Category Archives: Latin America

REGIONAL COOPERATION
MERCOSUR (Common Market of South America)
Regional strategy for Mercosur 2007-2013
Interregional Framework Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and Mercosur
Bilateral framework agreements for cooperation with the Mercosur countries
Enhancing the EU’s policy on Mercosur
Andean Community
Regional strategy for CAN 2007-2013
EEC-Andean Community Cooperation Agreement
BILATERAL RELATIONS
Brazil
Strategy for Brazil 2007-2013
Towards an EU-Brazil strategic partnership
Mexico
EC-Mexico Global Cooperation Agreement
Towards an EU-Mexico strategic partnership
Chile
Strategy for Chile 2007-2013
EC-Chile Association Agreement
Venezuela
Strategy for Venezuela 2007-2013
GENERAL FRAMEWORK
Renewed partnership with Latin America
Regional strategy for Latin America 2007-2013
A stronger partnership with Latin America

Regional strategy for Central America 2007-2013

Regional strategy for Central America 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regional strategy for Central America 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Regional strategy for Central America 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Central America Regional Strategy Paper for 2007-2013 .

Summary

The regional strategy paper (RSP) for 2007-2013 defines the objectives and priorities for cooperation at regional level in Central America. It supplements the country strategy papers (CSPs) established for each country in the region, i.e. Costa Rica , Salvador , Guatemala , Honduras , Nicaragua and Panama .

The RSP is also part of a strategic partnership with the region. The European Union (EU) intends to support the regional integration process in Central America, in particular within the framework of a future association agreement, including a free trade agreement. The RSP is based on the experience gained from the RSP for 2002-2006 , from which it learnt a number of lessons.

The region shares common political, economic, social and environmental challenges related mainly to:

  • strengthening democracy (human rights, rule of law and justice system, public sector management, strengthening the role of civil society and political parties);
  • security in the region, which is experiencing increasing insecurity, whether as regards common law delinquency, organised crime, drug trafficking or money laundering;
  • economic development, which requires further integration into the world economy, progress at regional internal market level, improved productivity and competitiveness, and a regional environment that is suitable for foreign investment;
  • further social cohesion, as a means of combating a high level of poverty, inequality and social discrimination;
  • protection of the environment given the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters, unsustainable natural resource exploitation (forests, biodiversity, mines), and the development of renewable energy against the background of high dependency on fossil fuels.

The following challenges associated with regional integration should also be added: weakness of regional institutions, insufficient political will, lack of harmonisation of policies and structures, insufficient funding and the absence of a dispute settlement mechanism.

EU response strategy

The strategy and the indicative programme identify three priority areas for cooperation, defined in conjunction with partner countries, regional authorities, delegations and EU Member States present in Central America.

The objective of the first component is to strengthen the institutional system with a view to regional integration (capacities, funding, structure and functioning). It concerns the agents of regional integration, e.g. regional organisations, coordination organisations or national entities.

The second component concerns support for economic integration leading to a cu4stoms union. The intensification of trade, a regional regulatory approach and convergence of support policies (free movement of goods and services, property rights, investment, health and plant health standards, etc.) are specific priorities.

The last component concerns the strengthening of regional governance and security matters. Cooperation between national authorities (customs, police, justice etc) will promote regional integration. Specific programmes are possible, e.g., for the prevention of crime, the improvement of mutual knowledge of Member States’ judicial and regulatory systems, and joint operations at the frontiers.

The programmes incorporate cross-cutting issues such as equal opportunities, the environment and human rights. Moreover, civil society is involved in planning in order to encourage social ownership of the integration process and the visibility of EU action.

Implementation details

The beneficiaries of cooperation are the entities of the Central American Integration System (SICA, SIECA, PARLACEN (ES)), intergovernmental organisations and commissions, national organisations and members of civil society participating in the regional integration process.

Indicative funding under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) amounts to 75 million, allocated according to the priorities and the indicative programmes for 2007-2010 and 2011-2013. Other instruments may also contribute to funding, such as thematic funding (human rights and democracy, environmental conservation, co-funding by non state actors) or regional programmes for Latin America.

Performance indicators will be defined during the elaboration of aid programmes.

Background

This paper is included within the context of development cooperation (Article 117 of the Treaty establishing the European Community) and the Development Consensus.

It is based on the Framework Agreement for political dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Central America (1993), reviewed in 2003. It is also included in the political dialogue initiated by the San José dialogue. Generally speaking, the dialogue between the EU and Latin America has been the subject of a number of summits; the most recent one was held in Vienna in 2006 (Vienna Agreement 2006) gave rise to a Commission Communication on a reinforced partnership with Latin America (2005).

