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Towards an EU-Brazil strategic partnership

The European Commission proposes a strategic partnership with Brazil with a view to strengthening and expanding cooperation between the two partners. Close cooperation will strengthen bilateral relations and meet common challenges at regional level (stability and prosperity in Latin America, relations with Mercosur) and global level (fight against poverty, environment, energy, etc.).

ACT

Communication of the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, of 30 May 2007, entitled: “Towards an EU-Brazil strategic partnership” [COM(2007) 281 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

The European Union (EU) proposes a strategic partnership as a framework for strengthening relations with Brazil (launched at the Lisbon Summit of 4 July 2007). This strategic partnership aims to strengthen cooperation in areas of common interest. The regional and international role of Brazil makes it a key interlocutor for the EU.

The common agenda

Strengthening multilateralism is of common interest to the EU and Brazil given that it is particularly suitable for responding to global challenges. Closer cooperation at international fora (United Nations, World Trade Organisation) should also be considered through common positions and initiatives. Moreover, their actions should be better coordinated with respect to peace-building operations, support for a global non-proliferation regime or negotiations to conclude the Doha Round.

Both partners also share a common interest in fostering human rights, democracy and good governance through international standards and instruments, within the United Nations framework in particular. However, cooperation as regards these values should be improved.

Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and regional and social development constitute another area of common interest. Owing to Brazil’s commitment to the fight against poverty and inequalities, the two partners could cooperate in this area. Joint thematic programmes implemented by the two partners for social reforms or development could constitute suitable instruments and be extended to the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries (trilateral cooperation). Brazil has also implemented effective policies favouring social and regional development, which make the country less dependent on aid. Nevertheless, persistence of social and regional disparities could be the object of closer dialogue based on the exchange of experiences.

With the largest tropical rainforest in the world, Brazil is a crucial partner for environmental protection, as regards the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity in particular. The partners should join efforts within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 2010 target as regards biodiversity and negotiations for a post-2012 global agreement. Water management, the protection of the marine environment, the fight against pollution by mercury and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are also common challenges.

Continuation of the dialogue on energy launched in 2007 would strengthen cooperation at regulatory and technical levels and create new perspectives for energy security, viability and efficiency and also for sustainable development. In compliance with the EU’s energy mix by 2020, renewable energy and biofuels, for which Brazil plays a primary role, also constitute common challenges.

Latin America’s stability and prosperity will benefit from cooperation between the two partners. Brazil already plays an essential role in this area at bilateral and regional level. In this respect, social cohesion constitutes a framework for joint action, whether within the EU-LAC (Latin America – Caribbean) forum or international organisations and civil society.

Owing to its importance and influence, Brazil plays a leading role in regional integration within Mercosur which could benefit from EU experience within the framework of a strategic partnership. Integration of Mercosur is also a challenge for the EU, which wishes to strengthen its relations through a comprehensive and balanced agreement.

Bilateral commercial and economic relations should also be strengthened. The strategic partnership will strengthen cooperation and dialogue in areas of common interest having an impact on jobs and social cohesion. Clearer and more stable frameworks, bilateral agreements and the participation of Brazil in a number of Community programmes are all ways of strengthening relations. Emphasis will be placed on trade and investment by improving access to markets, on economic and financial issues, on the information society and the potential of information and communications technologies (ICT), on air and maritime transport, on science, technology and priority innovations and on satellite navigation (Galileo).

With respect to justice, freedom and security, the EU and Brazil should cooperate in combating organised crime, corruption, illegal migration and drug trafficking within bilateral and multilateral frameworks. A short stay visa waiver agreement should be concluded to guarantee reciprocal treatment of Brazilian and European citizens.

Finally, bringing people together is another aspect of the strategic partnership. Exchanges in the area of higher education supported by Community programmes (ALBAN, Erasmus Mundus and ALFA) should be strengthened. Cultural and linguistic diversity should be further promoted within international institutions such as UNESCO. Contact between civil society and business on both sides should also be encouraged via the “Youth in Action” programme or on the occasion of summits.

Context

The strategic partnership will deepen relations between the EU and Brazil, which are currently based on the 1992 framework cooperation agreement and the 1995 EU-Mercosur framework cooperation agreement.

RELATED ACTS

Common declaration adopted at the EU-Brazil summit of 4 July 2007 in Lisbon
During their first summit in Lisbon, on 4 July 2007, the EU and Brazil launched their strategic partnership, whose implementation will be based on an action plan. The two partners are committed to a common response to global challenges (peace and security, reform of the United Nations, eradication of poverty, environment, energy, climate change, etc.) by strengthening their political dialogue and supporting multilateralism. At the same time, they have agreed to strengthen sectoral political dialogues (maritime transport, information society, environment, sustainable development), launch new dialogues (energy, employment and social affairs, regional development, culture and education) and establish a consultation mechanism for sanitary and phytosanitary issues. They have also agreed to expand and deepen their economic and trade relations (liberalise exchanges, facilitate investments, conclude an EU-Mercosur association agreement, launch a dialogue on macroeconomic and financial issues, etc.).

Last updated: 19.12.2007

See also

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