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Montevideo, April 14th 2024 - 11:32 UTC



EU working to stop Russian, Chinese expansion in Latin America

Thursday, August 18th 2022 - 20:45 UTC
Full article 8 comments
Latin America's new governments are less “Atlantist” and more open to alternative alliances, the EU found out Latin America's new governments are less “Atlantist” and more open to alternative alliances, the EU found out

The European Union has noticed of Russia's and China's advancements in Latin America and is devising a series of measures to counter those effects and avoid losing its traditional partners, it was reported.

According to El País, Europe's retreat from many countries in the region has left a space, which is being filled by Moscow and Beijing. Hence, Brussels diplomatic and commercial preparations for 2023.

The Spanish newspaper reported an internal document was sent to all EU Foreign admitting the bloc had neglected its ties with Latin America for almost a decade: since 2015 there has not been a summit between the two regions, as Europe looked the other way and dealt with problems closer to its own continent, such as Libya, Syria or now Ukraine.

China, on the other hand, has increased its investments in the region 26fold between 2000 and 2020. The document, drafted by the European External Action Service, also points out that China “is the first or second most important trading partner of Latin American and Caribbean countries, above ”the EU and surpassing the United States in many countries.“

The report underlines that 21 of the 33 countries in Latin America have joined Beijing's New Silk Road, a plan to expand global Chinese trade.

Brussels will seek to stop the growing estrangement with Latin America with a ”qualitative leap,“ according to the document. A Summit between Europe and Latin America is to be held in the second half of 2023. However, preparations are already underway, and a meeting at the ministerial level is to be held in October in Buenos Aires.

”The credibility of the EU and its power and leverage capacity on the international scene is at stake,“ warns the document quoted by El País.

EU Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell's pledge to recover Europe's presence in Latin America has been thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Europe realized it had lost considerable ground to China, while many Latin American also fail to adhere to Europe's response to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

”The key will be to have an agenda of measures that will help Latin American countries overcome the macroeconomic consequences of the conflict in Ukraine,“ recommends MEP Javi Lopez, who heads the European delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.

The EU report also warns that Latin America faces ”the risk of social protest and political destabilization, which already existed before covid, is real and has worsened with the displacement (of the population) and the migratory crisis.“

The region has also stepped into a new political cycle with the coming to power of what Brussels calls ”anti-establishment candidates“: Pedro Castillo Terrones in Peru, Gabriel Boric Font in Chile, Xiomara Castro in Honduras, Rodrigo Chaves in Costa Rica, and Gustavo Petro in Colombia. A full turn to the left might be completed in October if Brazil's former President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva returns to the Planalto Palace, the document also underscored.

Latin America's new governments ”are less Atlantist and more open to alternative alliances to the traditional ones,“ such as the US or the EU, which ”needs to systematically boost its multilateral engagement with Latin American and Caribbean countries in view of the increased competition from China and Russia“ and also to garner support on international forums, and others for votes in multilateral forums,” according to a European External Action Service (EEAS) source.

Many Latin American countries also feel disappointed after the EU failed to ratify the Free Trade Agreement with Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) while the updating of agreements with Mexico and Chile are still bogged down by the ratification process and objections from EU partners such as France.

According to the confidential report, the European Commission has a budget of € 3.4 billion to cooperate with the region during the period 2021-2027. Brussels is also working on an investment package of up to € 8 billion to be announced at the next summit.

The Community document also points out that Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile, have 60% of the world's lithium reserves, while Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil have significant oil and gas reserves at a time the EU is about to lose Russia's hydrocarbons supply.

Top Comments

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  • Brasileiro

    It looks like the Colonial Era is coming to an end. I believe that very soon Mercosur will sign a free trade agreement with the BRICS. No absurd restrictions on agricultural exports.

    Better to develop our industrial capabilities with the support of the BRICS than with the support of the EU. In these last 500 years of common history with Europe I cannot see anything in which South America has been favored.

    Aug 20th, 2022 - 11:44 am +1
  • Trimonde

    ROFLMAO ... What incredibly grotesque stone faced nerve these people have!! Yes, Britain and the US have been wanting to blame Europe about this for some years now. Typical! ... How about instead we go back to decades of US UK backed interventionism, the assassination of Salvador Allende, Lula's imprisonment, Bolivia's SEVERAL military interventions, let's not forget Margaret Thatcher's clear message to Latin America when she broke the Champaign bottle on the course this ship is now taking, and made it clear Latin American country's are not deserving of humble acknowledgment, respect or negotiations over territorial matters, but rapist brute force and domination instead. I mean... the whole of Latin-American history has been one big two hundred plus years long potato mashing interventionism orgy of abuse, manipulations, lies, sovereignty usurpation and resource robbery by the UK and US, AND NOW THEY WANT TO BLAME EUROPE for the truth to finally start clicking and a different course chosen by them, (too little and too indecisive if you asked me and others!) unbelievable!

    Aug 19th, 2022 - 11:21 am 0
  • Brasileiro

    It is good to keep in mind that Mercosur already has free trade agreements and Preferential Trade Treaties with the following countries and regional blocs:

    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    SACU (Southern African Customs Union)

    Therefore, bi-polarity in Mercosur trade is a fallacy.

    Adding China and Russia to our trade treaties seems more than obvious, as three BRICS members already have customs preferences among themselves.

    The problem is not Mercosur, it is not Mercosur's. It is from Europe that, under the pretext of environmental causes, it favors a select economic group and roots decadence and fragility for the entire European people.

    Aug 21st, 2022 - 02:23 pm 0
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