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Climate change main challenge for EU

The major EU-CELAC Summit takes place in Brussels this week, from 17-18 July, with MEPs and BusinessEurope leading the way with expectations for the event.

Leaders will meet in Brussels, to discuss “strategic partnerships” in areas such as trade, development, and climate change.

On Monday, parliament’s president Roberta Metsola and the EU-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly co-chairs will address the third EU-CELAC summit, bringing together EU leaders and leaders from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The Socialists and Democrats say the event is a “unique opportunity to reinforce the progressive agenda on both sides of the Atlantic after eight years without this summit having been held.”

In the margins of the EU-CELAC summit, S&D President, Iratxe García will attend the pre-summit of socialist and progressive leaders organized by the Party of European Socialists (PES), on 18 July, with the heads of state or government of Spain, Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia.

 Elsewhere, BusinessEurope President Fredrik Persson told this site: “The Summit must demonstrate the EU’s strong commitment to the region, its willingness to trade, invest and contribute to economic growth in Latin America and Caribbean countries.  

 “There is a great potential to expand our economic cooperation. The EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement would create one of the largest free trading areas in the world, covering nearly a quarter of the global economy and 31% of the world’s goods exports.

 “The existing trade agreements with Chile and Mexico need to be modernized to match today’s economic realities. Chile is essential for Europe’s strategy to secure more access to critical raw materials, as it represents 25% of the world’s lithium and 28% of the global cobalt extraction.”

He added, “Finally, the Summit is an opportunity for the EU to strengthen its political ties in the region at a time of increasing geopolitical tensions. The EU must build alliances with all those willing to support a rules-based international order and cooperate on the major global challenges.”

Left MEPs are also participating in the summit.

A statement said, “As these discussions should include the people they impact, the People’s Summit is an event organised simultaneously that is open to all and seeks to:

*promote an alternative model of development, cooperation, and integration that is more just, more solidarity-based, and more sustainable;

*foster fair relations between the peoples and governments of Latin America and the Caribbean with the peoples and governments of the European Union, based on the principles of respect for international law, non-interference, sovereignty, and self-determination; and

* strengthen ties between grassroots movements, trade unions, solidarity groups, migrant communities, associations, and political forces and figures of both continents.

On 17 July, Left MEP Maria Eugenia Palop, (Podemos, Spain) takes part in a panel on decolonisation and depatriarchalisation while on  Tuesday Left MEPs MEP Marc Botenga (PTB-PVDA, Belgium), Sandra Pereira (PCP, Portugal), Mick Wallace (I4C, Ireland) and Manu Pineda (Izquierda Unida, Spain) will participate in the panel: new forms of dirty war: coups, lawfare, disinformation, sanctions and economic war.

The Left said there will be a solidarity protest at Place du Luxembourg for “the sovereignty and self-determination of peoples, against blockades and sanctions, and for Latin America as a zone of peace.”

In the evening, a meeting will occur between Latin American heads of state and ministers in the European Parliament.

Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina, Gustavo Petro, President of Colombia, Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of Cuba, Luis Arce, President of Bolivia as well as Alicia Bárcena, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, and Yván Gil, Foreign Minister of Mexico will attend. MEPs Manu Pineda and Sandra Pereira will moderate and there will be interventions from Marc Botenga and Leïla Chaibi (La France Insoumise).

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