EU – Latin America Summit
The Fifth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the EU and Latin America took place in Lima on 16 and 17 May. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) considers that the Declaration approved at the Summit is not very concrete and does not resolve questions about the objectives of signing agreements in 2009 with the Andean Community and Central America, or about unblocking negotiations with Mercosur. Those negotiations have been at a standstill since 2004.
The Summit avoided brewing confrontations between certain Latin American presidents and sidestepped the differences of opinion between them and the European heads of state and government regarding negotiations with and investments by Europe. Some of the statements and announced measures are positive: Euroclima, a joint programme to fight climate change; a proposal to fight illegal human trafficking, xenophobia and racism; acknowledgement that negotiations must factor in asymmetries between the regions and the strengthening of integration processes; and the announcement of using the European Bank of Investment to increase investments on behalf of Latin America.
With regard to social matters, commitments were made to bolster mechanisms to guarantee collective bargaining and respect for social rights, although no express mention was made of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Fundamental Conventions, as sought in the resolution that emerged from the EU-LAC Trade Union Summit held last month in Lima.
ETUC will ask the European Commission for resources to pursue and implement the promises made and proposals approved at the Lima Summit.
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