Delegations of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and foreign ministers of the European Union are meeting in a two-day summit to discuss multilateralism and global trade in Brussels.
The meeting is taking place on Monday and Tuesday and has the presence of 33 CELAC delegations and 28 from the EU.
The summit, named “Building bridges and reinforcing our association to confront global challenges,” is presided over by the Salvadoran foreign minister Carlos Castañeda, CELAC's current president, and Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative for foreign affairs.
It aims to deal with multilateralism and global cooperation, focusing on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, illegal drug trafficking and immigration during the first day. The delegates will also discuss the United Nation's Agenda 2030 on sustainable development and new international cooperation fields such as digital agendas and urban development.
Both the CELAC and the EU are interested in discussing investment and productivity in times when the increasingly protectionist measures promoted by Donald Trump have pushed the U.S. into relative conflict with its main trading partners.
On Tuesday, the discussions will focus on trade, sustainability, investment and productivity. Representatives of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay are expected to meet with Cecilia Malsmtrom, the EU commissioner for trade, to discuss an agreement between the union and Mercosur on Tuesday.
The ministers and other delegates aim to approve a joint declaration and a route sheet to improve cooperation and ties between both regions.
The representatives of at least 61 countries will be present during the summit, representing 15 percent of the global population. “This means the association between the EU and CELAC influences the life of many people and was the power to shape the world order. Also, they've been the main promoters of the Paris Agreement over climate change,” says a statement by the EU.
The meeting was originally planned for last October in El Salvador but it was resceduled due to a request by the signatories of the so-called Lima Group, a set of pro-U.S. right-wing governments explicitly uniting against the Venezuelan constituent assembly and the Bolivarian revolution.
It's expected that the delegates and ministers will discuss the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua, as both the Lima Group and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) are present.
The EU also recently approved a set of sanctions against a list of Venezuelan high-ranking officials, forbidding them from traveling into the union and freezing their bank accounts.