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Procedure : 2008/2536(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

RC-B6-0147/2008

Debates :

PV 23/04/2008 - 2
CRE 23/04/2008 - 2

Votes :

PV 24/04/2008 - 7.4
CRE 24/04/2008 - 7.4
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2008)0177

Texts adopted
WORD 63k
Thursday, 24 April 2008 - Strasbourg Final edition
Fifth Latin America and Caribbean -European Union Summit
P6_TA(2008)0177B6-0147, 0148, 0149, 0150, 0172 and 0173/2008

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2008 on the Fifth Latin America and Caribbean -European Union Summit in Lima

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the declarations of the four Summits of Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union, held to date in Rio de Janeiro (28 and 29 June 1999), Madrid (17 and 18 May 2002), Guadalajara (28 and 29 May 2004) and Vienna (12 and 13 May 2006),

–   having regard to the joint communiqué of the 13th Ministerial Meeting of the Rio Group and the EU, held in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) on 20 April 2007,

–   having regard to the joint communiqué of the Ministerial Meeting of the San José Dialogue between the EU troika and the ministers of the countries of Central America, held in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) on 19 April 2007,

–   having regard to the Final Act of the 17th EU-Latin America Interparliamentary Conference, held in Lima from 14 to 16 June 2005,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 15 November 2001, on a global partnership and a common strategy for relations between the European Union and Latin America(1) , and of 27 April 2006, on a stronger partnership between the European Union and Latin America(2) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 29 November 2007 on trade and climate change(3) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 11 October 2007 on the murder of women (feminicide) in Mexico and Central America and the role of the European Union in fighting this phenomenon(4) ,

–   having regard to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly's resolutions of 20 December 2007,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas it is more important than ever to continue to deepen the Bi-regional Strategic Partnership announced at the four earlier summits of the Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the EU,

B.   whereas, although major steps forward have been taken, much remains to be done in connection with both the political and security aspects and the social, commercial and budgetary dimensions of the strategic partnership,

C.   whereas the strategic partnership must foster closer relations between the societies concerned, improve their levels of social development and make a decisive contribution to drastically reducing poverty and social inequality in LAC, something which should be facilitated by the economic growth shown by the region over recent years, as well as by the exchanges and aid of all kinds and the transfer of expertise in social cohesion which the EU can offer,

1.  Reiterates its commitment to supporting the work of the various EU and LAC regional integration bodies and to doing everything within its power to ensure that the Lima summit, which will take place on 16 and 17 May 2008, marks a genuine step forward for the strategic partnership; applauds the resolute efforts made towards this end by the Peruvian and Slovene Co-Presidency of the summit, the Slovene Presidency of the European Union, the Commission and the Council of the European Union;

Principles and priorities of the Bi-regional Strategic Partnership

2.  Reaffirms its commitment to the bi-regional approach and to prioritising the Bi-regional Strategic Partnership as the best means of safeguarding the principles, values and interests shared by the partners on both sides of the Atlantic;

3.  Reiterates the continued validity of the Political Declaration on the values and positions shared by both regions (the Madrid Commitment), of 17 May 2002 that was issued at the Madrid summit (2002) and the joint commitment to multilateralism, regional integration and social cohesion reaffirmed at the Guadalajara (2004) and Vienna (2006) summits;

4.  Proposes an overall strategic vision for the strategic partnership which would not be confined to isolated proposals or actions and would have the ultimate goal of establishing a Euro-Latin American global interregional partnership area around the year 2012, to include a fully-fledged strategic partnership in the political, economic, social and cultural fields and the joint pursuit of sustainable development;

5.  Recommends that the political and security strands of the strategic partnership be based on regular, sectoral and effective political dialogue and on a Euro-Latin American Charter for Peace and Security which, along similar lines to the Charter of the United Nations (UN), would enable political, strategic and security proposals to be drafted jointly;

6.  Stresses that the following are required for trade and economic relations between the partners to be beneficial to both sides:

