The European Union (EU) and Ecuador have agreed to expand and deepen their bilateral cooperation in security matters.

This is the result of the III Round Table on Technical Security Cooperation between Ecuador and the European Union that took place this week, September 26 and 27, 2023.

This time it was held in a different context than the previous year: much more complex, but “the European Union responds.” The visit of the Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johansson, was a strong signal that promoted a new generation of bilateral projects that are in the evaluation phase,” said the Ambassador of the European Union to Ecuador, Charles-Michel Geurts.

With the European Union, mechanisms are sought to strengthen the banana value chain: “Safety must be dealt with co-responsibility, separating the product from the transnational problem that affects everyone”

In the press release, he asserted that “the fight against organized crime, which is based solely on the prohibition of drugs and the arrest and prosecution of actors in the illegal market, shows its limits when it is not part of a comprehensive strategy.”

The III Security Roundtable comprehensively dealt with strategic support for combating organized crime from its various aspects: border security, maritime security, cyber security, prison security and the preventive axis related to drug consumption and trafficking.

Undersecretary for Economic Affairs and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Isabel Albornoz was present for Ecuador. Pointing out that the European Union is one of the most important collaborators that Ecuador has in security matters and that it has one of the strongest cooperation structures at the regional level, he said that he appreciates its willingness to cooperate with Ecuador. “We must work according to the principle of shared responsibility in order to achieve effective action and confront transnational organized crime. In Ecuador, there is a political will to do this and this is an aspect that is now becoming state policy,” said Albornoz.

The banana cluster requires security in export and not to damage the image of the industry

The interlocutors established a list of results that will mark the cooperation between the EU and Ecuador in the next twelve months. They agreed to promote work on prevention and citizen safety, promote the interoperability of intelligence systems and deal with new security threats, such as terrorism.

This technical workspace assessed the current situation of EU-funded national and regional security programs in which Ecuador participates, such as: Euresp, GIFP, EL PAcCTO, Copolad III, Eurofront, Seacop, Crimario, Cybernet, Cyber4dev, Glacy+, Copernicus, among others.

The interlocutors also welcomed the Government’s efforts in the process of negotiating a working agreement with Europol, which will enable the posting of a liaison officer to this European agency, and the efforts to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Center for Monitoring Drugs and Drug Addiction. .

The bodies of national security institutions, human rights institutions and the MFA, as well as representatives of the EU Delegation in Ecuador, programs financed by the EU and EU member states: Germany, Austria, Belgium, participated in the technical table. , Spain, France, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands.