Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window




Statement by State Secretary Janez Lenarčič on behalf of the EU Council on Preparations for the EU–Latin America/ Caribbean Summit

Distinguished Members of the European Parliament,

The EU Council welcomes the European Parliament's great interest in strengthening the strategic partnership between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean. We also appreciate Parliament's active role in promoting specific commitments towards this region likely to have beneficial effects for citizens on both sides.

First, allow me to congratulate you on the establishment of the first joint Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly. EuroLat will play a decisive role in establishing links between the citizens of both sides. The resolutions adopted by the EuroLat Assembly at its December meeting are a valuable and encouraging contribution to the goals of the Summit bringing together the Heads of State and Government of these regions.

We are also pleased at the interest you have expressed, Mr President, in attending the EU–LAC Summit. A beneficial tradition commenced at the Vienna Summit in 2006 will thus continue.

The EU and LAC countries agreed that the Lima Summit on 'Addressing priority goals of our nations together' would focus on two key chapters:

  1. poverty, inequality and social exclusion – three issues which count among the key challenges of social cohesion, and
  2. dealing with the environment, climate change and energy under the heading of 'sustainable development'.

I. First key chapter of the EU–LAC Summit: poverty, inequality and social exclusion

For the EU, social cohesion is of crucial importance and, at the same time, a goal in line with traditional European values. Social cohesion means combating poverty, inequality and social exclusion. All three components are closely interconnected. Moreover, social cohesion tends to encourage target-oriented public policies promoting the integration of societies.

The EU and LAC countries agree that cooperation in all three of these areas needs to be continued and stepped up.

Particular attention will, therefore, be paid to:

  1. social security and tax policy, and their effectiveness;
  2. productive investment for more and better jobs;
  3. policy to combat all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, or any other form of discrimination;
  4. improvement of basic social services and social security networks, and
  5. quality of education.

An important aspect of social progress is providing suitable jobs. As you well know, all EU agreements with Latin American countries and regions include provisions on cooperation in the area of social policy and the commitment to respect core labour standards, as defined by the International Labour Organisation. During preparations for the Lima Summit, both sides are, among other things, trying to find ways to promote such jobs, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Slovenian Presidency wishes to stress that increased investment in education, above all in primary and vocational education, is crucial to improving the competitiveness of all our countries and enhancing stability in the globalised world.

II. Second key chapter of the EU–LAC Summit: 'sustainable development' and the environment, climate change and energy

The second key chapter will deal with sustainable development and the environment, climate change and energy.

It should be recalled that poverty is closely linked with these issues. Climate change will substantially affect our economies, growth and poverty reduction policy. The most vulnerable groups will also be those most affected.

The EU and LAC countries are aware of the security risks associated with climate change. We know that the consequences of failing to act could entail consequences more serious than the cost of preventive joint measures in the area of climate change. Current discussions on the declaration which is expected to be adopted at the Summit clearly show our firm determination to deal with certain aspects of this global challenge together. Non-sustainable patterns of production and consumption should be altered. We should make provision for prompt and practical measures for sustainable forest management and use of resources, reduction of greenhouse gases, promotion of investment in low-carbon production, conservation of biodiversity, water management, etc. EU and LAC countries will, of course, give priority to continuing cooperation in this area, particularly under the auspices of the United Nations.

III. Conclusion

Allow me to conclude by saying that the process of cooperation between the European Union and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean is on the right path. EU–LAC summits do not consist merely of fine words and ambitious goals. The commitments adopted are also put into practice. A substantial progress in effective implementation is evidenced by the report on bi-regional cooperation between the EU and LAC countries presented by the Joint Presidency at the Fourth EU–LAC Summit in Vienna. Finally, let me just mention the almost 400 bi-regional measures implementing commitments from Guadalajara and the new list of commitments adopted at the Vienna Summit in 2006.


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 23.04.2008