President Macri was received by the President of the European Council, Mr. Donald Tusk, and had a meeting with the European Commission with the participation of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Mrs. Federica Mogherini, the Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis, the Vice President for the Energy Union, Mr. Maroš Šefčovič, the Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Mrs. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the Commissioner for Trade, Mrs. Cecilia Malmström, and the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Mr. Neven Mimica. The Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Mr. Román Escolano, also participated in the meeting.
HR/VP Federica Mogherini warmly welcomed the visit and expressed the European Union's great satisfaction with the excellent state of bilateral relations between the EU and Argentina, based on a strong shared commitment to democracy, human rights, multilateral institutions and a close commercial partnership.
Recalling also recent and forthcoming visits by many European Heads of State and Government and Foreign Ministers to Argentina, HR/VP Federica Mogherini and President Macri stated: "The European Union and the Argentine Republic have been working intensively together over recent months to give a new political impetus to our longstanding bilateral relations. Our past, our peoples, our cultures, our values and a strong resolve to build our future together all unite us. We are happy we have built an ambitious renewed agenda based on our common understanding of the challenges and opportunities our societies are facing in a globalizing world."
President Macri and the Members of the Commission reviewed the very positive dynamics of relations between the Argentine Republic and the European Union, and discussed possibilities to further strengthen ongoing cooperation in the following areas:
- The EU and Argentina are facing up to global challenges like climate change and the refugee crisis in the Middle East and have been strengthening their cooperation in the United Nations and other multinational fora like the G20 – which Argentina will chair in 2018 - on these and many other issues.
- The scale of the Syrian refugee crisis makes it a global challenge, which demands a global response, one that involves the UN, UNHCR and all key international players, as well as global responsibility sharing. Argentina and the relevant Commission services and the European External Action Service (EEAS) are stepping up their cooperation to provide relief to refugees from the Middle East and in particular from Syria. Argentina is part of this global effort, notably through the “Syria programme", which provides for the issuing of humanitarian visas for the benefit of Syrian citizens and their families or Palestinians who had been under the protection of UNRWA and are affected by the conflict in Syria. Argentina is willing to receive new refugees from the conflict areas, taking into account local reception capacities, the need for successful integration of the persons in question, and relevant security considerations. The Commission stands ready to offer technical support and to consider specific joint projects in this regard. Argentina, the Commission services and the EEAS aim to promote mutual understanding and the exchange of experience and information on good practices in policies aimed inter alia at social integration. They also intend to work together to assess possibilities to expand humanitarian assistance in Middle Eastern countries affected by the conflict in Syria.
- United in their commitment to continue making a significant contribution to international peace and security, the EEAS and Argentina have agreed to conduct consultations on possible cooperation on EU crisis management missions in accordance with UN principles and United Nations Security Council resolutions.
- Argentina and the EU share a strong belief in regional integration as a basis for peace and sustainable development. They are committed to advance the negotiations for an EU-Mercosur Association Agreement which will strengthen political relations based on common values and interests, and boost trade and investment relations between both regional organisations. As an important step in this direction, the exchange of market-access offers covering goods, services and public procurement took place on 11 May 2016. This has now been followed by an active negotiation agenda aiming at an ambitious and balanced agreement.
- The EU has a strong interest in the general reform process taking place in Argentina, which has enabled its return to international financial markets and is increasing its attractiveness as a destination for international trade and investment cooperation.
- Acknowledging the importance of maintaining a fluid dialogue on macroeconomic issues in order to strengthen mutual trust and to further improve the business climate, the Commission and Argentina welcome the very fruitful resumption on 26 May 2016, in Buenos Aires, of the Macroeconomic Dialogue. The next meeting will be held in 2017 in Brussels.
- Argentina is actively attracting fresh investment for growth and jobs. The European Investment Bank stands ready to support the economic reform process in Argentina with relevant lending activities. Based on the priorities transmitted by Argentina, the EIB will now evaluate specific project proposals.
- The EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Mrs Elżbieta Bieńkowska intends to lead a European Business Mission to Argentina towards the end of the year in order to enhance trade and investment relations.
- Facing similar challenges in reducing internal economic and social disparities and aiming at a more balanced territorial and urban development, Argentina and the Commission agreed to establish a Dialogue on Regional and Urban Policy. The dialogue aims to promote mutual understanding and enhance bilateral co-operation and the exchange of information. A Letter of Intent to establish this dialogue was signed during the visit by Minister Malcorra and Commissioner Mimica.
- The Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European External Action Service have today signed an Agreement on the establishment of a Diplomatic Exchange Programme, which will provide a framework to enhance cooperation and contribute to the diffusion of best practices between both services.
- Commissioner Neven Mimica and Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on international cooperation. This document provides a framework for triangular cooperation activities in third countries with the aim of supporting sustainable development, in accordance with the strategic guidelines of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In October, the Commission will hold its annual consultation on the implementation of its cooperation programmes with its Latin American cooperation partners. This event will be hosted by Argentina's Ministry for Foreign Affairs and will include the official launch of the International Cooperation Facility, and an information session on the EU's Latin American blending facility (LAIF) mechanism.
- The EU and Argentina, aware of the common challenges they face in fighting organized crime, in particular drug trafficking, are developing stronger ties of cooperation in ensuring citizen security, notably through active Argentine participation in EU regional counter-narcotics projects (COPOLAD, Cocaine Route Programme). Argentina has announced the decision of its four federal law enforcements agencies to join AMERIPOL and has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the implementation of the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP).
- At last year's EU-CELAC Summit, the EU committed to further strengthening the bi-regional partnership with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and will inter alia continue work with CELAC partners in the framework of the EU-CELAC Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism on Drugs for which Argentina has recently been elected CELAC coordinator. The Commission is currently preparing its regional citizen security programme for Latin-America.
- Argentina and the Commission recently confirmed their intention to use and further expand the excellent results of Argentine participation in projects under the Horizon 2020 Science and Technology research programme which demonstrates the high level of innovation and technological development of scientific and academic institutions. This includes a commitment to reinforce the Bilateral Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation in Strategic Priorities, such as bio-economy, marine research, climate, renewable energies and information and communication technologies. The bilateral agreement signed in 2015 will allow Argentine researchers to participate in European Research Council initiatives. The Commission is committed to also further strengthen regional science and technology cooperation, recognizing the key role Argentina can play in moving towards an EU-CELAC Common Research Area.
- Argentina and the Commission note with satisfaction their bilateral cooperation on education, where Argentine students and higher education institutions are already participating very actively in EU programmes like Erasmus+ and Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions.
- Finally, Argentina and the Commission reaffirm their interest to continue engaging in dialogues and cooperation activities in a number of other areas, such as biotechnology applied to agriculture, sanitary issues and animal welfare, employment, labour and social protection issues, environment and sustainable development, climate change and energy and energy efficiency.
- The regular EU-Argentina Joint Cooperation Committee will be convened in Buenos Aires in the fourth quarter of the year to coordinate ongoing interaction and to identify new opportunities for political and economic cooperation. It includes a Trade pillar and will be complemented by a Human Rights Dialogue.