The main social indicators for Peru show positive progress, but also reveal a persistence of important inequality problems.
The Peruvian economy remains largely based on the extraction and export of raw materials, mainly minerals and gas. This does not only make the country structurally vulnerable to external demand and supply shocks in global markets, but also feeds discontent and social conflicts.
Peru is now the world's largest producer of cocaine. Organised crime linked to the production and trafficking of illicit drugs negatively affects stability in the region.
The EU and Peru share common values, a firm belief in multilateralism, democracy, human rights, and a rules-based system. Peru is a key economic and trade partner for the EU in the Latin American region, a relationship that strengthened with the signature of a Free Trade Agreement.
Up until 2020, EU – Peru cooperation focused on strengthening governance, promoting social inclusion, and territorial economic development, however there is currently a growing need for policy dialogue and reforms and institutional strengthening.
The three priority areas retained and listed below correspond to the broader areas of cooperation.
We promote and actively contribute to the transition towards green, inclusive, and sustainable economic development and growth, linking investment to the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Leticia Pact for the Amazon. Land-use change, pollution, deforestation, and environmental crime, including illegal mining, logging, and wildlife trafficking, are major concerns and put valuable habitats and biodiversity in danger.
Human development and social inclusion
The aim of this priority area is to fight inequalities, build more inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable economies and societies, support resilience and human development, and include vulnerable groups such as women, children, and indigenous and migrant populations. To this end, we will continue to share extensive expertise and experience in the construction of inclusive societies and social policies, and the provision of affordable quality services for all citizens, including public goods.
Governance and rule of law
Good governance, democratic stability, and political reform are becoming a priority in Peru’s human rights and democracy agenda. Peru ranks lowest in Latin America in terms of ‘support of the system’ and second-lowest in ‘satisfaction with democracy’ with a highly fractured and unstable party system. We have accompanied electoral processes via electoral observation missions and several of our recommendations have already been implemented. However, the pending agenda is complex and requires profound changes and strong political will.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Peru for 2021-2024 amounts to €57 million.
Priority area 1: Circular transition promotes the transition towards a green and inclusive economy as a backbone strategy for the country to embark on a low carbon, resource-efficient, and climate-resilient pathway. EU action, targeting both urban and natural systems, shall follow an integrated approach. It will promote the conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity across the economy to protect the country’s natural capital, improve resilience and enhance green and inclusive growth for the vulnerable local communities.
Priority area 2: Human development plans to increase social spending to address human development challenges, raise the quality of education, health, and social protection services, roll out care policies, improve livelihoods, and maintain social peace. Communities across Peru voice their claims increasingly loudly and dialogues on reforms and their funding need to include actors from all sectors; public, private, and civil society. The EU will support these inclusive dialogues and processes.
Priority area 3: Governance and rule of law are targeting the instability and institutional weakness that have shaken citizens’ confidence in the political system. In line with the Human Rights and Democracy Country Strategy, the strengthening of democratic governance and human rights, including the implementation of electoral reforms, in line with EU Election Observation Mission recommendations, will be a key component of EU action.
There is an active civil society in Peru, organised into networks, platforms, or private sector associations. Civil society involvement covers all MIP areas, for creating awareness, providing civic education, monitoring on-site implementation, and oversight, ensuring the application of a rights-based approach, and stronger inclusion of the vulnerable. In the frame of this MIP, the EU can foster monitoring mechanisms and reporting schemes to track compliance with environmental regulations and private sector circular practices, and improvements in human development, strengthening the role of civil society organisations as overseers.