Press statement by President von der Leyen with Brazilian President Lula da Silva

Dear President Lula,

It is a pleasure for me to have you here in Brussels, after the very warm welcome I received in Brasilia last month. I want to thank you for your participation to the EU-CELAC Summit. Your presence adds to a historic dimension. This is the first Summit between the European Union and our Latin American and Caribbean partners in eight years. The world has certainly changed during that time. We went through a global pandemic, we have a major war on European soil, and we are confronted with the generational challenge of climate change. So we need our close friends to be at our side in these uncertain times.

Therefore, I welcome Brazil‘s re-emergence as a major actor on the global stage. It is timely, and it is already giving positive momentum to the strategic partnership between our two regions. We want to work hard hand in hand with you to address the biggest challenges of our time. We want to discuss today how to connect further our people; how to connect further our businesses; how to de-risk, strengthen and diversify our supply chains; and how to modernise our economies in ways that reduce inequalities and benefit all.

All of this is within reach if we get the EU-MERCOSUL agreement across the finish line. Our ambition is to settle any remaining differences as soon as possible, so that we can conclude this agreement.We want to be a partner that has with you a win-win agreement of which both sides benefit.

In the meantime, I am glad to announce that the European Union will invest strongly in Latin America and the Caribbean. And we will invest in a way that benefits local communities and creates good jobs. In a few minutes, we will open the Business Round Table and we will discuss with business partners about these investments and how to achieve the best results.

Once again, a very warm welcome here to Brussels. It is a pleasure to have you, President Lula.