contacts with the countries of Central America - Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama - as well as with the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

The delegation cultivates both bilateral relations with parliamentarians from the countries, as well as with the Central American Parliament (Parlacen). Since the Central American Parliament held its inaugural session in 1991, the assembly has evolved to become the DCAM delegation's leading partner.

Chair and membership

The DCAM delegation is currently chaired by Sofia Sakorafa, a Greek member of the Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left in the European Parliament. She is supported by two vice-chairs: Gabriel Mato and Caterina Chinnici.

The delegation counts 15 full members and an equal number of substitute members.

The chair and the vice-chair are elected by the other members of the delegation. All the members are drawn from the European Parliament's political groups, with the political makeup of the delegation mirroring that of Parliament as a whole.

Meetings and interests

The delegation holds regular meetings In Brussels and Strasbourg to discuss major political, social or economic events in the countries it covers, as well as relevant bilateral issues.

Delegation members have actively monitored the implementation of the EU-Central America Association Agreement. This agreement was signed on 29 June 2012, and its trade pillar has been provisionally applied since 2013.

Delegation members have also closely followed negotiations on the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA), and will monitor its implementation once the agreement is ratified.

A future joint parliamentary committee

The delegation is currently working with Parlacen and the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica on setting up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC), as stipulated in Article 9 of the Association Agreement.

The committee will comprise two delegations with an equal number of members from the European Parliament and from Parlacen and the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica.

Travelling

Every year, MEPs from the DCAM delegation travel once to Central America. They also regularly receive visits from members of the region's national parliaments and from members of the Central American Parliament.

When the EU is invited by governments of the countries covered to observe local elections, DCAM members have participated in the European election observation teams.

Links with EuroLat and European Parliament committees

Many members of the DCAM delegation are also members of the EuroLat Parliamentary Assembly and meet their Central American counterparts during EuroLat activities.

The work of the DCAM delegation is coordinated with the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), the Committee on Development (DEVE) and the Committee on International Trade (INTA).

Article 9 of the EU-Central America Association Agreement 

AGREEMENT
establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America on the other


Article 9
Association Parliamentary Committee


1. An Association Parliamentary Committee is hereby established. It shall consist of members of the European Parliament, on the one side, and of members of the Parlamento Centroamericano (PARLACEN), and in the case of Republics of the CA Party that are not members of PARLACEN, representatives designated by their respective National Congress, on the other side, who shall meet and exchange views. It shall determine the frequency of its meetings and shall be chaired by one of the two sides alternately.

2. The Association Parliamentary Committee shall establish its rules of procedure.

3. The Association Parliamentary Committee may request of the Association Council relevant information regarding the implementation of this Agreement. The Association Council shall supply the Committee with the requested information.

4. The Association Parliamentary Committee shall be informed of the decisions and recommendations of the Association Council.

5. The Association Parliamentary Committee may make recommendations to the Association Council.