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As of 1 December 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty entering into force, the Delegation of the European Commission turned into the Delegation of the European Union to Brazil. The Delegation in Brazil is one of over 130 European Union Delegations around the world. The Delegation has the status of a diplomatic mission and officially represents the European Union in Brazil. The institutions of the European Union are the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice, the European Central Bank and the Court of Auditors.
On 1 January 2007 the European Union completed its fifth enlargement. Today the European Union is made up of 27 Members States, has a population of around 500 million and is the largest trading bloc in the world.
The Delegation's mandate includes the following:
I am delighted to have taken up the post of EU Ambassador to Brazil. Plenty of good work has been done in the past few years and we have an excellent basis from which to take EU-Brazil relations to new heights. And there are many reasons to believe that we can indeed be ambitious about the future of EU-Brazil relations.
The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries. It has delivered half a century of peace, stability, and prosperity, helped raise living standards on the continent and is progressively building a single Europe-wide market in which people, goods, services, and capital moves between the Member States as freely as within a single country. The achievements are tremendous, and in fact unprecedented, anywhere in the world. However, although Europe is increasingly united, both politically and economically, new challenges have emerged: global economic and humanitarian crises have come knocking at Europe's door; the very pillars of peaceful international engagement have been violated in Europe's own neighbourhood; and of course like the rest of the world we face the deep and long-term challenges of dealing with climate change.
This context reminds us of a simple truth: none of us can get by in this world without, as John Lennon put it, a little help from our friends. What is true for the EU is true for Brazil and a quick glance shows easily how much we can gain from each other. We have much in common: we share democratic values and respect for liberties and human rights; we attach great importance to values that are important to the world, such as the preservation of peace, the promotion of democracy and the quest for sustainable development.
Today, Brazil is one of the European Union's main partners and interlocutors in the world. The EU and Brazil established diplomatic relations in 1960 building on close historical, cultural, economic and political ties. Bilateral relations have continued to widen and culminated in 2007 with the establishment of a Strategic Partnership between the EU and Brazil. Since then, the EU and Brazil hold annual summits, focusing on key global challenges as well as on further enhancing our direct relations. Central topics of the partnership include economic growth, cooperation on key foreign policy issues, and jointly addressing global challenges in areas such as human rights, climate change as well as the fight against poverty. Over 30 formal dialogues between the European Union and Brazilian authorities have been initiated to address these challenges.
The European Union and Brazil are also important trading partners and the countries of the European Union account for over 20% of Brazil's exports. The European Union is also the largest foreign investor in Brazil with around 60% of the foreign investment originating from the European Union.
This is an exciting background for me personally as I take up my post in the beautiful and extraordinary city of Brasilia. I invite you to visit our site frequently in order to get updated information on our numerous activities in Brazil, as well as to familiarize yourselves with the European Union's overall objectives and priorities. I also invite you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and I am looking forward to your comments and reactions.
Thank you for your interest in the European Union
João Gomes Cravinho
João Gomes Cravinho
Alejandro Zurita Centelles
Maria Rosa Sabatelli
Sonia Vega Alonso