Home / Europe 2020 / Seminar GlobalEurope 5 / EU-Latin America

Seminar GlobalEurope 5 / EU-Latin America


Lisbon (Belem Cultural Centre), July 9, 2004


Organised in partnership with the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Seminar’s executive summary


Geographical remoteness and cultural proximity: such is the paradox on which relations between Europe and Latin America are based. From Spanish and Portuguese conquest to creation of independent republics, from massive migration flows coming from Europe during colonial conquest and Latin America’s development to Europe’s tradition of sheltering Latin American political refugees, from shameful partnership in trading slaves and massacring native populations to common elaboration of new collaborations between EU and Mercosur, Europeans and Latin Americans share 5 centuries of common history, despite their geographical distance.

The EU remains a direct player in Latin America due to its presence in the Caribbean (Isles and Coasts); let’s not forget that European rockets take off from Latin America (Kuru, French Guyana). And a very influential player in the field of culture due to the very tight relations that exist between countries of Latin America and their former metropolis (Portugal and Spain).

At a time when the EU undertakes to define its international role, Latin America naturally appears non only like an very important region of 21st century world; but also like a strategic partner for the EU in the next decades.

Latin America however appears to the EU like a very contrasted region: great economic disparities, massive and endemic poverty, democratic but unstable political systems, repeated economic and financial crises, endemic civil wars, still existing inter-state tensions combined with strong population growth, democratisation in progress for more than a decade, growing affirmation of an international role, emergence of an acknowledged regional power, cultural dynamism, raw material riches.

Despite these contrasts, Latin America, together with North America, is definitely the world’s region culturally the closest to the Europeans. On the international scene, the two continents are often opposed on trade issues (namely due to European agricultural subsidies), but in the end share a common global vision. When it comes to interior affairs, Latin-Americans and Europeans share the same dream of continental unity. While the Europeans are more advanced on this track now that inter-state quarrels have disappeared; Latin-Americans have an advantage in the long-term due to their bi-lingual continental (Spanish-Portuguese). In both cases, regional integration processes can only reinforce one another and contribute to redefine global governance.

In this regard, the evolution of the relation of each region to the United-States will certainly be structuring in EU-Latin American relations in the next 20 years. Can Latin America (like Africa) carry on being the great absent of Transatlantic relations, turned in 1945 into a Europe/US « duo » ? United-States which Southern region is about to return to Latin Americans!

In parallel to this, the Global Agenda (environment, native populations, development, international trade, human rights,…) provides a very tangible framework to EU/Latin American relations given that the issues it covers are particularly urgent and vital in this region of the world.

Future relations between EU and Latin America could provide another « school-case » for the EU to test the sustainability of its new political model (regional integration), to demonstrate very practically its convictions as regards to the Global Agenda (development, environment….) and to experiment the global impact of inter-regional multi-sectoral partnerships (trade, policy-making, culture…). It will require from the EU to capitalize on the great assets of its metropoles and to integrate them into a Common strategy.


Moderator: Franck Biancheri, Director of Studies and Strategy, Europe 2020 (Europe 2020 seminars are bilingual: presentations and discussions take place in English or French without translation)

9.00 – Opening session

. Mr Carlos Costa Neves, State Secretary to European Affairs of Portugal

. Mr Patricio Aylwin Azocar, former President of Chile

. Mr Franck Biancheri, Director of Research & Strategy, Europe 2020 (introduction)

10.0 – Break

10.30 – Theme 1 – EU support to regional integration in Latin America

EU is and must remain a strategic partner for the regional integration of Latin America. Stabilizing democracy and ending civil wars (e.g. in Columbia) should be the two priorities of the next decade in order to make this regional integration a success. But is it a single or a multiple process (one or more regional integration(s): South Cône, Andes, Caribbean, Central America) ? Does the EU have a preference? How to manage the influence of the US in the matter? How to avoid Latin America from being a region of confrontation between European and American interests? What do Latin Americans need to succeed in their integration and is the EU ready to deliver?


. Karl Buck, DGE IV, EU Council Secretariat

. Daniel Baur, National Editor, EUABC


12.30 – Luncheon

14.00 – Theme 2 – EU-Latin American partnership in the field of international trade and investment

Though often in concordance on many global issues, in the field of trade the EU clashes with Latin America and Brazil in particular. How can the EU deal with this contradiction? Could this situation provide a test for European allegations concerning changes in global governance? Do European investments in Latin America play in favor of the continent’s stabilisation? Under which conditions? Can the authorities of the concerned states guarantee a sustainable attractiveness for their country? In the field of economy, the answers given to these questions will determine the intensity and sustainability of EU-Latin American relations.


. Ricardo Migueis, Instituto de Estudos Estratégicos e Internacionais, Lisboa

. Gisèle Hivert-Messeca, Head of European Affairs Mission, Ubifrance

. Hannele Tikanvaara, Minister-Counsellor, in charge of Mercosur countries and Chile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Helsinki


15.30 – Theme 3 – Challenges and conditions for an EU/Latin American partnership (environment, development, human rights, UN reform, culture…)

The two continents often defend similar visions, however the implementation of these visions will require some questioning on both sides as well as some increased maturity (Security Council seats, better distribution of wealth…). The EU must also renew its collective approach to the region and re-define the role of the « historic players » of Euro-Latin American relation (just like with Africa). Relations between the two continents, both endowed with very active civil societies (anti-globalisation movements for instance are mostly a Euro-Latin American creation), fit perfectly with the concept of decentralised cooperation, between civil societies. Strong already on a bilateral level between the countries of each region, this cooperation should be profoundly renovated at all levels (NGOs, universities, local authorities, states, EU) and have its instruments, players and aims re-defined: cooperation should aim to connect two continents together by 2020, and no longer to add up pre-existing bilateral relations between nations.

Introduction by :

. Jaroslaw Bajaczyk, attaché dealing with EU-LAC issues, CFSP division, EU Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Warsaw

. Rafael Gelabert, DG for External Relations, European Commission


17.15 – Conclusions

17.30 – Closing session

. José Ignacio Salafranca, Vice-President PPE-Group – European Parliament, Representing FAES (Fundación para el Análisis y los Estudios Sociales)

. Prof. Alvaro de Vasconcelos, Directeur, Institute of International Strategic Studies (IEEI), Lisbonne

18.00 – End of the seminar


. Patricio Aylwin Azocar, former President of Chile

. Margarida Aroso, State Protocole, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lisbon

. António Alves de Carvalho, Directeur Amérique Sud et Centre, Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Lisbonne

. Régis Arslanian, Director, Department of International Negotiations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil

. Jaroslaw Bajaczyk, Attaché dealing with EU-LAC issues, CFSP Division, EU Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Warsaw

. Helena Basile, 1er Conseiller, Ambassade d’Italie au Portugal

. Daniel Baur, National Editor, EUABC

. Hans-Bodo Bertram, Ambassador of Germany in Portugal

. Franck Biancheri, Directeur des Etudes et de la Stratégie, Europe 2020

. Karl Buck, DGIV, Secrétariat du Conseil de l’UE

. Marie-Hélène Caillol, Vice-Présidente Europe 2020

. Mendo Castro Henriques, Institut de Défense National, Lisbonne

. Carlos Costa Neves, State Secretary to European Affairs, Portugal

. Daniel Da Cruz, Ambassade du Luxembourg au Portugal

. Jose Augusto Duarte, Director of Cabinet of State Secretary to European Affairs, Lisbon

. Matthias Fischer, Ambassade d’Allemagne au Portugal

. José Eduardo Garcia Leandro, Directeur de l’Institut de Défense National, Lisbonne

. Rafael Gelabert, Direction Générale des Relations Extérieures, Commission européenne

. Gisèle Hivert-Messeca, Chef de mission Affaires européennes, Ubifrance

. Vlad Ionescu, Desk officer for EU-South America relations, EU Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bucharest

. Marzena Kisielewska, Director of the Cabinet of Minister of European Affairs, Warsaw

. Francisco Knopfli, Professeur à l’Institut Supérieur de Sciences Sociales et Politiques, Lisbonne

. Zdenek Kubanek, Head of Latin America Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prague

. Nuno Lúcio, Ministère de l’Economie, Lisbonne

. Isabel Lopez Fereira, President of Africa Debate, Lisbon Nuno Lúcio, Ministère de l’Economie, Lisbonne

. André Magrinho, Chief-of Staff, Portuguese Industrial Association

. Andres Malamud, Ph.D. EUI, Associate Researcher, Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia, Lisboa

. Helena Malcata, Conseillère du Secrétaire d’Etat aux Affaires européennes, Lisbonne

. Stefan Mera, Counsellor, South America Desk office, America Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bucharest

. Ricardo Migueis, Instituto de Estudos Estratégicos e Internacionais, Lisboa

. Beatriz Padilla, Professor, Autonomous University of Lisbon in International Relations, Researcher at CIES/ISCTE

. Nicolas Pascual de la Parte, Cabinet du Secrétaire Général, Conseil de l’UE

. Paula Pereira, Institut de Défense National, Lisbonne

. Thalia Petrides, Ambassador of Cyprus to Portugal

. Zoltán Polák, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Budapest

. Stanislav Rašcan, State Undersecretary, Head of Department for Africa, Asia, Latin America and Pacific, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Slovenia

. José Ignacio Salafranca, Member of European Parliament

. Lucyana Sposito Gomes, Ibero-American University, São Paulo

. Hannele Tikanvaara, Minister-Counsellor, Mercosur countries and Chile, . Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Helsinki

. Theis Truelsen, Ambassador of Denmark in Portugal

. Nikolay Tzatchev, Head of Department “Latin America”, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Bulgaria

. Alvaro de Vasconcelos, Directeur, Institut d’Etudes Stratégiques Internationales (IEEI), Lisbonne

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