International Network of Human Rights | Europe
Réseau International des Droits Humains | Europe
Red Internacional de Derechos Humanos | Europa

Latin America and the Caribbean: Approved Conclusions of the Council on EU- LAC Relations to Strengthen Cooperation

On November 21, 2023, the Council approved conclusions regarding the relations between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

On November 21, 2023, the Council approved conclusions regarding the relations between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In this context, the importance of joint collaboration between the EU and LAC is emphasized, recognizing its potential to have a significant impact on promoting sustainable growth, building equitable and resilient societies, as well as fostering peace and security, strengthening inclusive multilateralism, and consolidating international order based on norms.

Acknowledging that the inclusive and constructive dialogue during the recent EU-CELAC Summit has provided both regions with a better understanding of mutual priorities, the Council welcomes the bi-regional roadmap 2023-2025 presented at that meeting. Furthermore, it urges both parties to quickly establish the agreed-upon coordinating advisory body, with the purpose of swiftly advancing shared commitments.

The conclusions highlight the nature of the EU-LAC partnership at the multilateral level, emphasizing the need to further strengthen their cooperation to address both regional and global challenges, including global climate and environmental crises. The European Union commits to closely collaborating with its LAC partners in implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also commits to participating in the reform of global governance, addressing aspects such as international financial architecture, with the aim of making it more inclusive and efficient.

The Council recognizes the vital importance of strengthening and promoting trade between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-LAC), advocating for the full implementation of existing agreements and the ratification of those that have been signed. Additionally, it celebrates the imminent signing of the modernized agreement between the EU and Chile, looks forward to the timely conclusion of the modernized agreement with Mexico, and takes note of the ongoing progress in negotiations between the EU and Mercosur.

The Council expresses satisfaction with the Investment Agenda of the EU-LAC Global Gateway, aimed at promoting an equitable and sustainable digital transition. This agenda reflects shared priorities between the EU and LAC, supported by high standards of transparency and environmental and social regulations.

The EU closely collaborates with its partners in LAC to promote an inclusive, responsible, people-centered, and rights-based model of digital transformation through the EU-LAC Digital Alliance. The full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, with the continued goal of limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C, remains a fundamental shared objective between the EU and LAC. The EU commits to working jointly with its LAC partners to achieve a global commitment that triples renewable energy capacity and doubles global efforts in energy efficiency by 2030.

The Council calls for strong cooperation between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-LAC) in the areas of justice and security, addressing transnational organized crime. It also reiterates the importance of promoting, protecting, and respecting all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as strengthening the rule of law and democracy, including conducting free, fair, and transparent elections. Emphasis is placed on the recommendation to intensify collaboration to promote social cohesion and gender equality.

The EU will maintain its commitment to LAC regarding Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine, considering its repercussions outside of Europe.

In the joint declaration of the EU-CELAC summit, leaders from both regions expressed deep concern about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and voiced support for diplomatic efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace in accordance with the United Nations Charter. The EU will continue its commitment to LAC countries, seeking their support for the Ukraine Peace Formula, including through an upcoming World Summit for Peace. Accountability for war crimes, aggression, and other serious crimes committed during the conflict will also be pursued, along with countering disinformation from Russia.

Context and Future Actions

On June 7, 2023, the High Representative and the European Commission took a significant step by adopting a Joint Communication establishing a New Agenda for Relations between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean. This proposal aims to strengthen and modernize the strategic partnership between both regions through enhanced political engagement, boosting trade and investment, and building more sustainable, fair, and interconnected societies through Global Gateway investments.

Between July 17 and 18, 2023, the third EU-CELAC Summit (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) took place, marking a milestone by reaffirming the birregional relationship of the partners. The summit established an ambitious and forward-looking common agenda detailed in the bi-regional roadmap 2023-2025, presenting an indicative list of joint actions for the coming years.

Looking ahead, the next CELAC-EU bi-regional summit is scheduled to take place in Colombia in 2025, consolidating the ongoing commitment of both regions to implementing the agreed agenda and strengthening their strategic collaboration.