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Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat)

The Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) was created in 2006 as the parliamentary offshoot of the "Bi-regional Strategic Partnership". This partnership was established during the first Summit between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1999.

Earlier interparliamentary conferences

Regular contacts between Members of the European Parliament and Latin American parliamentarians date back to 1974, when the first of 17 interparliamentary conferences between the European Parliament and the Parlatino (the Latin American Parliament) was held.

These conferences constituted the first -- and for many years, the only -- forum for institutional political dialogue between Europe and Latin America.

When the EuroLat Parliamentary Assembly was established, it replaced these interparliamentary conferences.

An initiative of the European Parliament

The initial proposal to set up a Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly was mentioned in a European Parliament resolution on "A global partnership and a common strategy for relations between the European Union and Latin America" of 15 November 2001, which proposed that:

"the existing system of interparliamentary conferences be replaced with an EU-Latin American Transatlantic Assembly, composed of an equal number of Members of the European Parliament, the Parlatino and the regional integration parliaments, whose work would be conducted in plenary sittings and in committee, and which would meet once a year".

This proposal was not immediately taken up by the EU-Latin America and Caribbean (EU-LAC) Summit in Madrid in 2002. Instead it was turned into a joint EU-LAC proposal in the following interparliamentary conferences in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

The proposal to create the EuroLat Assembly was again mentioned in a European Parliament resolution on "A stronger partnership between the European Union and Latin America" of 27 April 2006.

The resolution expressed the Parliament's views on the EU-LAC Summit in Vienna, to be held a few weeks later. In paragraph 15, the resolution thanked the European Commission endorsing the establishment of the EuroLat Assembly. The Parliament also called on the EU-LAC Summit to address the establishment of the new Assembly in in the Final Act the Summit would issue.

First steps

On 12 May 2006 the EU-LAC Heads of State and Government stated "we take note with interest of the proposal ... to establish a Euro-Latin American Assembly" (Vienna Declaration of the IV EU-LAC Summit, paragraph 8). This declaration served as the basis for the creation of EuroLat, and a technical group was constituted with representatives of the European Parliament, the Parlatino, the Parlandino (Andean Parliament) and the Parlacen (Central American Parliament).

Subsequent EU-LAC summit declarations expressed satisfaction with the creation of the Assembly and acknowledged the positive contribution of parliamentary political dialogue to the EU-LAC Strategic Partnership.

Sessions

The constitutive session of the EuroLat Assembly took place on 8-9 November 2006 in the European Parliament in Brussels.

The first ordinary plenary session took place in Brussels in December 2007. The next session were held in Lima (Peru) in 2008, Madrid (Spain) in 2009, Sevilla (Spain) in 2010, Montevideo (Uruguay) in 2011, Santiago de Chile (Chile) in 2013, Athens (Greece) in 2014, Brussels in 2015 and Montevideo (Uruguay) in 2016.