Connecting development agendas: Latin America and Europe
Within the framework of the Spanish presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2023, one of the most interesting and relevant issues has been raised: the redefinition of the relationship between the European Union and Latin America, and the relevance of Spain’s role as Latin America’s gateway to European policy.
One of the major debates that is taking place is about which actors are relevant for building the future of this relationship and finding common ground between the development agendas of the two regions.
Consensus between the Latin American and European development agendas
Although Latin America has its own development agenda linked to its structural problems and those caused by the pandemic and the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there are several points of convergence with the European agenda that are relevant and serve as a basis for building political dialogue.
Some of their common points are:
The consensus among the Latin American and European population on the need to face the challenge of climate change. The environment and sustainability are at the centre of the agenda, not only socially, but also politically.
Other major challenges and social issues such as the inclusion of minorities in representation, access to quality public policies, and a broader agenda of rights and recognition of gender inequality.
Finally, the consensus on the importance of multilateralism.
Both agendas are endowed with issues and capacities so that, in a dialogue between equals, progress can be made in the search for solutions to common challenges.
The particularities of the Latin American agenda
n Latin America’s own development agenda, there are advances that have been generated and strengthened throughout Latin American societies, linked to the strength and mobilisation of civil society and also to the political consensus that has emerged in the countries. These include the challenges of regaining confidence in institutions and the need to overcome poverty.
For their part, young people have generated social pressure on the agenda of women and social minorities. There is a huge mobilisation on the part of young people, who are not depoliticised but rather have taken on challenges in terms of building their future.
Two visions of security
One point where we find differences in approach is in the vision of international security, linked to the two regions’ own experience. Europe still faces the enormous challenge of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that put European unity in check, while Latin America faces an enormous internal security challenge.
In conclusion, the key to redefining the relationship between the EU and Latin America and addressing the points of convergence between the two development agendas lies in dialogue, in which Spain can play a very important role as Latin America’s gateway to European policy.