 

Renewed partnership with Latin America

Renewed partnership with Latin America

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Renewed partnership with Latin America

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Renewed partnership with Latin America

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 30 September 2009 – The European Union and Latin America: Global Players in Partnership [COM(2009) 495 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission presents a new strategy for deepening cooperation between the European Union and the countries of Latin America. The priorities of the previous stronger partnership must be renewed in view of the regional and global issues facing the continent.

These issues include the effects of the international economic crisis, fluctuations in food prices, climate change and the fight against crime. This new commitment also aims to increase the partners’ membership of international organisations.

The Commission presents a series of recommendations to be considered during the 2010 EU-Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Summit.

Bi-regional dialogue

Dialogue with LAC countries must be further strengthened, at strategic, political and sectoral levels. To this end, the Commission’s recommendations are to:

  • adopt policy action priorities during the LAC Summits, ensuring they are consistent with those defined during the Ministerial Meetings;
  • step up political dialogue on global issues, such as economic questions, security, human rights, the environment, climate change, energy, research and innovation;
  • develop cooperation and dialogue on combating drugs and managing migration;
  • open up the dialogue to all stakeholders involved in the fields of knowledge and innovation.

Regional integration and interconnectivity

The strategy supports the regional integration of the countries of Latin America, as a factor for sustainable development and growth. This can be achieved through:

  • sub-regional integration processes, as in the case of the countries of Central America and the Andean Community;
  • institutional initiatives at continent level such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR (ES)).

In addition, the creation of the Latin America Investment Facility (LAIF) shall enable interconnections and infrastructures to be developed. This financing should also support the development of businesses and the social and environmental sectors.

Bilateral dialogue and cooperation

The strategy also provides for a deepening of relations between the EU and each country in Latin America, particularly in areas of common interest. The Commission’s recommendations are to:

  • harness the potential of existing cooperation agreements;
  • conclude free trade agreements, specifically as part of trade negotiations with Chile and Mexico;
  • support regional groupings between countries in Latin America.

Cooperation programmes

Cooperation actions are partly carried out under European development policies. Tackling poverty and sustainable development remain priority objectives. The strategy also encourages different types of cooperation.

In this regard, the Commission’s recommendations are to:

  • carry out actions which promote low-carbon, sustainable growth, employment and better income distribution and to mitigate the effects of the crisis;
  • assess the potential of cooperation instruments, such as the Financing Instrument for Development Cooperation (DCI) or the financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories (ICI);
  • encourage cooperation in the field of social cohesion, particularly through the EUROsociAL Programme, and in the fields of justice, freedom and security.

Related Acts

Madrid Declaration , Sixth EU-LAC Summit, Madrid, Spain, 18 May 2010.

Towards an EU-Mexico strategic partnership

Towards an EU-Mexico strategic partnership

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Towards an EU-Mexico strategic partnership

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External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Towards an EU-Mexico strategic partnership

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 15 July 2008 – Towards an EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership Communication [COM(2008) 447 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) and Mexico plan to establish a strategic partnership in order to extend the scope of their cooperation and political relationship. The two partners wish to improve their coordination on issues of common interest which have both a regional and global dimension.

Relations between the EU and Mexico are based on an agreement called the “Global Agreement”, which covers political dialogue, trade, cooperation and sectoral policies.

Political dialogue on two levels

Firstly, the new strategic framework lends additional impetus to political bilateral relations in the economic, social, human rights, security, environment, culture, education and also trade, competition, civil aviation and investment sectors.

Secondly, political dialogue is used in the context of multilateral relations, particularly within international organisations. The EU and Mexico may encourage exchanges between experts and policy-makers with a view to creating strategic alliances in the following areas:

  • political, concerning the rule of law, human rights, cultural dialogue and regional integration;
  • socioeconomic, concerning development policy, investment, innovation, intellectual property rights, social policy, migration, good governance in the area of tax, energy security and transport;
  • security, relating to the fight against terrorism, organised crime, drug and human trafficking;
  • environment, relating to climate change and natural disasters.

Bilateral discussions are taking place within institutional structures provided for by the global agreement (summits, joint councils and committees), and through thematic political dialogues (human rights, the environment, security, social cohesion, etc.).

Context

Over the last two decades, Mexico has experienced significant socio-economic modernisation. Its economic competitiveness has increased and the country has become attractive to foreign investors, despite worsening security conditions.

Mexico can and should play an increasingly significant role globally, particularly as a cultural, political and regional gateway to South America, and also as a link between the industrialised countries and the emerging countries.

Strategy for Chile 2007-2013

Strategy for Chile 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for Chile 2007-2013

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Strategy for Chile 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Chile Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

This Paper defines the priorities for cooperation and dialogue between the European Union and Chile for the period 2007-2013.

This strategy aims to deepen the relationship established by the 2002 Association Agreement and to identify new areas of common interest to the partners.

