9 July 2009
EU-Brazil Round Table calls for stronger social model to overcome the crisis
On 7-8 July, t he EESC and the Brazilian Council for Economic and Social Development (CDES) met for the first time to discuss the social consequences of the financial crisis and the issues of energy resources and climate change. A Final Joint Declaration was drawn up by the Round Table to be submitted to the next EU-Brazil heads of state summit in Stockholm in October 2009.
A comprehensive commitment to more democracy, sustainable development, solidarity, and fairness to contribute to a new model of development and better governance, are some of the ways out of the global crisis, according to the Final Declaration. The EESC and the CDES both agreed on the need to establish a new economic and social model whose components are a high level of social protection, environmental standards and social dialogue as well as the participation of organised civil society in policy-making.
"The EESC is strongly committed to Latin America: Brazil represents a major player in our relations with this continent" said EESC president Mario Sepi . Concerning the global crisis, he stressed that "we should abandon dogmatism and be more pragmatic. There are still a few years to go before the global crisis is over. We must establish a new financial and monetary structure as well as regulate the capital markets, in order to reinforce social protection and head off the risk of the deterioration of human capital."
The Round Table welcomed the adoption of the ILO "Global Job Pact" and called for its rapid implementation. Real sustainable development, employment, support for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as a shift towards a low-carbon economy should be priorities in the current recovery plans. These are the recommendations which will be presented to the next EU-Brazil heads of state summit – Stockholm, October 2009.
Mr Antoninho Trevisan , a Brazilian employer and head of the CDES delegation, underlined the negative effects of renewed protectionism on all countries. Regarding the crisis, he stressed that Brazil was fighting it by stimulating the domestic economy particularly the construction and automobile sectors. "The lack of solidarity between employers and employees, between the social and the productive sectors, has penalised our economy" Mr Trevisan said. "The EU is really important for Brazil; this Round Table represents only the beginning of our relations".
Representing the European Commission , Mr António Cabral , member of Commission President's JMBs cabinet,welcomed the EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership as a concrete response to the need for stronger relations between Europe and Latin America. "The Commission fully backs dialogue between the EU andBrazil. Climate change represents an important challenge and will be addressed by the Commission at the next EU-Brazil summit in Stockholm," he said. Mr Cabral also pointed out that Brazil is a major player in the energy sector.
Mr Anders Wollter , a senior adviser in the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, emphasised that the EU-Brazil summit in Stockholm was already a priority of the new presidency. "Our policy will be to take into account different inputs from civil society. Moreover, the two issues addressed by the Round Table perfectly reflect the priorities of our future work."