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Europe in Latin America
– by Claudio Maggi C.
Meeting of EU and Latin American ministers in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in October 2016.
European development cooperation has a long tradition in Latin America and has a good reputation. In the past two decades, the EU has signed trade agreements with different countries and groups of countries in the region, including Mexico, Chile, Central America, the Andean Community and the Mercosur association of states. At the first Europe-Latin America summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1999, the leaders from both world regions concluded a strategic partnership. This partnership was strengthened at subsequent meetings – most recently at the eighth EU-LAC summit in Brussels 2015.
The EU has cooperated with Latin America in areas such as finance, trade and science. It is promoting investments and supports corporate cooperation. Several programmes have brought it special recognition, among them “AL-Invest”, which facilitates international expansion for small and medium enterprises, “Euro-Solar”, which makes renewable energies available to disadvantaged sections of the people, “LAIF”, that promotes investments in infrastructure, and “EUROSociAL”, which strengthens economic integration and social cohesion. In the areas of administrative decentralisation and local development, EU programmes have also delivered results in cooperation with multilateral organisations like UNDP, CEPAL and the IDB.