The EU and Brazil established diplomatic relations in 1960 building on close historical, cultural, economic and political ties. Our bilateral political relations have continued to widen and culminated in 2007 with the establishment of a Strategic Partnership. Central topics of the partnership currently include economic growth, cooperation on key foreign policy issues, and jointly addressing global challenges in areas such as human rights, climate change, sustainable energy, the fight against poverty. Trade is an important subject of dialogue, as Brazil is the most important market for the EU in Latin America and the EU is Brazil's first trading partner.
Since 2007, the EU and Brazil hold annual summits at the highest political level. The most recent EU-Brazil Summit was held on 24 February 2014 in Brussels. A High Level Political Dialogue is equally held on a yearly basis at political or senior officials' level and broaches international and regional issues of mutual interest. The Strategic Partnership is implemented through Joint Action Plans, the most recent JAP covering 2012-2014 . Some 30 sectorial dialogues foreseen in the JAP are currently active.
EU-Brazil cooperation is also governed by the EC-Brazil framework co-operation agreement (1992) and the Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation (2004). Brazil is a founding member of Mercosur with which the EU signed a Framework Co-operation Agreement in 1995 whose main objective is the preparation of an inter-regional association agreement.
Under the Development Cooperation Instrument (2007-2013), Brazil has benefitted of 61 million EUR mainly for the development of bilateral relations (support to sectorial dialogues, scholarship programs and European Studies Institute) and support to the environment. Brazil has also been a recipient of DCI regional funds (2007-2013). From 2014 to 2017, cooperation with Brazil will continue via the new Partnership Instrument (PI), and also through regional and thematic programmes. Loans from the European Investment Bank are equally available.