On 17 July 2018 in Brussels, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini hosted a meeting with the representatives of the four countries of the Pacific Alliance: the Pacific Alliance pro-tempore Presidency, Foreign Minister Ms. Maria Ángela Holguín from Colombia, Foreign Minister Mr. Roberto Ampuero from Chile, Foreign Minister Mr. Néstor Popolizio from Peru, State Secretary Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba from Mexico and as well as with the Foreign Ministers of the 28 EU Member States.
The participants confirmed the willingness of both the EU and the Pacific Alliance to reinforce relations on the basis of common values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and on a shared vision for open trade and investment and sustainable development.
The two sides concurred on the importance to promote multilateralism and a rules-based global order as well as of open, transparent, inclusive and World Trade Organisation -consistent free trade agreements for improving competitiveness and fostering sustainable socio-economic development and social inclusion.
Both parties highlighted the convergence between the Pacific Alliance's objectives of creating an area of integration achieving the free movement of people, goods, services and capitals and the EU's own experience that can be shared with partners.
The HRVP and the Pacific Alliance representatives agreed to establish a road map of specific areas of dialogue, cooperation and mutually beneficial activities under the form of exchange of experience and information, so as to draw the relevant lessons from each other's integration processes and promote the constituting objectives of the Pacific Alliance in the following areas:
a. Trade and investment;
b. Financial integration and regional development funds;
c. Free movement of persons;
d. Education and student mobility;
f. Digital economy and connectivity;
g. Environment and Green Growth;
h. Innovation, science and technology;
i. Any other area of cooperation that the participants decide by mutual agreement.
For this purpose, both parties underlined the importance to pursue their contacts with a view to increasing dialogue, deepen relations and conclude a Joint Declaration in the near future.
The Pacific Alliance (PA) was launched in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The four countries constituting the PA comprise a population of around 217 million people, representing 34% of the GDP, 56.9% of total trade and 41.5% of Foreign Direct Investment within the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region.
On 6 June, 2012, the PA was formally established when the Framework Agreement was signed at a presidential summit in Antofagasta, Chile. This document instructs the relevant authorities from the signatory countries to put in place a range of integration strategies, such as trade, free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, conflict-resolution, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, academic and cultural exchanges, migration, etc. It also establishes the requirements for the future participation of other countries. It entered into force on 20 July 2015.
In 2014, the four members of the PA concluded a Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) Protocol, harmonising and going beyond existing bilateral FTAs. The PA also encourages closer ties in education and innovation, and moving towards a common area of free movement of persons. The FTA Protocol entered into force in 2016.
The EU has an interest in strengthening relations with the members of the PA because of the commonalities and shared objectives of the two blocs as well as the expanding and dynamic nature of the Alliance. All PA members have bilateral free trade agreements with the EU, and two of them (Mexico and Chile) are at different stages of the modernization of those agreements.
In light with its priority to support regional integration, the EU has offered to share its experience with the PA from the outset. Informal dialogues were initiated in the following areas: i) Trade and investment, ii) Student exchanges and cooperation within Erasmus+ iii) Free movement of persons iv) Science/Innovation within the EU-LAC Common Research Area v) SMEs.
The specific cooperation activities carried out to date have shown the potential for more joint work.