Brussels, 10 March 2014
Vice President Tajani attends Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in Chile
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani will travel to Chile to attend the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of Michelle Bachelet on behalf of the European Union today and tomorrow 10th and 11th March. Vice President Tajani will congratulate the President on her election victory and reaffirm the EU's commitment to maintain and further strengthen the already excellent relations with Chile. He will also reiterate the commitment of the EU to maintain good economic relations, as the EU is the second largest trading partner of Chile and the first provider of foreign investment.
Discussions will focus on exploring new areas for cooperation. The recent signing of the agreement to facilitate Chile's participation in crisis management operations of the EU is a good example of how Chile and the EU can work well together. Chile has requested EU support for the reform of education in its country. The EU stands ready to do more in this area on the basis of current and future programmes of cooperation (including Erasmus+ and the EU-Chile Partnership).
Moreover, further EU priorities in its relations with Chile include:
In the margins of the event, Vice President Tajani will meet with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Francisco Alvarez de Soto. The meeting takes place in the context of the resolution of the commercial dispute between the Canal Authority and the construction consortium.
VP Tajani will meet with President Ollanta Humala of Peru to follow up on well- established cooperation on SMEs and explore further initiative to promote business between the EU and Peru in the context of the Multi Party trade Agreement being implemented since 2013.
VP Tajani will also meet with the President of Uruguay, José Mujica, to discuss intensifying further the existing SME dialogue and discuss the decision to establish a dedicated SME working group on the occasion of the forthcoming EU–Uruguay Joint Cooperation Committee. VP Tajani will also be ready to discuss possible cooperation in further policy areas, on the basis of the Letters of Intent signed in 2011 in five areas: tourism, SME dialogue Industrial Cooperation, Industrial Standardisation, and Policy dialogue on Raw Materials.
In the area of SMEs, a Letter of Intent was signed in 2011 and a Mission for Growth with participation of EU businesses was held by Vice-President Tajani in 2013 (MEMO/13/26). The cooperation aims at encouraging the promotion of clusters and business networks to boost SME internationalisation. In this context, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Eurochile and the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) in December 2013.
Other areas of common interest between the EU and Chile are defence and security issues (cooperation in peace keeping, organised crime), human rights, research and innovation disaster preparedness and multilateral issues (climate change, human rights, sustainable development). Climate change is particularly important in the perspective of the Conference of the Parties in Lima next December.
Chile is eligible for EU cooperation under regional and thematic instruments such as the Partnership Instrument and the DCI Regional Programme for Latin America education.
More information: http://eeas.europa.eu/chile/index_en.htm