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IP/08/1141

Brussels, 15 July 2008

EU-Mexico: Commission proposes Strategic Partnership

The European Commission has proposed to establish a Strategic Partnership with Mexico which represents a major upgrading in EU-Mexico relations. This proposalis the result of a process of strengthening of bilateral links which started more than a decade ago and which has progressively intensified since 2004. This Strategic Partnership, proposed in a Communication to the Council and the European Parliament adopted today[1], should help to further reinforce this development, by providing a strong political framework and thus enhancing dialogue and coordination between the EU and Mexico on global, regional and bilateral issues.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighborhood Policy, said "Our relationship with Mexico has been growing and deepening in the last decades and Mexico has become one of our important partners not only in Central and Latin America but also on the global scale. However I feel that we will be able to go further thanks to advancing towards a Strategic Partnership between us. Thus we will have the right framework to translate the political dialogue that we already enjoy in political and security issues, environment and energy security and in socio-economic issues into a more effective instrument for the coordination of positions not only on bilateral questions but also on global issues of mutual concern." And she added: "I am convinced that this Strategic Partnership will lead us to a new mutual sensitivity, that will allow us to pay due attention to our respective interests and concerns in bilateral and multilateral issues."

Mexico is a significant political, economic and cultural player in Latin America and its role in global issues is expected to grow with time. Given its strategic geographic position at the boundary with the US, Mexico truly forms a cultural and political “bridge” between North America and Latin America and, more in general, between industrialized countries and emerging ones. Mexico's "bridging” position is one of its main assets in the context of a progressive multilateral and multicultural international community.

The Commission has highlighted the following areas as those deserving further coordination:

1. Political issues, such as multilateralism, democracy, human rights, rule of law, cultural dialogue, Latin America, regional integration, Rio Group;

2. Security issues, such as the fight against terrorism, failed states, organised crime, drug and human trafficking;

3. Environmental and energy security issues, such as climate change, natural disasters, fight against overexploitation of fish stocks;

4. Socio-economic issues, such as development policy, investment and social responsibility, innovation and intellectual property rights, open markets, social policies, decent work/social protection, migration, poverty, global macro-financial stability, good governance in the tax area, energy security, sustainability and improved efficiency, food prices, fisheries, maritime policy and ocean governance, transport issues of common interest.

In its Communication, the Commission also proposes holding EU-Mexico Summits every two years.

The Commission will now present this proposal to the EU Member States (Council) and the European Parliament. Once this is adopted by them, the content of the Strategic Partnership will be discussed with Mexico.

Background

Since the signature of the EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement in 1997 (entered into force in 2000), and in particular, during the last few years, the EU and Mexico have developed an active and frank political dialogue on issues of mutual interest. This development has generated a good atmosphere between the EU and Mexico and has created the political conditions for the establishment of a closer dialogue on global issues.

Mexico is a member of OECD and its economy is one of the two largest in Latin America. Mexico is one of the very few emerging countries to have free trade agreements with the US, the EU and Japan and with a number of other countries.

During the past decades, Mexico has systematically stressed the importance of multilateralism and it has been an active and supportive member of the UN. Mexico is one of the largest contributors to the UN Budget.

Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will brief the media on the record on this Communication today 15 July at 16h30 in the Berlaymont building. Journalists wanting to attend the briefing need to contact Concha Fernández de la Puente (0498952977).

For more information:

http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/mexico/index_en.htm


[1] Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament Towards an EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership, 15 July 2008 http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/mexico/index_en.htm


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