L'Union Européenne et la crise en Colombie: Faits, analyses et propositions pour l'avenir

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UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
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UNU-CRIS Working Papers
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Colombia has been suffering from internal violence for more than four decades. Drug- traffickers,guerrillas and paramilitaries have deeply undermined the macroeconomic performances of thec ountry, in spite of its richness in natural resources. The internal conflict has also led to a state of humanitarian emergency, which places Colombia among the most dangerous countries in the world. This places the stability of the whole Andean region at stake, considering the potential new crises in the neighbouring countries. Several interests of the European Union could be affected. This situation has led the United States to intervene through military and economic assistance to the Colombian government, aimed at blocking the flow of drugs at its source. More recently, the US involvement has been also aimed at preventing the guerrillas from attacking the economic infrastructures of the country, notably the oil pipelines. The US policies have raised a number of questions and have been partially opposed by the European Union, which considers development cooperation and political dialogue to be the only tools for stabilizing the country. However, the low profile political involvement of the EU has not corresponded with the important initiatives undertaken under the first pillar. Although the different perceptions of the member states over the Colombian crisis have partially converged after 9/11, many problems still remain, preventing the Union from setting a list of priorities and acting in accordance with them. This paper tries to assess the EU’s performance in Colombia, and gives suggestions for a more effective common European approach towards this “forgotten” crisis.