The European Union and Triangular Cooperation
The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals recognize the global challenges that must be addressed through a regional and global approach. They are based on the notion of global partnership, joint entrepreneurship and collective implementation, independently from the development level in a certain country.
The New European Consensus on Development reinforced this approach, focusing its priorities on the notions of Planet, Prosperity, People, Peace and Partnerships. The Consensus particularly highlights the need for an innovative engagement with the most advanced developing countries. As part of this commitment, the Consensus states that "the EU and its Member States will work with these countries to promote South-South and triangular cooperation, in accordance with the principles of development effectiveness". In this sense, the objective of Triangular Cooperation is to mobilise additional resources to achieve the SDGs and contribute to poverty reduction.
Triangular cooperation is becoming increasingly relevant for mobilizing and boosting cooperation capacities outside the traditional paths of development cooperation. It is a modality that can help empower at local level, promoting cooperation and exchanges, filling knowledge gaps and better mobilizing technical and policy levels. Triangular cooperation can also be a vehicle for resources from emerging donors to be harnessed in shared development agendas.
These are not new concepts; the principles for technical cooperation among developing countries were established in the 1978 Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in March 2019, with 138 acceding countries. The EU contributed to the draft of the final BAPA +40 document and was represented in Buenos Aires by the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, together with representatives of the EU Member States.
EU-LAC Reference Framework
In achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, global challenges will require regional partnerships and exchange of specific expertise and knowledge. These scenarios are leading to a redefinition of EU-LAC relations in order to respond effectively to the new development challenges posed by Latin America.
In this sense, the positive economic growth experienced in Latin America during the last decades has allowed almost all the countries in the region to acquire the status of "middle-income country", influencing the role that the region plays in the international context.
The region is demonstrating its capacity to offer innovative and personalized responses to the challenges posed by Agenda 2030. And the EU remains committed to work together with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to address these challenges and to develop joint capacities to deliver innovation through funding from the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI).
Under the DCI, EU Regulation 233/2014, which calls on the European Union to develop partnerships with beneficiary countries under new policy frameworks, bi-regional cooperation began to evolve from a donor-recipient relationship (focusing on national poverty reduction policies and in-country programmes) towards a more balanced relationship with greater attention to mutual interest issues.
Within this framework, Triangular Cooperation has become a priority in terms of its ability to offer more flexible structures, innovation and personalized responses to local realities. Triangular cooperation is also essential for the region's external projection on the international agenda as a laboratory of ideas and new types of cooperation. In fact, between 2006 and 2016 the evolution of the number of Triangular Cooperation actions, projects and initiatives that have taken place in the region shows a strong sustained growth.
The EU also sees the Latin American region as a natural option for launching a new approach to international cooperation called 'development in transition', based on multilateral partnerships, comprehensive nationally owned strategies, flexibility and innovation, and recognition of the unique contribution of all countries involved. It includes the design of new partnerships between and within regions, also through South-South and Triangular Cooperation, and the search for new ways of interacting with countries with a higher level of development and income, as are many in Latin America. To incorporate this approach, the Regional Facility for Latin America and the Caribbean on Development in Transition, together with OECD and ECLAC, was approved in 2018. The initial EU contribution was €9.5 million.
Finally, the path taken by the New European Consensus on Development has recently been completed (in April 2019) with the launch of the joint EU-LAC Communication prepared by the European External Action Service. According to this document, EU development cooperation (regional and bilateral) should be based on the notion of personalised partnerships, taking into account the needs, strategies, priorities and resources of LAC countries. These partnerships should cover development cooperation and financial assistance, but also include a range of strategies, policies and instruments, in order to reflect the growing variety of circumstances in developing countries.
Undoubtedly, in order to foster this new type of partnership with Latin America, the EU considers it essential to have a modality such as Triangular Cooperation in order to contribute to the achievement of Agenda 2030 and the commitment of the Sustainable Development Objectives to "leave no one behind".
Reunión con el equipo de Justicia Restaurativa, Costa Rica
During the months of February, March and April 2017, Gabriel Fernández, head of the Technical Assistance team, and Laura Cabral, specialist in project management, carried out the first visits to all the ADELANTE projects.
At the end of 2015, the European Commission launched the Regional Facility for Cooperation and International Association—now known as ADELANTE. Its objective is to improve the integration of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and help them to achieve their development goals.