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Brussels, 30 May 2007

EU-Brazil: Commission proposes Strategic Partnership

The European Commission has proposed to launch a Strategic Partnership with Brazil at the first EU-Brazil Summit in Lisbon on 4 July 2007. In a Communication adopted today, the Commission highlights the increasing role Brazil plays on the international stage, its regional clout and the strong bilateral ties the country has with Europe and proposes a number of initiatives to reinforce the relations between both sides in the framework of a Strategic Partnership. The Communication identifies a wide spectrum of sectors and activities in which the EU has a major interest in strengthening co-operation and developing a deeper dialogue with Brazil. It also stresses how important enhanced dialogue could be to support the conclusion of an EU-Mercosur Association Agreement. Coming ahead of the EU-Brazil Summit, the Communication will now be discussed with the Member States and later feed the Summit agenda and help start a broader dialogue.

President Barroso said: “Brazil is an important partner for the EU. We not only share close historic and cultural ties, values and a strong commitment to multilateral institutions, we also share a capacity to make a difference in addressing many global challenges such as climate change, poverty, multilateralism, human rights and others. By proposing stronger ties, we are acknowledging Brazil’s qualification as a ‘key player’ to join the restricted club of our strategic partners.”

Commissioner Ferrero Waldner said: “There is a huge potential to unlock in our relationship with Brazil at the multilateral, regional and bilateral level. This Strategic Partnership will allow us to further develop our co-operation in key sectors such as energy, maritime transport and regional development, and to build new and long-lasting links between our people. And I believe that by activating dialogue we will motivate Brazil to move forward towards more regional integration in Mercosur and encourage them to be more open in our negotiations.”

The Communication ‘Towards an EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership’ proposes a wide range of areas and sectors for closer cooperation and partnership. The priority areas of action include strengthening multilateralism to work jointly on a more effective UN system and promoting Human Rights. The Commission proposes to co-operate closely on global challenges such as tackling poverty and inequality, environmental issues (particularly climate change, forests, water management and biodiversity), energy, enhancing stability and prosperity in Latin America and co-operation on regional integration with Mercosur, as well as joint determination to conclude the EU-Mercosur agreement.

Noting that Brazil is the most important market for the EU in Latin America, the Commission proposes to address trade and investment issues of specific bilateral relevance that complement EU-Mercosur discussions and suggests to enhance co-operation in sectors and areas of mutual interest such as economic and financial, issues, information society, air transport, maritime transport, science and technology, satellite navigation, social matters and regional development.

Finally, it also suggests actions to bring our people closer through the Erasmus Mundus student exchange scheme, a cultural dialogue and a business Round Table to be held in parallel to the Summit.

The Communication contains two chief recommendations to the EU Member States:

  • To engage with Brazil in launching a Strategic Partnership at the July Summit in Lisbon.
  • To invite Brazil to submit its own views on the scope of such a Strategic Partnership.

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