From the point of view of the EU countries, Latin America and the Caribbean have enormous potential. It is a region of great geopolitical, economic, and cultural importance for Europe. Together, they have more than one billion inhabitants on Earth, and their interests and values are very close to one another. There is no doubt that both groupings can face global challenges more effectively; together, they can strengthen the rules-based international order and promote peace, security, and democracy.
The main current areas of interest for the 60 countries of the European Union and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean associated in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) are issues of economic recovery, business cooperation, green and inclusive economy, and digital transformation. These were also the main ideas of the EU-CELAC summit at the level of heads of state and government, which took place in Brussels on July 17 and 18. The summit was held at such a level for the first time in eight years. It was jointly chaired by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the Acting President of CELAC, Ralph E. Gonsalves. The summit was preceded last year by a meeting of EU and CELAC foreign ministers.
Although, according to some observers, the summit did not bring the expected conclusions, such as the absence of a fundamental shift in the EU’s trade agreement with the countries of the Mercosur association, its proceedings marked a promising step for the development of future relations. Despite the diverse contributions of the participants from Latin America, including Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, some South American participants also pointed to some controversial relationships from the past. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that the summit gave a new impetus to mutual relations and determined the path of strengthening economic ties between the two regions. During the summit, several memoranda of understanding were signed between the EU and some CELAC countries regarding the supply of key raw materials. At the end of the summit, the participants declared the strengthening of cooperation and adopted a joint declaration.
CELAC includes 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries. It is a regional grouping that unites all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean with the aim of deepening Latin American integration.