   - they must contribute to the diversification and modernisation of the manufacturing base in Latin American countries – which are still highly dependent on a few export products, many of them primary or semi-processed – using technological alternatives which are efficient and have a positive impact in terms of job creation and higher household incomes;
   - they must mark a shift in focus from purely trade-related to economic concerns, given the economic asymmetry between the two regions and the need for emphasis to be placed on social and environmental issues, including plans for green and renewable technology transfer and capacity-building through bi-regional mixed investment and joint production systems;
   - emphasis must be placed on the need to safeguard the principle of legal certainty and to create a favourable environment for investment;
   - they must take due account of the differences in terms of relative development levels, and the EU should therefore introduce special differentiated treatment (SDT) arrangements, particularly for the countries with the lowest level of economic and social development;
   - they must provide incentives for Latin American integration;

7.  Endorses the proposed agenda for the Lima summit and its focus on two main subject areas, the first being poverty, inequality and exclusion and the second, sustainable development and the related issues of environment, climate change and energy;

8.  Points out that the swift setting up, following the Vienna summit, of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) as the strategic partnership's parliamentary institution has considerably enhanced the partnership's democratic legitimacy and consolidated its institutional system, which now embraces the discussion, scrutiny and monitoring of strategic partnership-related matters coming within the assembly's remit;

9.  Recommends that the Lima summit reiterate the EU's and the LAC's attachment to the principles and values of pluralist representative democracy, freedom of expression and of the press, human rights and the rejection of all forms of dictatorship and authoritarianism;

Joint action in pursuit of effective multilateralism

10.  Draws attention to the benefits that the joint commitment to multilateralism can bring the Euro-Latin American partners, which together have an overall population of more than one billion, make up one third of the UN member states and account for more than a quarter of world trade;

11.  Proposes that the strategic partnership be based on realistic aims and common programmes shaped by the shared advocacy of multilateralism (the Kyoto Protocol, the International Criminal Court, the fight against the death penalty and against terrorism, the central role of the UN system, etc.);

12.  Recommends that joint action be taken in all areas and forums in which there is a clear convergence of principles, values and interests, including collective peace and security under the auspices of the UN, the protection of human rights, environmental protection policies, development, the involvement of civil society in the global governance process and reform of the international financial and trade system and its institutions (World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization (WTO));

13.  Stresses that a multilateral approach is the best means of tackling the shared challenges facing the Euro-Latin American partners, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime, corruption and money-laundering, trafficking in human beings (including the criminal organisations that exploit and benefit from illegal immigration), climate change and energy security;

14.  Reiterates its belief that action to combat terrorism must be carried out with full respect for human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law; demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages in Colombia, with priority being given to those who are sick; considers that their release should be effected by unilateral decision of the FARC or any other organisation by which they are being held or, failing that, under an emergency humanitarian exchange agreement;

15.  Draws attention to the repeated resolutions of the UN, the LAC-EU Summit and this Parliament rejecting all coercive measures such as those set out in extraterritorial laws which, owing to their unilateral and extraterritorial nature, are in breach of international law, distort competition between the Euro-Latin American partners and undermine their joint commitment to multilateralism;

A strong boost for regional integration and the partnership agreements

16.  Considers the conclusion and effective implementation of comprehensive, ambitious and balanced EU-Latin America partnership agreements fostering respect for the human, economic and social rights of the population and mutual sustainable development as well as a reduction in social inequalities, as a complement to WTO multilateralism, to be a strategic objective in an international context marked by ever-greater interdependence and by economic growth and the emergence of new economic powers and a growing number of challenges at world level but also by the emergence of serious and far-reaching economic crises which regional integration would help to alleviate and solve in a significant way;

17.  Proposes, accordingly, that in the economic and commercial field the creation of the Euro-Latin American global interregional partnership area should be based on a model which is compatible with both the WTO and regional integration, to be applied in two stages:

   a) a first stage involving the conclusion, at the earliest opportunity, of the negotiations on the EU-Mercosur, EU-Andean Community and EU-Central America Interregional Partnership Agreement and the deepening of the existing EU-Mexico and EU-Chile association agreements;
   b) a second stage, to be completed in 2012, involving the conclusion of a Global Interregional Partnership Agreement ensuring legal and institutional support and full geographical coverage for the various strands of the strategic partnership and providing for the free movement of persons and bi-regional trade through a deepening of both the existing regional integration agreements within LAC and the EUs partnership process with all countries and regional groupings;

