On 17 and 18 July, the EU and the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean states (CELAC) held their third Summit in Brussels. Heads of State and Government of the EU Member States and of the 33 CELAC states met for the first time in eight years.
The two-day Summit brought a number of initiatives and agreements to deepen the cooperation between the two parties:
EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda (GGIA)
Commission President Von der Leyen announced on 17 July the GGIA, a €45 billion instrument to support over 130 projects in Latin America and the Caribbean until 2027. These projects are contributing to the green and digital transition, and include critical raw materials projects, electrification, green bonds, green hydrogen and the deployment of 5G, among others (see projects here).
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on energy cooperation
The EU signed two MoU with with Argentina and Uruguay. The agreement with Argentina focuses on developing the country's renewable energy sector, as well as progress on hydrogen and reduce methane emissions. The MoU with Uruguay highlights cooperation on renewable energy, energy efficiency and renewable hydrogen to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
MoU on sustainable raw materials value chains
Chile and the EU finalised their agreement on creating sustainable raw materials value chains. Chile is the biggest producer of lithium in the world, which is an essential material for the twin transition. With this agreement, the EU aims to have a reliable trade partner for raw materials in the region and will support Chile in developing an environmental and socially sustainable value chain.
EU-LAC Digital Alliance
The EU-LAC Digital Alliance was created during the Summit as an informal, values-based framework to promote cooperation on a wide range of digital issues, including internet governance, data governance, connectivity, security, data protection, artificial intelligence and other new emerging digital technologies. The subscribers of the Alliance are the EU, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.
European Investment Bank's (EIB) green investments in Latin America
During the Summit, the EIB announced a €300 million loan to Banco Santander Brazil for small-scale solar energy investments. The project is part of the EU's Global Gateway Investment Agenda and will support the installation of small-scale self-consumption solar photovoltaic plants in Brazil. Moreover, the EIB also announced a €200 million loan to Banco del Estado de Chile to finance mortgages for new housing units with improved energy efficiency standards. The operation is the first EIB residential mortgage-based lending to finance access to energy efficient housing units outside the EU.
Other conclusions from the EU-CELAC Summit include three Memorandums of Understanding on bilateral consultations with Honduras, El Salvador and Ecuador, as well as a €10 million emergency fund for Haiti's humanitarian needs.
Cover picture: Copyright European Union