The European Union and Mexico decided Sunday at their fifth bilateral summit, held in the Spanish town of Comillas, to take measures to give concrete content to their relationship, which they have jointly designated to be one of “strategic association”.
The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said Sunday at a press conference that the summit “marks the beginning of something new” between the EU and Mexico, “a more active and constructive role” between the two parties.
The list of measures approved Sunday was dubbed the Joint Executive Plan and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said that the measures include joint action to deal with the global economic crisis, financial services, security and climate change, among others.
The Spanish premier said that Mexico is a country that is “fundamental in Latin American and international dialogue and stability” due to its “clear leading role in the fight against climate change, its contribution to the G20 and in the constructive understanding of the international order.”
The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso emphasized Mexico’s growing role on the international scene and the fact that so far just nine countries have attained the status of having a “strategic association” with the EU.
In Latin America, only Mexico and Brazil enjoy this status, and Van Rompuy said that Mexico is proceeding along a road leading “in a good direction for all of Latin America.”
In the joint final declaration emerging from the summit, the EU and Mexico emphasize that the Action Plan reflects the commitment of both parties to continue building “a tighter, deeper and more mature association with concrete actions and joint initiatives.”
Both the EU and Mexico confirmed that their strategic association “contributes added value” to the relationship, which is “already rather deep and complete.”
According to the two parties, they will work to stimulate cooperation and coordination in both the bilateral and multilateral spheres.
The final declaration also speaks of “jointly promoting their values, principles and shared interests, such as the consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, security, education, culture, science and technology and social cohesion.”
The Comillas summit was the first as strategic partners between the EU and Mexico, having accorded themselves that status in 2008, and it served to strengthen a bilateral relationship that has been in existence for some 50 years.
In 1997, Mexico and the EU signed an accord on economic association, political coordination and cooperation that entered into force in 2000 that institutionalized the bilateral political dialogue, as well as the development of economic relations.
In 2007, the EU became Mexico’s second largest export market and President Felipe Calderon said that total trade between the two parties in 2009 was some 30 billion euros, almost double what it had been 10 years before.