18.  Proposes that the Lima summit commission a study on the feasibility and environmental and social sustainability of the global interregional partnership agreement, with a view to the creation of the proposed Euro-Latin American Interregional Global Partnership Area;

The Lima Agenda for the eradication of poverty, inequality and exclusion

19.  Calls on the Lima summit for this agenda to include the adoption of a limited number of clear, firm and verifiable undertakings in all these areas that are liable in themselves to lend fresh impetus to the strategic partnership and substantially to improve the living standards of its citizens on both sides of the Atlantic; recommends that specific attention be paid to reducing social inequalities and to integrating groups that are in a marginal social position and lacking in opportunities, and first and foremost indigenous communities;

20.  Urges the LAC-EU Summit participants systematically to include the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, approved by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007, in the bi-regional agreements;

21.  Considers it fundamental for the two regions to include the objective of social cohesion in a permanent, cohesive and practical manner in all their joint initiatives and programmes; maintains that the Euro-Latin American partners are engaged in a common project in which a market economy and social cohesion should not be opposing forces but should complement each other;

22.  Recommends that the Lima Agenda for the eradication of poverty, inequality and exclusion include specific measures such as:

   joint actions towards the common objective of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, including the gender dimension in order to empower women and defend their rights,
   use of the EU Financial Instrument for Development Cooperation(5) in a manner tailored to the real needs on the ground, with this mainly concerning those emerging and middle-income countries for which cooperation in the areas of technology, higher education and innovation, and economic cooperation, is of particular importance;
   the gradual use of resources under the EU Financial Instrument for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights worldwide(6) for assistance and programmes aimed at improving governance, democratic institutional structures and the human rights situation in LAC;
   opening up the EU's programmes in the areas of training, education, scientific and technical cooperation, culture, heath and migration to the Latin American countries;
   support for institutional and fiscal reform programmes;
   creation of a Bi-regional Solidarity Fund;
   an increase in the budgetary resources allocated, so that these match the major ambitions that have been stated;

23.  Calls on the partners to adopt sound and workable policies in the areas of democratic governance, social affairs, public finance and taxation, with the objective of enhancing social cohesion and reducing poverty, inequality and marginalisation;

24.  Considers education and investment in human capital to be the basis of social cohesion, economic and social development and social mobility; reiterates its strong support for the creation of a "common EU-LAC-EU higher education area"; emphasises that, both in LAC and in the EU, the state must guarantee access to education, as well as to other public goods (health, water, security);

25.  Considers it essential to give fresh impetus to the EU's development cooperation policy towards LAC which, in maintaining the combating of poverty and social inequalities as a key element, should follow a targeted approach that takes into account the differing economic and social circumstances and levels of development of the countries of LAC;

26.  Believes it essential, for the same reason, to move beyond a purely aid-oriented approach to development cooperation with LAC, by centring attention on cooperation in the areas of technology, higher education and innovation and on harnessing the resources generated in this area under the Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration activities(7) ;

Developing means of cooperation in the field of migration policies

27.  Suggests that the Summit launch a regular bi-regional dialogue on migration which ensures that the rights of migrant workers are respected whatever their circumstances, and which develops and deepens cooperation with the Latin American countries of origin and transit in the field of the free movement of persons, using the same global and balanced approach already being applied to African and Mediterranean countries and the Union's eastern and south-eastern neighbours;

28.  Requests that priority be given, within that dialogue, and especially as concerns the countries of origin and/or of transit of illegal immigrants, to issues relating to illegal immigration and opportunities for legal migration;

29.  Proposes that, between now and 2012, common rules and regulations of a general scope be considered to facilitate the movement not only of goods, services and capital but also of people, thus gradually creating a partnership that is of the most wide-ranging nature possible, to the benefit of both sides and of the global approach advocated by the UN on migration issues;

