The European Union in Brazil: What Does Ursula's Tour Seek?

The European Union in Brazil: What Does Ursula's Tour Seek?
Fecha de publicación: 
16 June 2023
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Ursula von der Leyen's visit to Brazil this June 12th is the first by a president of the European Commission to that country in 10 years. Her meeting with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is politically and economically relevant.

The Brazilian president himself has declared that both parties agree in attributing importance "to multilateralism, democracy, the promotion of peace and respect for human rights."

Regarding the war in Ukraine, the position of the community bloc is not identical to that of the South American Giant. Von der Leyen knows this, but the Brazilian ruler, like she said herself, "returned Brazil to the world stage." Hence, it’s not idle for the European leadership to promote greater understanding with that Latin American nation, which will also presides over the G20 in 2024.

Regarding economics, it’s worth putting in context that the European Union (EU) is Brazil's second largest trading partner. On this occasion, the European counterpart proposes stronger cooperation in climate action, trade and renewable energy.

Consequently, one of the topics of the talks has been the conclusion of the trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur. In the words of the community leader, this should come to fruition no later than this yearend. It’s an agreement that has been negotiated for decades. It was approved in 2019, but has not yet been ratified due to environmental aspects.

In a recent statement from Brasilia, Von der Leyen stated that such an EU-Mercosur agreement will bring great advantages for both parties, will generate greater investment flow and will have a positive impact on the competitiveness of Brazilian industry and jobs creation.

“The EU is already the main investor in Latin America. We can do much more”, said the European leader on Twitter. In that social network, referring to the balance between economic development and environmental sustainability in the South American Giant, she expressed: "We support Brazil's plan to end illegal deforestation by 2030."

For his part, Lula da Silva reiterated his will to build a positive bilateral agenda and wrote on the aforementioned microblogging platform: “With active cooperation, we can open beneficial horizons in many areas. The path must be the formation of alliances for sustainable development”.

Von der Leyen's tour of the hemisphere also includes her visit to Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. With this tour, the representation of the EU intends to strengthen the dialogue with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Analysts point out that the event takes place a week after presenting the new strategy to strengthen ties with Latin America and a month before the first EU-CELAC summit in eight years, scheduled in Brussels for next July.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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