Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Brussels, 18 July 2023

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The [EU-CELAC] Summit is going well.  Yesterday, we launched the [EU-LAC] Digital Alliance. We signed agreements with three Latin American countries [Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador]. 

I am coming back from the ‘Progressive leaders’ meeting called by Pedro Sánchez, as President of the International Socialist [and Prime Minister of Spain]. There are a lot of bilaterals, a lot of side events.

Yesterday, for example, President [of France, Emmanuel] Macron called for a meeting between the government and the opposition of Venezuela to discuss about how could we go to holding elections in an inclusive manner, free elections that could be recognised by the international community. There was not a lot of progress, but at least the two of them were talking together.

I offered again the possibility of sending an Electoral Observation Mission (EOM), as long as the recommendations that we made last time were taken into consideration.

This is, I think, a good meeting. The fact that almost everybody is here represents an encounter between the Latin American [and Caribbean] community and Europeans in order to relaunch our association on better bases. That is a good thing. I am very happy.

This was an important thing for me to do [and] it is happening. The result will for sure be a good way of working together on the friendship, the association. Working together – all the Latin Americans [and Caribbeans] and the Europeans. 

Q. Has the Venezuelan Vice-President agreed to have the European observers for the elections? 

No, it was not decided. I just offered this possibility, making clear that we have already been there with an Electoral Observation Mission (EOM). And it was a risky decision for me to send this Electoral Observation Mission. They went, they observed, they made a good statement on how the elections were taking place and also giving some advice, considerations [and] suggestions in order to improve the process.

Q. How about the European Union – Mercosur agreement? Any news? Yesterday, there was a meeting between the Foreign Ministers from Mercosur with the Trade Commissioner [Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis]. How was it? 

Well, there is not going to be a breakthrough on the Mercosur agreement today. But, for the first time at least, there are two draft papers – the proposal from the European side and the counterproposal on the Latin American side – in order to look at the environmental question. It is not going to be a breakthrough, but it is going to be a clear will to continue working on the basis of the two proposals. I am sure that, before the end of the year, we could reach an agreement.

Q. Yesterday, have you spoken about Russia’s decision [regarding] the Grain Deal? 

Yes, we talked about it. It is really very bad news, this is one of the worst news for the world. The fact that once again, the Ukrainian grain cannot go out of Ukraine, it means that hundreds of thousands of people around the world will be deprived of basic food. I think this deserves some action at the level of the General Assembly of the United Nations. We cannot sit and just complain. They [Russia] are using hunger as a weapon. This is one of the worst things that Putin could have done, and he did [it]. So, it requires [a] strong answer from the international community. 

Q. What is the main issue with this Communiqué? Why not all countries agree in terms of Russia to make some conclusions? What are their arguments? 

We are still not at the end of the day. I am sure we will get a good decision at the end. You will see.

Q. ¿Para Colombia – cómo ha avanzado hasta ahora la Cumbre? ¿Qué nos puede contar? 

Muy bien. Creo que muy bien. El presidente de Colombia [Gustavo Petro] ha estado aquí, ha hecho una contribución importante. Es muy importante que hayan estado aquí casi todos los líderes de América Latina [y el Caribe] con todos los líderes europeos. Ha habido una conversación sobre Venezuela, otra sobre la Alianza Digital. Estamos acabando de perfilar la declaración final. Se han firmado acuerdos de colaboración. Se han puesto sobre la mesa, francamente – y se seguirán poniendo – las cuestiones que nos interesan. Creo que podemos cooperar mucho más y mucho mejor. Desde una posición de igualdad, utilizando los recursos y capacidades de unos y de otros de una forma complementaria, abandonando cualquier tentación extractivista hacia América Latina. Haciendo que pueda tener la oportunidad de dar valor añadido a sus minerales y a sus productos naturales. Creo que el encuentro en sí era absolutamente necesario y tendrá una gran repercusión en el futuro de nuestras relaciones.

Q. A propósito de la reunión con Venezuela, ¿qué detalles nos puede contar al respecto? 

Bueno, poca cosa más de lo que ya he contado. El gobierno y la oposición se sentaron juntos, dialogaron. Hay que ver de qué manera podemos conseguir absolutamente – bueno, los venezolanos tienen que conseguir – que las próximas elecciones sean elecciones libres, democráticas e inclusivas que puedan ser reconocidas por la comunidad internacional.

