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E.U Relations

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Political Relations
Sri Lanka's relations with the European Community commenced in 1962. The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Brussels was set up in 1973, and was accredited to the EU. Dr.Gamini Corea was the first Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the European Community. Having previously been accredited from New Delhi, the European Commission established its Delegation Office in Colombo in September 1995.

In March 2001, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga visited Brussels and met with Mr. Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission. This was the first high-level visit to Brussels.

Ministerial level visits from Brussels include Mr. Chris Pattern, European Commissioner for External Relations in November 2003 and Ms. Benita Ferraro-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations in March 2005.

The South Asia Delegation of the European Parliament and the Friends of Sri Lanka Group in the EU Parliament frequently visit Sri Lanka.

H.E Mr. Rodney Perera, the Ambassador presented his letter of Credence to Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, on 13 October 2014. He succeeded H.E Mr. P.M








An Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation was signed on 22nd July 1975. Presently, the relations between Sri Lanka and the European Union are governed by a subsequent third generation agreement, 'Co-operation Agreement on Partnership and Development between the European Community and Sri Lanka', which came into force on 1 April 1995.

The EU-SL Joint Commission meets annually. The purpose of the Joint Commission is to ensure the proper functioning and implementation of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation, to make suitable recommendations to promote the objectives of the Agreement and to examine ways and means to enhance the cooperation in the areas covered by the agreement. The EU-Sri Lanka Working Group on Trade, the Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights and the Working Group on Development Co-operation meet annually as working level committees under the provisions of the Joint Commission.

The EU-Sri Lanka Joint Readmission Committee (JRC) meets alternatively in Colombo and Brussels annually, since the signing of the EU-Sri Lanka Joint Readmission Agreement on 4th June 2004. This is the first formal agreement Sri Lanka entered into concerning the combating of illegal immigration. The facilitation of Law Enforcement Cooperation, constitutes an integral part of the agreement and It recognizes the need for the two parties to take measures to combat organized criminal activities, including human trafficking, migrant smuggling and financing for terrorist purposes

Sri Lanka and the European Union signed on 27 September 2012 the Agreement between the European Union and the Government of Sri Lanka on Certain Aspects of Air Services, which is commonly known as the 'Horizontal' Air Services Agreement, at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium.

Relations with the 28 Permanent Representations to the EEAS and EU Member States


The Mission has continued to liaise with the 28 Representations of EU Member States in Brussels at Ambassador level (with Permanent Representatives and Representatives to the Political and Security Committee) and also at senior officials level (with those serving on the Committees dealing with Asia (COASI), the Working Party on Trade and the 'Working Party on the application of Specific Measures to Combat Terrorism') in order to update them on matters of concern to Sri Lanka. These interactions have ensured that EU member states received parallel briefings from the GOSL side on developing events.

Cooperation in Counter-Terrorism

The EU on 29 May 2006 listed the LTTE as a terrorist entity, and has continued to re-list the LTTE since in its updates of the terrorist list compiled every 6 months. The Mission, works through the 'EU Working Party on the application of Specific Measures to Combat Terrorism' and the EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator.

With a view to getting greater attention among the law enforcement and criminal justice administrations of EU member states, a dialogue with EUROPOL (the European Union's law enforcement agency) and EUROJUST (the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Agency) responsible for co-ordination of investigations and prosecutions between competent authorities in the Member States continues.

Interaction with the European Commission

The Mission interacts with different Directorate Generals of the European Commission on a regular basis. In recent years, the Mission mainly interacted with the Directorate Generals of Trade (TRADE), Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO), Development Cooperation (DEVCO), Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MARE), Mobility & Transport (MOVE) & Home Affairs (HOME).

Relationship with the European Parliament


Sri Lanka has maintained a continuing relationship with the European Parliament (EP) since 1986. Following the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009, The European Parliament has become even more involved in the decision making process of the EU. The 'co-decision' procedure under the treaty has given the Parliament power to influence the EU's position in many sectors, including trade. The Mission has been engaging with the European Parliament to leverage their support for Sri Lanka and to influence the other EU bodies.

A 'Sri Lanka Liaison Group' of the European Parliament, known as the Friends of Sri Lanka Group, was established in 2003. This group visits regularly and is currently led by MEP Mr. Geoffrey Van Orden.

Interaction with Academic Institutes

The Embassy works closely with the Brussels based academic institutes.

The European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) has organized thematic discussions on Sri Lanka.

The Embassy also regularly participates in discussions held by other Academic Institutes/Think Tanks such as European Policy Centre, The Friends of Europe and the Egmont Institute.

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