Areas of cooperation

Cooperation on matters of social cohesion should meet the aims of sustainable development and should contribute to social, economic and environmental development. Despite the modernisation of Chilean society, social inequalities remain and public policies must be strengthened.

The EU can support social reforms in Chile through technical assistance measures and exchanges of experience and information. In this respect, the intervention priorities concern:

  • fairer social and fiscal redistribution;
  • access to employment, health care, education, social protection and justice;
  • reduced inequalities between gender, ethnic origin and regions;
  • promotion of social dialogue;
  • the integration of social and environmental projects.

Cooperation on matters of innovation and competitiveness is based on the Association Agreement and coordinated with the activities provided for by theResearch and Development Framework Programme.

Joint action shall encourage research and development, which contributes towards business productivity, employment and the competitiveness of the country in global trade. The strategy therefore proposes actions to:

  • bring Chilean regulations closer to those of the EU with regard to industrial products and European and international sanitary and phytosanitary standards;
  • establish exchanges of experience between enterprises and promote small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • promote scientific and technological transfer;
  • develop effective and sustainable energy policies;
  • promote the protection and diffusion of intellectual property rights;
  • place environmental protection at the centre of research strategies.

Cross-cutting actions

Furthermore, the joint strategy provides for cross-cutting actions to promote gender equality, environmental protection and combating discrimination against the indigenous population.

Strategy for Venezuela 2007-2013

Strategy for Venezuela 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for Venezuela 2007-2013

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Strategy for Venezuela 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Venezuela Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

The Commission presents the priorities for cooperation and dialogue aimed at strengthening the existing relationship between the European Union (EU) and Venezuela.

The relationship between the partners is conducted at the regional level, specifically to increase integration and social cohesion between Venezuela and its neighbouring States, and at a bilateral level in order to support the public reforms of the country.

Cross-cutting priorities are also identified in order to ensure that environmental protection, human rights and the equal treatment of men and women are taken into account.

However, in order to respond to the most immediate development needs of the country, the partners also detail specific areas for cooperation.

Modernisation of the State

As a priority, bilateral cooperation shall support measures which aim to improve the functioning of public services, the judicial system and the rule of law. In addition, the EU shall support general modernisation of the public administration, good management of public expenditure and the participation of civil society in public life.

Economic reform

The strategy supports Venezuela’s efforts for economic diversification, the effects of which are favourable for business competitiveness and for the integration of the country in regional and international trade.

Furthermore, in order to promote equitable growth in the long term, several aspects of economic life still need to be improved, specifically:

  • training and skills development for employees;
  • the legal environment, favourable to foreign investment and to trade development.

A stronger partnership with Latin America

A stronger partnership with Latin America

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A stronger partnership with Latin America

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

A stronger partnership with Latin America

At the fourth EU-Latin America/Caribbean Summit, which was held in Vienna in May 2006, the Commission paved the way to revitalising its partnership with Latin America. By identifying the new challenges currently testing the strength of ties with Latin America, the Commission proposes a new European strategy in this regard. Specifically, it puts forward possible courses of action as regards political dialogue, trade and investment, stability and prosperity, cooperation and mutual understanding

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 8 December 2005 – A stronger partnership between the European Union and Latin America [COM(2005) 636 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

A strategy to strengthen the partnership between the European Union and Latin America seems to have become necessary in the light of changes in the two regions since the last general policy communication (1995).

Such a strengthened partnership is the EU’s way of reaffirming its interest in and support for Latin America, with whom its shares the common values of human rights, democracy and multilateralism. In this regard, international organisations such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) already serve as prime frameworks reflecting these values. The EU can share its experience with Latin America to help the region to deal with the changes it has faced. It can also draw on its experience to help strengthen stability and security.

At the heart of this strategy (the detailed version of which is annexed to the Communication) is the Commission’s intention to reinforce its involvement in several fields, from the fight against social inequality to establishing an economy mindful of sustainable development.

The Commission recommends an approach whereby each Latin American party is an interlocutor as well as a partner. Among these parties, particular emphasis is placed on subregions such as Mercosur, the Andean Community and Central America. Relations with each country should be further tailored to take into account their particular circumstances. Such relations are organised along the lines of a distinction between the different countries in terms not just of their gross domestic product (GDP) but also of the role they play on the international stage (e.g. Brazil and Mexico).

Partnership

The idea of a bi-regional strategic partnership dates back to the first EU-Latin America / Caribbean Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1999. The idea has since become a reality in the form of strong relations in political, economic and cultural issues.

With this in mind, the Commission has set itself the following more or less long-term objectives:

  • establishing a network of association agreements (including free trade agreements), with the main aim of contributing to the integration of the region;
  • establishing genuine political dialogue to bolster the influence of both regions on the international scene;
  • developing effective sectoral dialogue with a view to reducing social inequality and promoting sustainable development;
  • reinforcing the framework designed to help Latin American countries attract more European investment, thereby contributing to economic development;
  • tailoring aid and cooperation to the needs of the countries involved;
  • increasing mutual understanding through education and culture.



