Renewed partnership with Latin America
The Commission presents a renewed strategy for Latin America. Although political dialogue and cooperation have been consolidated over the past decade, many challenges remain. This Communication is therefore intended to serve as the basis for a new partnership.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 30 September 2009 - The European Union and Latin America: Global Players in Partnership [COM(2009) 495 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission presents a new strategy for deepening cooperation between the European Union and the countries of Latin America. The priorities of the previous stronger partnership must be renewed in view of the regional and global issues facing the continent.
These issues include the effects of the international economic crisis, fluctuations in food prices, climate change and the fight against crime. This new commitment also aims to increase the partners’ membership of international organisations.
The Commission presents a series of recommendations to be considered during the 2010 EU-Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Summit.
Dialogue with LAC countries must be further strengthened, at strategic, political and sectoral levels. To this end, the Commission’s recommendations are to:
- adopt policy action priorities during the LAC Summits, ensuring they are consistent with those defined during the Ministerial Meetings;
- step up political dialogue on global issues, such as economic questions, security, human rights, the environment, climate change, energy, research and innovation;
- develop cooperation and dialogue on combating drugs and managing migration;
- open up the dialogue to all stakeholders involved in the fields of knowledge and innovation.
Regional integration and interconnectivity
The strategy supports the regional integration of the countries of Latin America, as a factor for sustainable development and growth. This can be achieved through:
- sub-regional integration processes, as in the case of the countries of Central America and the Andean Community;
- institutional initiatives at continent level such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR (ES)).
In addition, the creation of the Latin America Investment Facility (LAIF) shall enable interconnections and infrastructures to be developed. This financing should also support the development of businesses and the social and environmental sectors.
Bilateral dialogue and cooperation
The strategy also provides for a deepening of relations between the EU and each country in Latin America, particularly in areas of common interest. The Commission’s recommendations are to:
- harness the potential of existing cooperation agreements;
- conclude free trade agreements, specifically as part of trade negotiations with Chile and Mexico;
- support regional groupings between countries in Latin America.
Cooperation actions are partly carried out under European development policies. Tackling poverty and sustainable development remain priority objectives. The strategy also encourages different types of cooperation.
In this regard, the Commission’s recommendations are to:
- carry out actions which promote low-carbon, sustainable growth, employment and better income distribution and to mitigate the effects of the crisis;
- assess the potential of cooperation instruments, such as the Financing Instrument for Development Cooperation (DCI) or the financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories (ICI);
- encourage cooperation in the field of social cohesion, particularly through the EUROsociAL Programme, and in the fields of justice, freedom and security.