Latin American Meeting in Brussels: Pavel Telicka held a meeting with the Ambassadors of Latin America and the Caribbean

One of the Vice-President of the European Parliament Mr Pavel Telicka's responsibilities are Latin America-related issues. On Wednesday, May 10th, Mr Telicka organised a meeting with diplomatic representatives of the Member States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The aim was, above all, to strengthen relations between the Community and the European Parliament and to establish mutual cooperation on a number of topics.

Ambassadors from the twenty-one CELAC countries attended the event. The outcome of the meeting confirmed already existing positive relations between the European Union and Latin America and highlighted key points in their common political dialogue, which focuses on three aspects: combating global warming, long-term cooperation to stabilise local development, and the clarification of key priorities.

Colombian Ambassador Rodrigo Rivera pointed out that relations between the Community and the European Union were never as strong and dynamic as they are at the moment. Gonzalo Gutierrez, Ambassador to Peru, and Venezuelan Ambassador Claudia Caldera have emphasised that the fight against global warming represents a top priority. All participants appreciated the opportunity to hold a meeting on the European Parliament’s turf. "A meeting in this form is meaningful and its becoming a tradition could strengthen the political dialogue between the European Parliament and the CELAC community," Telicka said. "I consider Latin America and the Caribbean region as one of my priorities, as well as a priority of the European Parliament".

Year 2017 brings a lot of new opportunities for EU-CELAC cooperation. Whether it is the final negotiations concerning the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Mercosur, the modernisation of trade agreements with Chile and Mexico, or the negotiation on political dialogue and cooperation with Cuba. The European Union is also deeply involved in the peace processes taking place in Venezuela, Colombia, and Haiti. The results of the cooperation will be presented at the EU-CELAC summit in El Salvador in October this year.

Pavel Telicka stressed that, should cooperation between the European Union and the Community manage to take advantage of the current geopolitical context, both Latin America and Europe will benefit from the numerous systemic changes. "The European Union and CELAC countries share the same threats, including populism and terrorism. The priority is to make a joint effort and identify the issues that we could confront successfully by working together," Telicka stressed. He also pointed out that the crisis in some Latin American countries is incomparable to the crisis which is currently taking place in the European Union. However, only a single foreign policy of the European Union can fully support these regions in crisis.

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