Strategy to revitalise the partnership

The strategy to revitalise the partnership takes into account the new political, social and economic realities of both partners, given the changes that they have experienced since 1995. This enables priority courses of action to be determined.

It is essential to step up and focus political dialogue. Both partners advocate multilateralism in their relations, but need to be more visible both in the regions themselves and on the international stage. Political dialogue of this kind will enable them to conduct an efficient partnership, by giving a true picture of their respective strengths.

Political dialogue should be confined to a certain number of issues, particularly issues of common interest, such as UN reform, peace-keeping, crisis prevention or crisis situations in certain countries of the region.

It is necessary to foster a climate which is favourable to trade and investment between the two regions in order to improve market access and increase trade. The EU is the largest foreign investor in Latin America. However, despite significant trade and investment flows, the two regions’ growth potential should be better utilised.

In order to create such a climate, it is necessary to strengthen the multilateral framework provided by the WTO, which is based on the recognition of common rules. It is also necessary for the EU to negotiate association agreements with each country and free trade agreements with regions that are sufficiently integrated (such as Mercosur), and to tap the potential of existing association agreements with Mexico and Chile.

Businesses in both regions are directly involved. Latin American businesses may enjoy easier access to Europe’s markets, particularly by means of the Generalised System of Preferences. The onus is placed on regional integration in Latin America, which would enable it to stand up to European competition. Trade partners must also discuss how best to eliminate trade barriers.

For their part, European businesses should enjoy favourable legal conditions in Latin America. This will be achieved by stepping up the regulatory dialogue for the adoption of common rules and standards and strengthening macro-economic dialogue as a way to stimulate growth and investment in a context of macro-economic stability. The role of Europe’s cutting-edge sectors must be particularly strongly promoted as a way to contribute to the region’s development.

The EU wishes to support the region’s effort to ensure stability and prosperity, particularly as regards healthy democratic governance. Reducing social inequality (particularly poverty and exclusion), combating illegal drug trafficking and organised crime are tough challenges; such phenomena weaken democracy and split societies. Society itself should be more closely linked to democratic governance; environmental protection should also always be a consideration, given Latin America’s vast biodiversity.

Social cohesion should be factored into any action undertaken as part of the partnership with Latin America. Considered a point of common interest at the Guadalajara Summit (2004) and the Vienna Summit (2006), promoting social cohesion is seen as the way to fight poverty and inequality and to improve social integration through a combination of economic growth, higher employment, fairness and solidarity. Such cohesion should, in particular, be adapted to the specific circumstances of each country and subregion. In this regard, the Commission proposes to start bi-regional dialogue and to set a Social Cohesion Forum meeting every other year. It also intends closely to involve international organisations and private and state actors in the region. The Commission would like to see social cohesion become a priority issue of aid and development cooperation policy for the period 2007-2013.

Supporting democratic governance helps to modernise state government. The Commission proposes strengthening cooperation, increasing civil society’s and citizens’ participation in political life and setting up, on the basis of a proposal from the European Parliament, an EU-Latin America Transatlantic assembly.

Enhancing security is another area that the EU wishes to support. This concerns essentially the fight against drugs, which should be pursued on a basis of shared responsibility, and the fight against crime (including money laundering, corruption, etc.); these efforts should focus on transparency through good financial, fiscal and legal governance.

The EU also considers regional and subregional integration to be very important and actively supports it, e.g. through association and free trade agreements. Further regional integration should stimulate economic growth and investment. It depends on deeper territorial integration owing to the geographical configuration of the region; better infrastructure and interconnectivity networks in sectors such as transport, water and energy need to be developed. With the help of loans from the European Investment Bank, a newly-created Latin American facility should help develop and strengthen such networks.

Economic sustainable development essentially depends on sound natural resource management in order to ensure long-term prosperity for the region. The Commission therefore proposes enhancing cooperation and discussion on the environmental aspects of sustainable development, focusing specifically on climate change, energy, water, biodiversity and forests. It suggests that Environment Ministers should meet before each EU-LAC Summit and that discussion of such issues should be further encouraged within the UN.

Given the links between the two regions, they are well placed to engage in political dialogue on conflict prevention and crisis management.

With a view to improving development cooperation and mutual understanding between the EU and Latin America, the Commission puts forward several proposals which aim to:

  • focus on priority themes such as social cohesion and regional integration and to concentrate 2007-2013 aid and cooperation on specific sectors, the main objective being to combat poverty; furthermore, greater coordination of European aid should be achieved thanks to European consensus on development policy;
  • acknowledge the specific role of certain actors in the region, such as Brazil and Mexico, by setting up political dialogue and further tapping the potential of association agreements;
  • build an EU-LAC common area of higher education, particularly via the development of university exchanges under the Alßan, Alfa and Erasmus mundus programmes;
  • improve communication and the visibility of both regions in order to foster mutual understanding, particularly as regards cultural cooperation; organising a Europe Week in all Latin American countries could go some way to achieving this.

