Promises, facts and challenges: Analysis of EU- LAC summits (1999 – 2015)
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The aim of this paper is to analyse the nine summits that have taken place to date between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is an historical analysis from the first EU-LAC Summit in 1999 to the most recent summit in 2015. It is an analysis of the issues, actions, initiatives and major achievements these summits have accomplished, as well as the challenges the relations between Latin America and the European Union still face. The analysis is based on the direct study of the official statements and documents of each summit. There is no doubt that Latin America needs the European Union and vice versa. The European Union is Latin America´s second largest trading partner, and may even become the largest. The European Union is the main source of foreign direct investment and the largest donor of development aid to the region. For the European Union, Latin America represents a strategically important region with a huge potential market of more than 626 million inhabitants, dynamic growth, positive population growth and a growing middle class. The integration of these two regions could generate more extensive (broader) markets for trade, increase investment opportunities and provide a firmer basis for further dialogue and the consolidation of new instruments adapted to the new international context and the evolution of the global economy.
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