A Relaunch of EU-LAC relations

Brenda Alcantara

Julliane is a single mother living with her 3 children and her sister in a poor neighbourhood in Brazil. 

The EU must relaunch its relationship with Latin America (LAC) by putting the region and its societies higher on the EU agenda. 

This ‘relaunch’ must focus on ending inequality in LAC – one of the world’s most unequal regions. Six out of ten people are struggling to make ends meet, while six percent of regional GDP is lost every year due to tax evasion and fraud. At the same time, 91 billionaires have amassed a combined wealth greater than Colombia’s GDP

The EU launched a new agenda for the region in June 2023. But this agenda just masks the old business agenda as Europe continues to chase trade and investment and sidelines people.  

The EU should instead bridge the gap between the rich and the poor and hold business accountable for damage done to people and the planet. It must stop putting private investment above people and instead support initiatives to tackle inequality, protect civic space and the environment. And the EU must listen to the people of Latin America and the Caribbean instead of making one-sided trade deals and extracting raw materials.  

 Oxfam calls for the EU to prioritise a partnership: 

  • Prioritises human rights and fights inequality while protecting the environment and promoting the region's digital transition.  
  • Includes inequality reduction targets in the Global Gateway projects and plans due diligence obligations for companies getting funds from the Global Gateway.  
  • Includes a democratic mechanism that allows civil society organisations and others to monitor EU-CELAC relations. 
  • Promotes a bi-regional Pact for Care Societies to recognise care work and strengthen women’s rights.