Related Acts

Vienna Declaration (PDF ) of 12 May 2006, Fourth EU-Latin America/Caribbean Summit.

Joint Declaration of 27 February 2006 on Implementation of the Latin American – European Union Strategic Partnership on Water and Sanitation Affairs (PDF ).

Towards an EU-Brazil strategic partnership

Towards an EU-Brazil strategic partnership

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Towards an EU-Brazil strategic partnership

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Towards an EU-Brazil strategic partnership

Document or Iniciative

Communication of the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, of 30 May 2007, entitled: “Towards an EU-Brazil strategic partnership” [COM(2007) 281 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) proposes a strategic partnership as a framework for strengthening relations with Brazil (launched at the Lisbon Summit of 4 July 2007). This strategic partnership aims to strengthen cooperation in areas of common interest. The regional and international role of Brazil makes it a key interlocutor for the EU.

The common agenda

Strengthening multilateralism is of common interest to the EU and Brazil given that it is particularly suitable for responding to global challenges. Closer cooperation at international fora (United Nations, World Trade Organisation) should also be considered through common positions and initiatives. Moreover, their actions should be better coordinated with respect to peace-building operations, support for a global non-proliferation regime or negotiations to conclude the Doha Round.

Both partners also share a common interest in fostering human rights, democracy and good governance through international standards and instruments, within the United Nations framework in particular. However, cooperation as regards these values should be improved.

Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and regional and social development constitute another area of common interest. Owing to Brazil’s commitment to the fight against poverty and inequalities, the two partners could cooperate in this area. Joint thematic programmes implemented by the two partners for social reforms or development could constitute suitable instruments and be extended to the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries (trilateral cooperation). Brazil has also implemented effective policies favouring social and regional development, which make the country less dependent on aid. Nevertheless, persistence of social and regional disparities could be the object of closer dialogue based on the exchange of experiences.

With the largest tropical rainforest in the world, Brazil is a crucial partner for environmental protection, as regards the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity in particular. The partners should join efforts within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 2010 target as regards biodiversity and negotiations for a post-2012 global agreement. Water management, the protection of the marine environment, the fight against pollution by mercury and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are also common challenges.

Continuation of the dialogue on energy launched in 2007 would strengthen cooperation at regulatory and technical levels and create new perspectives for energy security, viability and efficiency and also for sustainable development. In compliance with the EU’s energy mix by 2020, renewable energy and biofuels, for which Brazil plays a primary role, also constitute common challenges.

Latin America’s stability and prosperity will benefit from cooperation between the two partners. Brazil already plays an essential role in this area at bilateral and regional level. In this respect, social cohesion constitutes a framework for joint action, whether within the EU-LAC (Latin America – Caribbean) forum or international organisations and civil society.

Owing to its importance and influence, Brazil plays a leading role in regional integration within Mercosur which could benefit from EU experience within the framework of a strategic partnership. Integration of Mercosur is also a challenge for the EU, which wishes to strengthen its relations through a comprehensive and balanced agreement.

Bilateral commercial and economic relations should also be strengthened. The strategic partnership will strengthen cooperation and dialogue in areas of common interest having an impact on jobs and social cohesion. Clearer and more stable frameworks, bilateral agreements and the participation of Brazil in a number of Community programmes are all ways of strengthening relations. Emphasis will be placed on trade and investment by improving access to markets, on economic and financial issues, on the information society and the potential of information and communications technologies (ICT), on air and maritime transport, on science, technology and priority innovations and on satellite navigation (Galileo).

With respect to justice, freedom and security, the EU and Brazil should cooperate in combating organised crime, corruption, illegal migration and drug trafficking within bilateral and multilateral frameworks. A short stay visa waiver agreement should be concluded to guarantee reciprocal treatment of Brazilian and European citizens.

Finally, bringing people together is another aspect of the strategic partnership. Exchanges in the area of higher education supported by Community programmes (ALBAN, Erasmus Mundus and ALFA) should be strengthened. Cultural and linguistic diversity should be further promoted within international institutions such as UNESCO. Contact between civil society and business on both sides should also be encouraged via the “Youth in Action” programme or on the occasion of summits.

Context

The strategic partnership will deepen relations between the EU and Brazil, which are currently based on the 1992 framework cooperation agreement and the 1995 EU-Mercosur framework cooperation agreement.

