The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/26ue-amcen/
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Jean Asselborn at the San Jose Dialogue: "The EU presidency will spare no effort to reach an agreement on the GSPs by June"
At a joint conference with the current President of Central America Group, Honduran Minister for Foreign Affairs, Leonidas Rosa Bautista, and European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Current President of the Council of the EU, stated:
"At our 21st meeting of the San Jose Dialogue between the European Union and Central America, with my colleague, Minister Leonidas Rosa Bautista, we had an exchange of views on the status of relations between the European Union and Central America and on progress made in regional integration.
The San Jose Dialogue, begun in 1984, is the oldest of the European Union’s dialogues with the Latin American regions. We have taken an important step in our bi-regional relations with the signing in Rome in December 2003 of the political dialogue and cooperation agreement, which significantly broadens the scope of action in these areas.
In our discussions, we addressed among other topics recent developments in regional integration, namely institutional reforms and reforms in the areas of security and crime control.
We also discussed progress made since the enlargement of the European Union.
Another word on the GSP+ (Generalised System of Preferences), a topic of special importance for the countries of Central America.
The Presidency is continuing efforts to reach an agreement on the new GSP arrangement and together with the European Commission, regrets that this was not possible before 1 April, the date proposed by the Commission, due to the tragic consequences of last December’s tsunami.
The European Union urges the countries eligible for the drug arrangement to continue the work of ratifying the Conventions necessary to allow these countries to enjoy the benefits of the GSP+ arrangement proposed by the Commission. Granting these benefits on the basis of objective criteria is henceforth the guarantee of the arrangement’s stability and its compatibility with WTO standards.
I wish to inform you that the Presidency of the European Union will spare no effort to reach an agreement by June."