Our historical and cultural ties with Latin America are strong and the region has become an increasingly important economic partner. Therefore, the EU has a keen interest in maintaining and developing economic dialogues with the major Latin American countries. EU policies towards Latin America are focused on supporting regional integration, notably through Association Agreements with various countries and sub regions in Latin America. Large Latin American countries are also members of the G20, which has recently taken centre stage.
The EU and Brazil
Brazil has the largest economy in Latin America and is a major global player in a number of international fora, such as the G20 and G8 processes. As such, it is of great importance not only for the Union’s economy but also in the discussions on the future international financial architecture. Therefore, the EU has a macro-economic and financial dialogue with Brazil, that was launched in 2009. In June 2011, the third Macroeconomic Dialogue took place in Brasilia The meeting allowed for a useful and candid exchange of views on the economic situation in the EU and Brazil, as well as on issues dealt in the G20.
The EU and Mexico
Mexico has the second largest economy in Latin America and is also an important player in many International fora such as the G20, G8 and the OECD. Acknowledging this importance, the EU signed a global agreement in 1997 with Mexico. This agreement, which entered into force in 2000, foresees the creation of a free trade area between the two parties, as well as a reinforcement of economic and political dialogues.
The EU and Argentina
Argentina is the third largest economy in Latin America with strong trade and investment links to the EU. The EU maintains a regular dialogue on economic and financial matters, notably in the framework of the EU-Argentina Joint Committee meetings, but also in a regular dialogue on macro-economic issues.
The EU and regional integration in Latin America
Supporting regional Integration in Latin America is one of the main EU policy priorities towards Latin America. As part of that strategy, the EU and Mercosur (the Southern Common Market) are negotiating an Association Agreement, which would aim, among others, at creating a free trade area. The macroeconomic monitoring project in support of Mercosur’s economic convergence was identified by the European Union and its Mercosur partners as one of the priorities for co-operation. The project focused on the statistical harmonisation efforts of Mercosur. It also contained a macroeconomic dialogue component to stimulate improved macroeconomic convergence, where appropriate drawing on some useful lessons from the European experience.