Related Acts

Common declaration adopted at the EU-Brazil summit of 4 July 2007 in Lisbon

During their first summit in Lisbon, on 4 July 2007, the EU and Brazil launched their strategic partnership, whose implementation will be based on an action plan. The two partners are committed to a common response to global challenges (peace and security, reform of the United Nations, eradication of poverty, environment, energy, climate change, etc.) by strengthening their political dialogue and supporting multilateralism. At the same time, they have agreed to strengthen sectoral political dialogues (maritime transport, information society, environment, sustainable development), launch new dialogues (energy, employment and social affairs, regional development, culture and education) and establish a consultation mechanism for sanitary and phytosanitary issues. They have also agreed to expand and deepen their economic and trade relations (liberalise exchanges, facilitate investments, conclude an EU-Mercosur association agreement, launch a dialogue on macroeconomic and financial issues, etc.).

Regional strategy for Mercosur 2007-2013

Regional strategy for Mercosur 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regional strategy for Mercosur 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Regional strategy for Mercosur 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Regional Strategy Paper 2007-2013 for Mercosur .

Summary

The Regional Strategy Paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities of the cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur for the period 2007-2013. The aim is to deepen this cooperation, while at the same time adding a regional dimension to EU cooperation with each Mercosur Member State included in the Country Strategy Papers (CSPs), i.e. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay.

Challenges faced by Mercosur

Mercosur has been acquiring an increasingly strong political dimension. This boosts regional integration and the will of the leaders to link growth, social justice and people’s dignity to it. Mercosur has made considerable progress despite incomplete economic integration, trade disputes and disparities between the Member States. The region is raising its international standing by associating with other South American countries. The objective now is to make the region and its members leading world actors, alongside China, India and Russia.

Furthermore, Mercosur is the fourth largest economic grouping in the world, although Brazil alone accounts for 79 % of its GDP. The economies of the region have recovered after the financial crises, in particular thanks to improved competitiveness, better terms of trade, higher international commodities prices, exports and the improved economic environment. The fiscal position was improved during the crisis years to limit the inflationary impact. Nevertheless, despite many advances, the Mercosur countries remain vulnerable to international fluctuations in prices and interest rates, the world economic situation and their high public debt. They must persevere in areas linked to structural reform, fiscal consolidation, and the reduction of poverty and income inequality.

From 2002 to 2005, Mercosur’s intraregional trade accounted for 15 % of total trade. Only Brazil’s trade structure has been oriented towards world markets, whereas Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay are more dependent on their Mercosur partners. Its participation in world trade represented just 1.05 % of total trade during the same period. Nevertheless, Mercosur, led by Brazil, is trying to diversify trade flows to boost regional trade, in particular by signing the Mercosur-Andean Community Free Trade Agreement. Finally, NAFTA and the EU still account for the lion’s share of the trade of the region.

At social level, progress has been made in many areas, especially regarding health and literacy. The population growth of the region is around 1.1 %, with wide differences between individual countries. With economic growth, efforts should focus on increasing income and reducing poverty, which, with the rise in unemployment and social exclusion, experienced the backlash of the 1999-2002 recession.

At environmental level too, the varied and abundant ecosystems of the region are under threat. The initiatives in the field of environmental protection, biodiversity and ecosystems must be strengthened and pursue the objective of sustainable development.

Priority areas of the regional strategy 2007-2013

The first priority is to support Mercosur institutionalisation, which will allow the backlog to be made up in the incorporation and implementation of its legislation by its Member States. The nature of the EU’s experience and support for concrete institutional development projects at the Parliament, the Permanent Review Tribunal and the Secretariat of Mercosur will boost institutional effectiveness.

Deepening of Mercosur and implementation of a future EU-Mercosur Association Agreement form the second priority of the strategy. There is a need for deepening in the trade and economic fields and for completion of the customs union to progress towards the creation of an integrated regional market and, in this way, towards strengthening the organisation of Mercosur.

The aim of the implementation of the future Association Agreement is to boost the regional integration process and to facilitate its enforcement, especially as regards trade (customs and trade facilitation, acceptance of international standards, etc.). The trade aspects and trade-related assistance are dealt with at Mercosur level in this RSP in accordance with its integration plans and not at the level of the Member States, although their specific features are nevertheless taken into account. The actions will relate to fostering market integration, production, food security and food hygiene, involving the creation of a phytosanitary area, and environmental protection.

The objective of the third priority is to strengthen and enhance civil society participation, knowledge of the regional integration process, mutual understanding and mutual visibility. Regional integration must receive the support of civil society to give new impetus to integration and establish its legitimacy. In parallel, reinforcing the visibility of the EU will make it better known as a political actor and example of integration beyond trade aspects alone. To do this, actions focus essentially on the creation of ten EU-Mercosur study centres, the introduction of an operational plan for education 2006-2010, the cinematographic and audiovisual sector, and the organisation of seminars and workshops to promote the exchange of experience.

