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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 13 June 2012

Factsheet: EU-Mexico Summit (Los Cabos, Mexico, 17 June 2012)

The European Union and Mexico are strategic partners with a strong relationship. The sixth bilateral summit will take place just before the G20 summit on 18 and 19 June, which is presided by Mexico. The EU will be represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Mexico will be represented by Mr. Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico, accompanied by Ambassador Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Leaders are expected to debate:

  • bilateral issues, such as the political and economic situation, the strategic partnership, security and the strengthening of trade relations;

  • multilateral questions, such as sustainable development, climate change and human rights;

  • relations between the EU and the community of Latin American and the Caribbean states.

Trade and investment

A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between EU and Mexico entered into force in October 2000. The extensive agreement covers trade in goods and services and includes specific chapters on access to public procurement markets, competition, intellectual property rights and investment.

As a result of the agreement, there has been a significant growth in bilateral trade between the two parties, reaching a record high in excess of EUR 41 billion. As regards trade in goods, in 2011 EU exports to Mexico stood at EUR 23.8 billion, while the EU imports from Mexico amounted to EUR 16.3 billion, resulting in EUR 7.5 billion of trade surplus in favour of the EU. Similarly, bilateral trade in services totalled EUR 8.2 billion, with a surplus for the EU at EUR 2.0 billion – the figures referring to 2010, the latest available year for services and investments.

Since the entry into force of the agreement, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, too, have increased substantially in both directions. In 2010, EU companies held EUR 81 billion of FDI stocks in Mexico, making the EU the second largest source of FDI in Mexico. Building on these important achievements, the EU is ready to further develop the trade and investment relationship with Mexico and to upgrade the FTA.

The EU also sees Mexico as a key ally in the fight to counter the risks of protectionism in Latin America and globally. The trade policy of both the EU and Mexico is a testimony of the shared commitment to live up to the G-20 commitments to fight protectionism and to pursue an open trade regime as an essential part of their economic policy.

Moreover, the EU and Mexico strongly support the strengthening of the multilateral trading system, and are committed to advancing the Doha Development Agenda negotiations as rapidly as possible, in view of concluding them at the earliest opportunity focussing on areas where agreements are within reach, such as Trade Facilitation and other areas of concerns for Least Developed Countries.

A strategic partnership

Mexico was the first Latin American country to sign a partnership agreement with the EU in 1997. The Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement ("Global Agreement") has three main pillars: political dialogue, trade and cooperation. It entered into force in 2000 and has established closer bilateral political links and shared values, such as democracy and human rights.

During the last years, both partners have reinforced the political dialogue on global challenges and socioeconomic issues, security and environmental problems. In this context, they established a strategic partnership in 2008, with regular consultations and summits held every two years. At the 2010 EU-Mexico summit, the two parties adopted a joint executive plan for the strategic partnership (9820/10). The plan sets out joint political objectives and mechanisms for working together to achieve them.

Human rights

The EU-Mexico human rights dialogue has been reinforced during the last years so as to strengthen cooperation in promoting effective protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. The dialogue comprises annual meetings, consultations and exchange of information between both parties bilaterally and in the framework of the relevant UN human rights fora. The most recent session of the EU-Mexico human rights dialogue was held in March 2011.

Climate change

The EU and Mexico are close allies in the fight against climate change. Both parties have cooperated towards the ambitious agreements at the UN Climate Change conference (COP 16) in December 2010 in Cancun and in Durban in 2011 (COP 17). The EU is currently running three projects in cooperation with Mexico, the aim of which is to measure greenhouse gas emissions and to promote sustainable forest management.

In addition, the EU and Mexico hold an annual high-level dialogue on environment and climate change, to exchange ideas and identify areas for bilateral cooperation, such as greening the economy, biodiversity or sustainable development.

Security

The EU and Mexico are committed to cooperating in the field of security and justice. Both parties hold a regular dialogue on public security and law enforcement so as to exchange information and enhance cooperation on a range of issues, including public security, the fight against drug trafficking, organised crime and terrorism, combating cybercrime and collaboration in related multilateral fora.

Cooperation

EU-Mexico cooperation, with a budget of EUR 55 million for the years 2007 to 2013, focuses on three priority areas:

  • Social cohesion and dialogue in related policy areas. Pilot projects aim at fostering legislative and administrative change.

  • Economy and competitiveness, aimed at promoting trade and investment, with a particular focus on the development of SMEs.

  • Education and culture, with the main areas being higher education and activities to promote mutual knowledge and cultural exchanges. Students from Mexico for instance participate in the EU's Erasmus Mundus programme.


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