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EU, Latin America & the Carribbean – still „natural partners“?

Nestor Morales / Unsplash
Nestor Morales / Unsplash

The EU has withdrawn from Latin America and the Caribbean in the last decade, but needs to win back its traditional partners to strengthen multilateralism. Recognising ideational differences on how to promote democracy, development and peace would be a step in this direction.

On July 17 and 18, 2023, the first summit of heads of state of the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) since 2015 will take place in Brussels. Especially in light of Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine, Germany and the EU have been intensifying their efforts to revive the political and economic partnership with CELAC states, which had been neglected in previous years.

In this issue of the Berlin Perspectives, Prof. Dr. Susanne Gratius questions to what extent the often-used phrase of the EU and CELAC being "natural partners" is still true. She shows how the EU has economically and politically fallen behind in the region, especially in comparison to China. The foreign policy of states in both regions follows a more Realist approach, and in view of democratic backsliding tendencies, even a common ground in shared values can no longer be taken for granted. Recognizing this would be a start points for the successful revival of a genuine strategic partnership. Further steps include negotiating as equals, investing more economic and political capital into the relationship, and developing joint action plans to address global issues.

Team & authors

About the Berlin Perspectives project: The IEP Policy Brief series Berlin Perspectives presents precise analyses on Germany’s European policy to an English-speaking audience. The authors analyse German European policy positions on current topics and debates to provide policy recommendations based on their findings.

Image copyright: Nestor Morales / Unsplash