Terms and conditions

This RSP consists of a Regional Indicative Programme (RIP), which is the programming document for the assistance based on actions identified to achieve the three priorities of the RSP. One RIP has been drawn up for the period 2007-2010 and another for the period 2011-2013. The RSP in this way supplements the CSPs drawn up for each Mercosur country and the RSP in favour of Latin America [FR]. The financing of the two RIPs comes to EUR 50 million, of which EUR 10 million is allocated to financing projects from the previous RSP (2002-2006) in favour of education and information society and EUR 40 million to institutional support (10 % of the funds), deepening Mercosur and implementation of the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement (70 % of the funds) and civil society participation in the regional integration process (20 % of the funds). The present RSP comes under the financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI).

The activities receiving support are the following: assessments, programmes, strategies, studies, training, seminars, conferences, workshops, publications, statistics, training of staff and officials, creation of diplomas and study chairs, joint actions, dialogue, research, sub-regional cooperation and harmonisation of legislation and standards. Other activities will also be defined at the identification stage.

Results and success indicators are defined to measure the impact of the actions and projects. The partnerships formed, the activities carried out, the joint policies introduced, the food hygiene controls carried out, the meetings, conferences and studies organised or the pieces of legislation and standards harmonised are all indicators allowing effectiveness to be assessed.

Background

The EU-Mercosur cooperation is based on the Interregional Framework Cooperation Agreement with Mercosur and is part of the achievement of the objectives of the Rio Summit and its developments, as well as the strengthened partnership with Latin America. In this way, it ensures continuation of the priorities, results and experience based on the previous RSP for the period 2002-2006 .

Strategy for Brazil 2007-2013

Strategy for Brazil 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for Brazil 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Strategy for Brazil 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Brazil Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

This Country Strategy Paper (CSP) provides a strategic framework for cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Brazil for the period 2007-2013. It aims to support “soft” measures to reduce poverty and to improve the economic, political and environmental situation of the country.

Following an analysis of its situation, two cooperation priorities have been identified on the basis of Brazil’s requirements. The first priority is to stimulate exchanges, contacts and transfer of know-how between the EU and Brazil, with a view to improving social inclusion, achieving greater equality and improving mutual knowledge. The second priority consists of supporting projects to promote the environmental dimension of sustainable development.

Political, economic, social and environmental situation

Politically, Brazil is a stabilised democracy. A few challenges nevertheless remain, including putting together stable parliamentary majorities, strengthening the links between the three levels of government (Federal, State and municipal), fighting corruption and the unlawful use of public resources, improving the functioning of the judiciary system and the public administration, implementing the legislation in the field of human rights and combating violence, which is frequently associated with drug trafficking and social exclusion.

Economically, the country gives priority to macroeconomic stability. There has been a steep fall in the public debt, although this remains a source of vulnerability. Furthermore, private investment is hampered by high interest rates. On the other hand, the country has been very active on the external trade front.

Socially, the social and health indicators have improved. On the other hand, despite the progress made in access to education, there are still regional imbalances. In addition, wealth and income are very unequally distributed.

Brazil’s environment is one of the richest in the world. The country has to preserve the 6.5 million km2 Amazon basin and to combat deforestation, climate change, degradation of the quality of the water resources and urban pollution.

Two major priority themes

The first priority is to enhance bilateral relations. The objective is to support initiatives in the framework of the EU-Brazil sectoral dialogues that could contribute to enhancing social inclusion and achieving greater equality. The resources will be used to develop the dialogues and finance activities leading to better governance and policy-making. Enhancing EU-Brazil relations also aims to encourage mutual understanding and to promote the EU’s image in Brazil through academic exchanges and the establishment of a European Studies Institute in Brazil.

The second priority aims to promote the environmental dimension of sustainable development. Due to the scale and wealth of its biomes, Brazil has a major role to play in global environmental issues. The cooperation resources are therefore allocated to sustainable development. To this end, the EU undertakes to assist Brazil to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to comply with its commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention on Climate Change (pdf) [FR ] and the Kyoto Protocol. The EU also supports the efforts to curb deforestation and to manage the natural resources in a sustainable way. Finally, there is a need to step up the fight against poverty in rural areas, which is both the cause and the consequence of the degradation of the natural resources.

Terms and conditions

A budget amounting to EUR 61 million has been earmarked under the financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI) to implement the CSP. The development cooperation strategy will be defined in two national indicative programmes (NIPs), one covering the period 2007-2010 (65 % of the resources) and the other for 2011-2013 (35 % of the resources). For the whole period 2007-2013, it is proposed that 70 % of the resources be allocated to enhancing bilateral relations and 30 % to promoting the environmental dimension.