30.  Reiterates the need to reduce the current excessive costs incurred by migrant workers in transferring remittances, and to support the return of those who wish to do so through programmes that safeguard all their rights and their human dignity and worth;

31.  Calls on the Commission to bring forward a communication extending to the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean the priorities, instruments and forecasts of the Global Approach to Migration laid down by the Conclusions of the Presidency of the European Council of 15 and 16 December 2005 and further developed in the Conclusions of the Presidency of the European Council of 14 and 15 December 2006;

The Lima Agenda in relation to sustainable development, and in particular the environment, climate change and energy
32.Recommends that the political agenda between the EU and the countries of LAC give priority to cooperation on climate change and policies for preventing global warming; points out that the very poor, and especially indigenous populations, are the first to suffer from climate change and a deteriorating environment;
33.Points out that the partnership between the European Union and LAC in this sense is of crucial importance given both parties" interest in promoting sustainable development and environmental balance, and therefore advocates mutual support for their respective environmental initiatives at international level;

34.  Calls on the Latin American partners, in cases in which opinions differ on the details of measures to combat climate change (e.g. as regards air traffic), to adopt a constructive approach and under no circumstances to completely block initiatives;

35.  Recommends that the EU-Latin American partners work towards the accession to the Kyoto Protocol of the heavily emitting countries that are not yet parties thereto, and that they strengthen and coordinate positions in negotiations on international instruments concerning global warming, while also strongly promoting emissions trading between the two regions;

36.  Considers it essential to combine economic development with sustainable development; in this respect supports the least-favoured countries in their two-fold effort to reduce polluting emissions and to further their progress and social well-being;

37.  Advocates the creation of joint mechanisms and cooperation within LAC international organisations (such as the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation) for decision-making and financing purposes in respect of the protection and sustainable development of major world wilderness areas, such as the Amazon region, that are located in Latin American countries;

38.  Calls on the Commission to help encourage the development of environmental policies in LAC countries; considers that cooperation and the level of best practices should be strengthened, with this also being reflected in EU funding and in development aid policy;

39.  Calls on the Lima summit to develop joint initiatives in areas such as climate change, desertification, energy (particularly renewables and agrofuels), water, biodiversity, forestry and the management of chemical products on the basis of the Roadmap adopted at the thirteenth UN Climate Change Conference in Bali on 15 December 2007;

40.  Calls on the Lima Summit to address, study and put forward possible solutions to the world food crisis;

Strengthening institutional promotion and forecast mechanisms

41.  Also recommends:

   a) establishing a Euro-Latin American Foundation, of a public-private nature, for the promotion of dialogue between the partners on similar lines to those already existing for other geographical areas such as Asia or the Mediterranean; calls on the Commission to draw up a detailed proposal in this respect;
   b) establishing a Bi-regional Centre for Conflict Prevention, dedicated to the early detection of the causes of potential violent and armed conflicts and to seeking how best to prevent them and stop them from escalating;
   c) repeats its suggestion to create a Migration Observatory responsible for permanently and closely monitoring all issues in connection with migratory flows in Latin America;

42.  Considers it essential to strengthen the parliamentary dimension of the strategic partnership and supports the Latin American request in which the number of Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly members required in order to facilitate the inclusion of the recently constituted Mercosur Parliament is put at 150;

o
o   o

43.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Presidency of the Fifth LAC-EU Summit, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of all the EU Member States and all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, the Latin American Parliament, the Central American Parliament, the Andean Parliament and the Mercosur Parliament.

(1) OJ C 140 E, 13.6.2002, p. 569.
(2) OJ C 296 E, 6.12.2006, p.123.
(3) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0576.
(4) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0431.
(5) Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006, establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (OJ L378, 27.12.2006, p.41).
(6) Regulation (EC) No 1889/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide (OJ L 386, 29.12.2006, p. 1)
(7) OJ L 412, 30.12.2006, p.1

Last updated: 25 November 2008Legal notice