Parliamentarian cooperation “will be crucial” to strengthening ties between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean.
This is the keynote message to emerge from the 15th plenary session of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) which took place in Madrid from 24 to 27 July.
The Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly is a trans-national body of 150 parliamentarians from Europe and Latin America, which was established in 2006 under – then European Parliament President – Josep Borrell to bolster EU-Latin American relation.
The gathering came place one week after the EU-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Summit.
In a final declaration, the members of the summit said parliamentary diplomacy is an important dimension of the relationship and applauded the role played by EuroLat towards the same goals.
The outcome of the summit has been welcomed by MEPs.
Javi López, S&D MEP and co-president of EuroLat, said: “After almost a decade of disagreements between the EU and Latin America, the EU-CELAC summit has given new impetus to relations between the two regions. With EuroLat, we want to go one step further and make it clear that Latin America and the Caribbean are again a priority.
“After the success of the Summit last week in Brussels, we met in Madrid to strengthen cooperation between parliamentarians from both regions. Together, we continue to reinforce our strategic alliance to address the urgent challenges such as climate change, inequalities, food security and the achievement of shared peace and security. Latin America and Europe open a new stage, moving from friendship to alliance, and this is only the start.”
Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, S&D MEP and spokesperson on EuroLat, said, “The European Union has left Latin America and the Caribbean aside for too long. With the EU-CELAC Summit and EuroLat, we have a unique opportunity to reinforce the progressive agenda on both sides of the Atlantic.
“EuroLat is an occasion to debate common solutions to shared challenges such as the right to water, women’s rights, digital transition and the role of the civil society in our democracies. With a new wave of progressive governments emerging in Latin America, we must join forces with our counterparts to protect our democratic institutions and safeguard social justice and sustainability for all citizens.
“Inter-parliamentary cooperation is crucial in order to strengthen ties between the EU and Latin America. This is why the European Parliament’s plan to open an office in the region in the coming months will allow us to reinforce our cooperation and to continue supporting the work of the EuroLat Assembly. The antenna office was created at the initiative of the Socialists and Democrats, which shows our longstanding commitment to working hand in hand with our counterparts in Latin America and the Caribbean.”