Spain will allocate 10,000 million dollars in an EU plan to strengthen ties with Latin America


May 23, 2023 16:57 GMT

The intentions of the community bloc arise after revealing its strategic dependencies on Russia and China.

Spain will commit an investment of almost 10,000 million dollars within the framework of a European Union plan to revive political and commercial relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, reported this Tuesday El País.

According to the draft of a document to which the outlet had access, the EU plans to establish a permanent relationship body that will serve as a bureaucratic and institutional gear to strengthen ties with the 33 countries that make up the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in an attempt to strengthen the bond with a region where he has gone losing ground until it became the third largest trading partner, behind China and the US.

In this context, the community bloc is preparing a package of programs and investments to which Spain will contribute with €9.4 billion (about 10.1 billion dollars) and the European Commission will contribute a similar amount. It is noted that the total volume of the investment is unknown and the sources consulted by the newspaper refused to offer estimates.

“In the current global context, with the international order based on rules and democracy under pressure, this association acquires even greater geopolitical significance,” reads the EU document, which the Commission expects to approve in the coming days.

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The EU has opened its eyes

According to the outlet, Europe has opened its eyes to its strategic dependencies of Russia and China in an environment full of geopolitical challenges after the covid-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian conflict, thus leading it to seek new reliable partners and take care of those you already have. In this sense, the new project of the bloc is a “unique” opportunity, according to the European sources quoted by the newspaper.

“We have to deal with the food crisis, the energy crisis, the financial crisis. The economic prospects are not good for Latin America, they are not good for Europe and they are not good for the world. It means that we have to work together“, manifested Borrell regarding a meeting between the EU foreign ministers and Celac last October.

What are the objectives of the EU?

The organization plans to reactivate strategic trade and association agreements, such as the one with Mexico and mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), the fifth largest economic area in the world outside the EU, which has been blocked for years due to objections from community partners such as France. However, these provisions have returned to the agenda, although as a chapter in the medium term, details El País, citing the document that will be discussed at the summit EU-Celac of Heads of State and Government, to be held on July 17 and 18 in Brussels (Belgium), when Spain holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Likewise, the community bloc intends to complete pacts that it has already signed with Central America and the axis Colombia-Peru-Ecuadorin addition to finalizing the procedures of the agreement EU-Chilea process that seeks modernize the commercial relationship, expanding the percentage of products covered by any tariff reduction by Brussels.

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‘Warming ground’

Intentions to increase multilateral engagement by the EU with the Latin American region is not something recent. Last May, the high representative of the community bloc for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, in a interview with La Prensa he highlighted that Latin America is a source of opportunities.

Three months later, it was reported that Europe was considering a diplomatic commercial offensive due to the progress in relations between the countries of the Latin American region and Russia and China. In this context, a plan of ‘reconquest’ to Latin America for a value of 8,000 million euros (8.600 million dollars).

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