The European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean enjoy privileged relations and are natural partners, linked by strong historical, cultural and economic ties. They share a strategic bi-regional partnership, which was launched in 1999 and stepped up significantly in the recent years. The two regions co-operate closely at international level across a broad range of issues and maintain an intensive political dialogue at all levels.
In her opening remarks, the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini stated "our people share many of the same principles and the same interests. Millions of people from our continents live and work across the Atlantic. The European Union is the top foreign investor in Latin America and the Caribbean, accounting for one third of overall investment in the region. We are also launching a European facility to support development in transition in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is not traditional development aid; this is cooperation with a continent that is getting stronger and stronger. We are moving beyond the old donor - recipient mentality towards a partnership among equals".
During the Ministerial Meeting a prize ceremony award took place which focused on the civil society. The EU-Latin America and Caribbean (EU-LAC) Foundation organises the EU-LAC Awards with the aim of promoting better understanding among the citizens of the European Union (EU), Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAC) and giving visibility to good practices carried out between individuals and organisations from both regions. This year four winners have received a prize.