Strategic Pillars

European  Union Trust Fund projects in Colombia  are designed using a territorial approach and with the active participation of local actors. Projects consider each region’s specific situation, capacities, priorities and the needs of institutional and social actors. All projects contribute to the Fund’s six strategic pillars, regardless of the particular focus that each individual project has.

By requiring that all projects contribute to its six pillars, the Fund is able to guarantee that these projects adopt a common approach and are effectively supporting the Peace Agreement’s implementation.     The use of these pillars also guarantees that projects help to build equity, social change, and coexistence in Colombia.

Reconciliation and conflict de-escalation

This pillar targets the need to create guarantees for reconciliation, peaceful coexistence, tolerance and no stigmatization.

It highlights the following areas of action:

Processes of reconciliation, strengthening the social fabric, relationships of trust and solidarity among local actors, former combatants and surrounding communities.

Capacity building to foster tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Awareness raising and communication in the territories on progress and results in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

Setting up of community agreements, protection strategies and/or local agreements for peaceful coexistence and peacebuilding.

Social and economic reincorporation of the former combatants

This pillar targets the need to support the social and economic reintegration process of approximately 12,000 former men and women combatants to become citizens with full rights and obligations.

It highlights the following areas of action:

Support in the consolidation of the cooperative ECOMUN, the former combatants’ cooperative, and its grassroots organizations.

Training for former combatants and surrounding communities aimed towards income generation and social-economic inclusion.

Strategies and initiatives for psychosocial care.

Measures aimed at building and strengthening trust, peaceful coexistence and reconciliation among local authorities, former combatants and local communities.

Social inclusion: youth, women and ethnic groups

This pillar prioritizes a differentiated approach to include different genders, ethnicities, and ages in project actions. It seeks to engage new generations in the construction of peace through active participation in the social, political, and economic aspects of public life.

It highlights the following areas of action:

Support for rural youth initiatives for generational shift, entrepreneurship and citizen participation.

Social-economic inclusion processes for vulnerable groups (youth, women and ethnic minorities) in order to create means of sustainable livelihoods.

Support for local organizations of women, youth and ethnic minorities in the implementation of their own economic, social and cultural projects.

Support for the recovery of traditional knowledge, production models and cultural traditions of ethnic minorities.

Strengthening good governance within ethnic communities, indigenous peoples and afro-descendants, in accordance with their traditional ways of life.

Sustainable and inclusive productivity

This pillar is driven by the need to generate economic opportunities, at the local level, that are inclusive and sustainable.

It highlights the following activities:

Strengthening value chains and boosting territorial economic innovation.

Support marketing locally produced products, diversifying market access, promoting local trade and building public-private partnerships.

Technical support and knowledge transfer to improve productiveness and competitiveness.

Support Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) through investment capital and promotion of financial inclusion.

Promotion of sustainable production models that involve best environmental practices.

Institutionalization and legitimacy of the state

This pillar seeks to build institutional capacity at the local level by improving governance, leveraging public resources to develop economic entrepreneurship, and strengthening trust between communities and local institutions.

The following actions consolidate this pillar:

Support for construction work and rehabilitation of public goods covered in the Programs of Development with a Territorial Focus or Programas de Desarrollo con Enfoque Territorial (PDET) or the Municipal and Departmental Development Plans (rural roads, productive and community infrastructure, schools, health facilities, etc.)

Coordination between the Fund’s projects and the local investment processes with post -conflict development instruments (PDET, PNIS, land formalization and restitution, etc.)

Technical assistance to territorial government bodies in planning, investing, monitoring and implementing.

Support in adjusting and strengthening educational curricula and training opportunities offered by think tanks, universities and territorial government agency.

Capacity Building of grassroots organizations and local actors’ capacities to perform community oversight, monitor Peace Agreement implementation, and monitor public policies that support peace consolidation and territorial coexistence.

European Union value added

This pillar seeks to capitalize the successful track record the EU has in areas such as innovation, cooperative economy, commerce, democratic values and strengthening national institutions.

It highlights the following activities:

Contribution of European expertise in areas of rural development in which the EU is relied upon with recognized leadership (cooperatives, rural credit, reduction of regional inequalities, protected designation of origin (PDO), organic and fair-trade production, rural tourism, etc.)

Strengthening trade and investment ties between the European and Colombian private sectors.

Promoting innovative solutions through European technology and expertise.

Enhancing local institutions and leaders in capacity-building.