Summit between Latin America and the EU begins with Lula's defense of the environmental agenda

Brazilian president affirms that the debates should not only involve industrial development and economic growth

Translated by: Lucas Peresin

São Paulo (Brazil) |
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, shakes hands with the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during a press conference in the context of the EU-CELAC Summit - Jean-Christophe Verhaegen / AFP

This Monday, July 17, the summit bringing together countries from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) and the European Union (EU) began in Belgium. In the morning, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, spoke to the press before the start of the meeting that will run until Tuesday, July 18th.

Von der Leyen stated that the EU's goal is to advance the agreement with Mercosur. “Today we want to discuss how to better connect our peoples, companies, how to reduce risk, strengthen and diversify supply chains and how to modernize our economies in order to reduce inequalities and bring benefits to all. All this is possible if we manage to conclude the agreement between the European Union and Mercosur”.

For Von der Leyen, the summit will be a space for resolving disagreements so that everyone can win. “Our ambition is to resolve any differences that still exist as soon as possible so that we can conclude this agreement. We want to be a partner that can reach a 'win-win' agreement that benefits everyone," she said.

Lula, in turn, stated that he aims for the discussion to go beyond the economic issue and industrial development, but also to address the climate issue.

“We have intense economic activity in Brazil these days, we want to share this intensity of economic activity with our partners in the European Union. We want to share it with our partners in Mercosur, Latin America and the Caribbean”, stated Lula. “And even more important: we want to deepen the discussion with the European Union on the question not only of industrial development and economic growth, but we want to discuss the climate issue in depth”, stressed the president.

The Brazilian president has bilateral meetings planned with representatives from Belgium, Austria and Sweden.

All 33 leaders of Latin American and Caribbean countries and their 27 European counterparts were invited to the summit, totaling 60 countries. The last meeting between leaders of the two regions took place in 2015.

The event will address topics such as climate change; trade and sustainable development; social inclusion; post-pandemic economic recovery; energy transition, fair and inclusive digital transformation; migrations; reform of the international financial architecture; fight against organized crime; and development cooperation. Different cooperation initiatives and projects will be addressed, with the intention of strengthening relations.

In a note, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil stated that “President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's participation in the III Celac-UE Summit takes place in the context of renewing Brazil's commitment to strengthening regional integration and Celac's. Brazil returned to the mechanism of political dialogue, harmonization and cooperation between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean last January, after a period of almost three years in which it remained away from its activities”.

The Brazilian return was seen by Von der Leyen as “the resurgence of Brazil as a major player on the global stage”.

Edited by: Thales Schmidt