The European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean have enjoyed privileged relations since the first bi-regional Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1999, which established a strategic partnership. They are natural partners linked by strong historical, cultural and economic ties. They co-operate closely at international level and maintain an intensive political dialogue at all levels – regional (the first EU-Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States summit was held in Santiago, Chile in January 2013), sub regional (Central America, the Caribbean , Andean Community and Mercosur) and, increasingly, at bilateral level.
Summits of the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) leaders take place biennially, the last one was held in Santiago , Chile, in January 2013, and the next one will take place in Brussels in 2015.
HRVP Catherine Ashton has said: "The EU is following with interest the dynamics of Latin America and I believe we need to find even more ambitious ways of working together."
EU-CELAC -A Strategic Partnership for the 21st century
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), launched in 2010, is a regional mechanism for political dialogue and cooperation encompassing for the first time all 33 LAC countries. It merged the Rio Group (political consultation forum) and CALC (“Cumbres América Latina y Caribe” – internal LAC Summits). From now on CELAC will be the EU's counterpart for the bi-regional partnership process, including at summit level.
Apart from the biennial summits and regular Senior Officials’ Meetings, the EU and CELAC are pursuing a number of specific thematic dialogues and initiatives including:
Latest European Union High Level visits to the region
EU-CELAC Leaflet [823 KB]
For more information on the EU policy towards the region: