EU Pledges Increased Investment for Latin America and Caribbean, Seeks Strengthened Relationships Amid Global Concerns


EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen © PHOTO KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

At a summit in Brussels on Monday, the European Union (EU) pledged increased investment for Latin America and the Caribbean as part of its effort to strengthen international relationships amid concerns about China’s assertiveness and Russia’s war on Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the need for the three regions to collaborate on challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and China’s growing assertiveness abroad. The EU plans to invest 45-50 billion euros in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of its Global Gateway scheme, seen as a competitor to China’s Belt and Road initiative. The summit aimed to revitalize the EU’s neglected relationship with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

However, differences emerged during discussions over the communique, particularly regarding Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Europe’s historical role in the slave trade. The EU seeks condemnation of Russia, but not all CELAC countries supported this stance. On the economic front, the EU is seeking new energy partnerships and reduced reliance on China, particularly for minerals used in electric vehicles. The EU is moving forward with trade agreements with Chile, Mexico, and the Mercosur bloc

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