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Progressives in the EU and Latin America move forward towards the EU-CELAC summit


07 Nov 2017


Global Europe

Brussels, 7 November 2017

The S&D Group in the European Parliament is committed to ever closer relations with Latin America, with the goal of an effective Bi-regional Strategic Association. This is why, for the fifth year, it organises a Progressive EU-Latin American Forum where the our common global challenges can be addressed.
Tomorrow at 15h the library of the European Parliament will host this year’s discussion under the title “EU-CELAC Summit: Opportunities for a new progressive and sustainable agenda”. Despite the cancellation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit foreseen last October, Progressives insist on the need to hold this summit in the first semester of 2018, if possible in El Salvador.
Several S&D MEPs, including S&D president Gianni Pittella, will debate with Latin America policy-makers, scholars and civil society (see the programme).
Ramón Jáuregui MEP, who is co-chair of Eurolat Parliamentary Assembly, said:
“The Latin-American Forum of the S&D Group aims at creating closer ties between Europe and Latin America, and that this bridge contributes to the strengthening of democracy, human rights and to the renewal of the social contract. One of the most important tasks in democracy is to ensure a minimum level of income to guarantee the sustainability of the welfare state.
“The Panama Papers first and now the Paradise Papers show the existence of a huge machinery to avoid taxes and weaken the public agenda. Fighting this is one of the tasks that European Socialists promote in our alliance with Latin America. The EU and Latin America must present a united front in our fight against tax havens.
“On a different note, the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) came into force on November 1st, and it is the first step for a rapprochement between Europe and Havana. The PDCA creates an appropriate framework for an enlarged political dialogue, for a better bilateral cooperation – including on issues of trade - and to develop joint actions in multilateral fora.”
S&D MEP Carlos Zorrinho, who coordinates this Progressive Forum, said:
“The year 2016 was the hottest year since records began, and CO2 concentration levels in the atmosphere reached their maximum value, global partnerships have to focus on the sustainability of the planet and the fight against inequalities.
“Populism and nationalism are part of the problem, not the solution. The association agreements between the EU and Latin America constitute an opportunity to give a global dimension to a progressive and sustainable vision for the future of humanity, facing a problem that is no longer just civilizational, but existential.”
S&D MEP Enrique Guerrero, who is responsible for the think tank Global Progressive Forum, concluded:
“The EU and Latin America share a deep rooted and historic culture, a close vision on the big global challenges, as well as common interests and economic goals. However, the level of our relations is clearly below its potential, and we are not sufficiently coordinated when defending our positions in different fora and global organisations, changing this would allow us to strengthen the impact of our values, world vision and all kinds of interests.
“We need a coordinated voice to regulate globalisation in a better and fairer way, to move towards a world where poverty will disappear, along with the lack of freedom, human rights violations and absence of democracy. This Latin Forum is a good and important opportunity where, talking to each other, we become stronger.”




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