The Andean Parliament is the governing and deliberative body of the Andean Community. It was created on October 25, 1979 in La Paz (Bolivia), through the Constitutive Treaty signed by the chancellors of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. It entered into force in January 1984.
The Andean Parliament has a Headquarter, located in Bogotá (Colombia), administered by the Secretary General. In addition, each country has a National Headquarters. These serve as liaison and coordination bodies.
It represents the 120 million inhabitants of the Andean Region, whose member states are Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile (which joined in 2015).
Its main functions include legislative harmonization in its member countries, permanent and active representation of the peoples of the region, guaranteeing their participation and strengthening of the integration process, and parliamentary management through the political control of institutions Of the Andean Integration System (IAS). (Cartagena Agreement, Art. 43)
The Andean Parliament is the political organ, deliberative, representative of the people, as well as guarantor of the rights and democracy in the Andean Community.
The origins of the Andean Parliament go back to 1966 with the Bogotá Agreement, drawn up on the recommendation of ECLAC under the Montevideo Treaty of 1960. With the Cartagena Agreement, signed on May 26, 1969, the five countries met In what was originally called the Andean Pact, when its legal norms and provisions were established.2 Its objective was to strengthen its economies through free trade, tariff elimination and the customs union. Its Constitutive Treaty was signed by the chancellors of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. Its first headquarters was Lima, although later it moved to Bogota.
Venezuelan diplomat Milos Alcalay served as Secretary General of the Andean Parliament (1984–85) and as Permanent Secretary of the Andean Parliament (Bogotá, 1985–89). Subsequently, in 1996, through the Trujillo Protocol modifying the Cartagena Agreement, the governments of the subregion granted it supranational powers, defining it as the Political Control Unit of the Andean Integration System (SAI).
Its representatives were initially elected by the national congresses of the member countries. According to the Protocol of Trujillo, approved on March 10, 1996, its representatives would be elected for a period of five years directly by the respective member countries of the Andean Community; In Colombia they were by direct suffrage since the elections of March 14, 2010. It consisted of five members for each member country, which gave a total of twenty-five parliamentarians.
On April 22, 2006, Venezuela withdraws from the Andean Community and, therefore, also from the Andean Parliament, denouncing the Treaty Establishing the Cartagena Agreement. The reason given was the signing by Colombia and Peru of free trade agreements with the United States which distorted the CAN, according to the Venezuelan government. Later the Colombian legislature through law 1157 of 2007, which allowed the election in this country of these parliamentarians by means of universal and direct suffrage, approved the salaries and commissions of the Andean parliamentarians that would be paid with part of the budget of the State, when before they sat Free of charge.
In October 2011, Spain, Mexico and Panama had become permanent observer members of the Andean Parliament. In 2016, the Argentine Republic became an observer member.
In 2015, Chile became a permanent member of the Andean Parliament.
The Andean Parliament develops four missionary axes, each axis seeks the integration of the peoples and spread the values of the Andean citizenship.
1. LEGISLATIVE HARMONIZATION
It seeks to harmonize complementary criteria of the Andean countries. The Normative Frameworks, have the support of experts, academics, universities, multilateral agencies and specialized institutions. Together with academics of the body and teams of parliamentarians, the analysis of international treaties, constitutions and national laws, development plans drawn up by governments, is carried out as a comparative exercise.
2. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
A fundamental axis as role of the organism in the region, through which the concepts of Open Parliament have been applied:
YOUTH AND YOUTH PARLIAMENTS AND UNIVERSITIES
The “Andean Youth and University Parliaments” program seeks to renew the political class of the Andean countries and strengthen leadership among young people. Conformed in different cities of the region, with emphasis on areas of conflict and vulnerability. The participants enter into a constant training process through: the Agency’s Technology Platform, chairs in social networks and participation in the Plenary Sessions of the organization, in international events and other spaces. In the same way, a complete program of scholarships and incentives has been established for leaders with better proposals and academic performance.
SCHOOLS TO PARLIAMENT
‘Schools to the Parliament’ is a project that makes the selection of the Schools and carries out a day of development of play and learning activities. Through physical and digital tools such as “I am Andean Parliament” and “Join the Integration” students learn about the work of Andean parliamentarians, values of Andean citizenship and the riches of the region.
The Documentation Center ‘Simón Rodríguez’ was established, specialized in legislative, integration and international law issues. Linked in a virtual way with the best libraries of national congresses and multilateral organizations such as the Library of Congress of Chile, or the Library of Congress of the United States. The Documentation Center offers its services free to the public of the countries of the region.
INCLUSIVE FAIRS FOR INTEGRATION
Inclusive Fairs include the exhibition of handicrafts, natural products and entrepreneurship of the cultures of each Andean country, with the purpose of including vulnerable populations as mothers head of household, reinserted to civil society, displaced by conflict, people with disabilities, Among others, in the support of our organism to its work. Likewise, monthly art exhibitions of new talents, Art students and positioned artists of the region are presented. These initiatives allow strategic alliances with Andean citizens for the development of community awareness and socio-cultural identity through art.
3. STRENGTHENING INTEGRATION
The Andean Parliament promotes and guides Latin American integration processes. To this end, it has been strengthening cooperation and inter-institutional work with Integration Parliaments such as: Latin American, Central American, MERCOSUR, among others. In the same way, it has been working on projects with organizations such as:
- The Latin American Development Bank (CAF)
- Organization of American States (OAS)
- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
- Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE)
- The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
- UN Women
- Pan American Health Organization (WHO / PAHO)
- Andean Health Organization
- Hipólito Unanue Agreement.
In addition, Andean parliamentarians have spearheaded the international spreading of crucial issues for the region, in integration forums such as the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
4. POLITICAL CONTROL
The Cartagena Agreement grants the Andean Parliament the mission of exercising political control over the bodies of the Andean Integration System (IAS).
Like the Central American Parliament and unlike the European Parliament, the Andean Parliament members are elected on the same day as their national counterparts, there are thus no simultaneous Andean elections.
- Bolivia: first direct election in 2014
- Chile: the five Chilean representatives are still co-opted members of the Chilean Parliament as the most recent Chilean general election were held in 2013, two years before Chile became a full-fledged member of the Andean Parliament; the first direct election will be held in 2017
- Colombia: first direct election in 2010
- Ecuador: first direct election in 2013
- Peru: first direct election in 2006; each party must present a list of 5 candidates and 10 substitutes, all Peruvian-born (Ser peruano de nacimiento)
- “Parlamento Andino inició un proceso de difusión con el objetivo de promocionar las elecciones directas al organismo en Bolivia” (in Spanish). Parlamento Andino – Oficina de Comunicaciones.
- “Nueva representación boliviana juramenta en Parlamento Andino” (in Spanish). La República. 5 March 2015.
- “Resultados oficiales – Parlamentarios andinos” (in Spanish). Consejo Nacional Electoral – República del Ecuador.
- “Elecciones Parlamento Andino” (in Spanish). Jurado Nacional de Elecciones. Archived from the original on 2016-02-20.