Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Breaking news Boost for EU Latin America Caribbean partnership

Boost for EU Latin America Caribbean partnership

07 June 2023, 23:31 CET
— filed under: , , ,
Boost for EU Latin America Caribbean partnership

Jutta Urpilainen - Photo - © European Union 2023

(BRUSSELS) - The EU set out a new agenda Wednesday for its strategic partnership between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean with reinforced political engagement and boosts to trade and investment.

Launched ahead of the EU-CELAC Summit on 17-18 July, the Communication aims to recalibrate and renew bi-regional relations, making a series of proposals in key areas:renewed political partnership; strengthening common trade agenda; rolling out Global Gateway investment strategy to accelerate a fair green and digital transition and tackle inequalities; joining forces for justice, citizen security and the fight against transnational organised crime; working together to promote peace and security, democracy, rule of law, human rights and humanitarian aid; building a vibrant people-to-people partnership.

The Communication calls for renewed political engagement in a flexible and multi-layered approach: between the two regions, with individual Latin American and Caribbean countries, with sub-regions and in multilateral fora.

At bi-regional level, it proposes to enhance dialogue between the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), with more regular Summits and a permanent coordination mechanism.

At sub-regional level, the Caribbean merits increased political attention notably through the finalisation of the post-Cotonou Agreement, in addition to engagement with other sub-regional groups such as Mercosur, the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Andean Community or the Pacific Alliance.

At the level of bilateral relations, relaunching Summits with strategic partners Brazil and Mexico, as well as establishing political dialogue mechanisms with a number of countries that do not currently have them are other priorities. The Communication also proposes increased cooperation at multilateral level to address jointly regional and global challenges in line with our shared values, interests and objectives. Both regions have an interest in working together for a reform of the global financial architecture, in particular Multilateral Development Banks, and forging a New Global Financing Pact.

Trade: Bilateral and regional trade agreements are a key driver for growth and diversification strategies in both regions, and catalysts for sustainable and inclusive development. Thanks to these agreements, two-way trade in goods has increased by 40% from 2018 to 2022, with a total bilateral trade in goods and services of €369 billion in 2022.

Efforts are underway to sign and ratify the modernised agreement with Chile and to finalise the one with Mexico, as well as to conclude the agreement with Mercosur. Once trade agreements with Central America and Colombia-Peru-Ecuador are ratified by all EU Member States, strengthening the sustainability provisions of the agreements should also be considered. Further enhancement of EU-LAC cooperation in the WTO, as well as strengthening our global efforts to diversify sources of raw materials and make global supply chains more resilient will benefit both regions. The EU will continue to work with LAC partners to help create the conditions for sustainable investment, including by jointly addressing the impact of European Green Deal legislation, and the support of open, stable, and predictable legal frameworks.

The EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda (GGIA) is a political commitment to work together, identifying fair green and digital investment opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean, which will benefit from the open environment generated by trade and investment agreements and will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Under the Investment Agenda, investments will be mobilised for, amongst others, renewable energy and green hydrogen, critical raw materials, decarbonisation, and transport infrastructure projects, 5G and last-kilometre connectivity, digitalisation for public services, sustainable forest management, health manufacturing, education and skills and sustainable finance.

There is significant potential for cooperation towards climate neutral, clean and nature-positive economies. The Communication calls for a strengthened partnership on the green transition, including through increased dialogue, strengthening of regulatory frameworks and investments under Global Gateway.

The EU-LAC Digital Alliance, launched in 2023 will join forces for an inclusive and human-centric digital transformation in both regions and to develop bi-regional dialogue and cooperation across the full spectrum of digital issues. Both regions can benefit from further cooperating on a wide range of areas such as connectivity, regulatory dialogue, free and safe data flows and space.

Joint efforts will be made towards a robust and sustainable socio-economic recovery that promotes equality and social inclusion, notably through education and skills-building, with a particular focus on women and youth. It calls for increased cooperation in research and innovation, making full use of opportunities under Horizon Europe Programme, and expanding joint work on health security as well as sustainable food systems.

A stronger partnership on justice and security will address common challenges posed by transnational organised crime, including the drugs trade and human trafficking. It stresses the importance of reinforcing cooperation on human rights, including non-discrimination and gender equality, and makes the case for a more prominent protection for human rights defenders and journalists. The Communication also proposes joint efforts to promote democracy, rule of law and good governance, as well as global peace and security.

The Communication proposes to intensify collaboration on education and research for example with key exchange programmes such as Erasmus+, promote circular mobility by drawing on the Skills and Talents package, encouraging intercultural networks and joint initiatives such as the first ever EU's participation as guest of honour in the 2023 International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Joint Communication on a New Agenda for Relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean

New Agenda for EU Relations with Latin America 
and the Caribbean - guide


Factsheet on Trade between EU and Latin America and the Caribbean

Document Actions