Latin America and the Caribbean: Council approves conclusions on EU-LAC relations

Today, the Council approved conclusions on relations between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), in which it stresses that, by joining forces, the EU and LAC can make a meaningful difference in promoting sustainable growth, building fair and resilient societies and advancing peace and security, inclusive multilateralism and the rules-based international order.

Recognising that the inclusive and constructive dialogue during the recent EU-CELAC Summit allowed both regions to better understand each other’s priorities, the Council welcomes the bi-regional roadmap 2023-2025 presented at the Summit, and encourages the parties to promptly set up the agreed consultative coordination instance to advance shared commitments.

The conclusions highlight that, at multilateral level, the EU and LAC are natural partners and should further strengthen their cooperation in addressing regional and global challenges, including the global climate and environmental crises. The EU is committed to working with LAC partners for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as on the reform of global governance, including the international financial architecture, to make it more inclusive and effective.

The Council recognises the importance of strengthening and developing EU-LAC trade, with the full implementation of existing agreements and ratification of agreements signed. The Council welcomes the imminent signature of the modernised EU agreement with Chile, looks forward to the rapid finalisation of the modernised agreement with Mexico and takes note of the ongoing work between the EU and Mercosur.

The Council welcomes the EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda to advance a fair, green, digital transition as a demonstration of the shared priorities of the EU and LAC, underpinned by transparency and the highest environmental and social standards. The EU is working with LAC partners to promote a responsible human-centric and rights-based model of inclusive digital transformation through the EU-LAC Digital Alliance.

The full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, including by keeping the 1,5°C goal within reach, remains a key shared EU-LAC objective. The EU will work with LAC partners to establish a global pledge to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency efforts at the global level by 2030.

The Council calls for EU-LAC cooperation on justice and security at all levels to tackle transnational organised crime, and reaffirms the importance of promoting, protecting and respecting all human rights and fundamental freedoms, along with strengthening the rule of law and democracy, including free, fair and transparent elections. The Council recommends stepping up joint work to promote social cohesion and gender equality.

The EU will continue its engagement with LAC on Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine, including on its repercussions experienced also far outside of Europe.

In the EU-CELAC summit declaration, leaders from both regions expressed deep concern at the ongoing war against Ukraine, and expressed support for all diplomatic efforts aimed at a just and sustainable peace in line with the UN charter. The EU will continue its engagement with LAC countries and seek their support for Ukraine’s Peace Formula, including through an upcoming Global Peace Summit, the accountability for war crimes, crime of aggression and other most serious crimes committed during the war as well as for countering Russia’s disinformation.

Background and next steps

On 7 June 2023 the High Representative and the European Commission adopted a Joint Communication setting out a New Agenda for Relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean. It proposes a stronger and modernised strategic partnership, through reinforced political engagement, boosting trade and investment, and building more sustainable, fair and inter-connected societies through Global Gateway investments.

On 17-18 July 2023, the third EU-CELAC summit (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) was held, in which the partners’ bi-regional relationship was relaunched at the highest level. The summit set out an ambitious and forward-looking common agenda to be implemented in the ensuing years. A bi-regional 2023-25 roadmap with an indicative list of joint events was presented at the Summit.

The next bi-regional CELAC-EU summit will take place in Colombia in 2025.