The following actions are supported: facility to support sectoral dialogues; profile-raising activities through the media; participation of experts and representatives of civil society of the EU and Brazil; higher education programmes for Brazil (funding scholarships and exchange of teachers); establishment of a European Studies Institute; actions to secure access to land for the local population, fostering of non-polluting productive activities, increasing income and well-being.

Results are defined for the actions carried out under each priority. The actions relating to the objective of enhancing bilateral relations must lead to: sectoral dialogues; enhanced cooperation between institutions, civil society organisations and stakeholders on each side; increase in the exchanges and inter-university partnerships; dissemination of information on the EU and development of European studies in Brazil.

The actions under the second priority on promoting the environmental dimension should lead to: reduction in annual deforestation rates; increased income for rural poor; implementation of land use strategies; better respect of the rule of law in forest areas; increase in sustainable production and creation of local value; improvement of the local management capacity for sustainable production; opening-up of new marketing channels and increased research for environmental activities.

Background

Cooperation between the two partners is a key objective of the EU. The EU is Brazil’s main trading partner and the country’s leading investor. For its part, Brazil is a regional player and is moving towards the international stage. The bilateral relations are based mainly on the EU-Brazil Framework Cooperation Agreement and cover a variety of fields.

The aim of this CSP is to continue the bilateral cooperation and the achievements under the CSP 2002-2006. These also come under the regional context of Mercosur (EU-Mercosur Framework Cooperation Agreement, Regional Strategy 2007-2013) and the Latin American Strategy 2007-2013.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 30 May 2007 entitled “Towards an EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership” [COM(2007) 281 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Regional strategy for CAN 2007-2013

Regional strategy for CAN 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regional strategy for CAN 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Regional strategy for CAN 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Community – Andean Community Regional Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

The regional strategy paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities for cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the Andean Community (CAN) for the period 2007-2013. It aims at responding to the challenges faced by CAN countries. Essentially, these challenges include the strengthening of democracy, political stability, respect for human rights and the rule of law, social cohesion, economic development, the fight against drugs and the protection of the environment. In this respect, it supplements the country strategy papers (CSPs) produced for each of the countries in the region.

Within this context, regional cooperation constitutes an added value based on cooperation between the countries. However, the willingness of the partner countries, i.e. Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, to cooperate and to embrace this cooperation is fundamental for the implementation of the RSP.

EU response strategy

In order to promote regional integration, the RSP has identified priority action areas according to their comparative advantage. These priorities are specified in the regional indicative programme (RIP) for the period 2007-2010.

Regional economic integration is essential for the creation of the Andean common market. It also offers a perspective for facilitating negotiations between the EU and CAN towards an association and free trade agreement. Actions in the area include the following:

  • harmonisation or mutual recognition of legislation;
  • trade in goods and services and tightening of trade relations between the two regions;
  • promotion of customs and trade facilitation and acceptance of international standards in this area;
  • rendering CAN more attractive for foreign investors.

Social and economic cohesion benefits the fight against poverty, inequality, unemployment and exclusion. The specific objectives in this area include the following:

  • stimulate further development of a comprehensive CAN social policy by an integrated approach to social and economic cohesion;
  • encourage field projects and cross-border and cross-national contacts;
  • create synergies between social cohesion and the protection of the environment by integrating sustainable natural resource management into projects.

The fight against drugs and crime is a priority area for the region, which is the main producer of cocaine in the world. Effective measures can also limit their destabilising effect on democratic institutions and the social tissue. Objectives in this area include the following:

  • a global approach to the anti-drug policies of CAN countries, ranging from suppression to prevention, and with due consideration being given to reintegration;
  • promotion of complementary policies at regional and national level.

Within this context, the strengthening of the institutional capacities of CAN countries and the region’s integration in the world economy constitute essential elements of the strategy.

Moreover, in order to strengthen the impact of actions carried out, projects implemented under these priorities integrate cross-cutting themes, i.e. energy, transport, employment, gender equality, indigenous peoples’ rights, consumers’ rights, good governance and environmental viability. Civil society is also involved in implementation.

Implementation details

The indicative budget for the RSP for 2007-2013 under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) amounts to 50 million. Two thirds of this budget covers the period 2007-2010 (RIP I) and one third the period 2011-2013 (RIP II). The funds will then be allocated to the various priority areas. The latter will be reviewed in 2010.

RIP also offers a perspective of expected results for the various priorities, such as:

  • an increase in trade and investment within the framework of an integrated market;
  • complementarity in regional and national social and economic cohesion policies;
  • close coordination in the fight against drugs.

Background

Cooperation between the EU and CAN, derived from the 1969 Andean Agreement, is included in the development cooperation framework (Article 177 of the Treaty establishing the European Community). It pursues the objectives defined by both the Development Consensus and the reinforced partnership with Latin America. In this respect, the RSP for 2007-2013 pursues the objectives of the previous RSP (2002-2006), from which it has drawn experience.