Q. ¿Han aceptado una observación internacional? 

El objetivo lo comparten. Lo que hay que saber es cómo. 

Link to the video (starting at 0:34):  

Source – EEAS

EU-CELAC Summit: towards a closer, stronger and renewed partnership between both regions


Brussels, 18 July 2023

On 17 and 18 July, the European Union and the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean states (CELAC) held their 3rd Summit in Brussels. The meeting gathered Heads of State and Government of the EU Member States and of the 33 CELAC states for the first time in eight years.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said:

“This EU-CELAC Summit felt like a new beginning between old friends. These are times of great geopolitical change and like-minded friends like the EU and Latin American and Caribbean partners need to get closer. This is what we are doing with our new Global Gateway Investment Agenda, under which we will invest more than €45 billion in the region. We want to bring benefits to local communities, and create value chains locally, in the region. This is the spirit of our partnership.”

The series of meetings started with an EU-LAC Business Round Table on Monday morning, where President von der Leyen presented the EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda (GGIA). It includes more than 135 projects to make the fair green and digital transition a reality on both sides of the Atlantic and revolves around four pillars: a fair green transition, an inclusive digital transformation, human development and health resilience and vaccines.

On this occasion, the President announced that Team Europe committed over €45 billion to support the reinforced partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean until 2027. The Summit further strengthened the partnership between the EU and the CELAC countries on shared priorities, such as the digital and green transitions, the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss, health, food security, migration, security and governance or the fight against transnational crime.

During the Summit, the EU stepped up its energy cooperation with Argentina and Uruguay with the signature of two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU). The former sets out key areas of cooperation, including renewable energy, hydrogen, methane emissions abatement and stresses the need to provide a socially just energy transition. The latter highlights renewable energy, energy efficiency and renewable hydrogen as key areas of cooperation as both the EU and Uruguay strive to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

As part of the EU’s Global Gateway strategy, during the EU-CELAC Summit, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Banco Santander signed a €300 million loan to support the installation of a series of small-scale self-consumption solar photovoltaic plants in Brazil. Similarly, the EIB also announced a €200 million loan to Banco del Estado de Chile to finance new houses with better energy efficiency standards and a €100 million loan to support Chile’s growing renewable hydrogen industry.

The EU also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chile on establishing a partnership on sustainable raw materials value chains, which will contribute to Europe’s security of supply while creating jobs and growth in Chile.

In the digital domain, the EU and Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay agreed to deepen their partnership by establishing an EU–LAC Digital Alliance. It provides a framework for cooperation on digital matters for the benefit of the citizens of both regions and reasserts the commitment to the digital transition.

On the margins of the Summit, the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell signed, on behalf of the EU, three Memorandums of Understanding on bilateral consultations with Honduras, El Salvador and Ecuador, providing frameworks for deepening cooperation efforts and engaging in dialogue on common agendas.

To respond to the unprecedented increase in humanitarian needs in Haiti, the EU also announced the release of an emergency funding of €10 million. It will enable humanitarian organisations to step up the response and tackle the most urgent needs, primarily focusing on food and nutrition.

President von der Leyen‘s press remarks at the joint press conference following the Summit will be available here shortly. You can follow the press conference live on EbS.

For More Information

Commission presents Global Gateway Investment Agenda with Latin America and Caribbean

EU-CELAC Summit: EU and Argentina step up cooperation on clean energy transition and energy security

Global Gateway: EU and Chile strengthen cooperation on sustainable critical raw materials supply chains

Haiti: EU releases €10 million to tackle unprecedented humanitarian crisis

Honduras: Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral consultations with the EU signed in Brussels

El Salvador: Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral consultations with the EU signed in Brussels

Ecuador: Signature of Memorandum of Understanding for stronger bilateral relations with the EU

Brazil: EIB lends €300 million to Banco Santander Brasil for small-scale solar energy investments

Chile: EIB to finance climate action projects in Chile with more than €300 million including its first green mortgage loan outside Europe


Source – EU Commission


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