The EU seeks to strengthen and deepen further its privileged partnership with Chile, which is based on an extensive convergence of common values and objectives at international level.
Relations between the EU and Chile are very good, built initially on the 1996 Framework Cooperation Agreement, which established a political and economic Association between the two partners. The 2002 EU-Chile Association Agreement (fully in force since 2005) was at that time an ambitious and innovative agreement that still provides a comprehensive framework for the main aspects of EU-Chile relations, i.e. political, trade and cooperation.
The Agreement provides for political dialogue meetings which have taken place regularly at all levels since 2003. Most recently, in November 2012, President Piñera of Chile paid an official visit to the EU institutions in Brussels, where he met Presidents Barroso [62 KB] and Van Rompuy [81 KB] .
The Agreement also provides for bi-annual meetings of a ministerial Association Council - the most recent was the V EU-Chile Association Council , held in Brussels in October 2011 – and for annual meetings of the EU-Chile Association Committee at the level of senior officials. The 11th meeting of the Association Committee [64 KB] took place on 3 October 2013 in Brussels and marked the 10th anniversary of implementation of the EU-Chile Association Agreement.
There are also EU-Chile agreements on Chemical Precursors, Science and Technology Cooperation, and Air Transport; and dialogues on human rights, employment and social policies, and regional policy. In June 2011, letters of intention were signed to develop cooperation in six new fields: tourism; SME policy; industrial cooperation; cooperation on standardisation; raw materials; and ground navigation by satellite and Earth observation.
Chile is one of only two South American countries to have participated in the EU Military Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ALTHEA, concluding for that purpose an ad hoc participation agreement.
The EU-Chile Free Trade Agreement (which entered into force in 2003 and is the trade pillar of the EU-Chile Association Agreement) has spurred a major increase in the bilateral trade flow throughout the past decade. The EU is Chile's second trade partner, with 15.4% of Chile's total bilateral exchanges, behind China (20%) but ahead of the US (15.3%). The past decade has seen sustained growth in EU-Chile trade flows. Trade shows a positive annual average growth of 13% between 2003 and 2011, with total trade in goods doubling from €7.7 billion to €18.3 billion. The EU is the main source of Foreign Direct Investment in Chile with 37% between 1974 and 2010 (an accumulated €77 billion), followed by the USA with 26% and Canada with 18%. Chile is the EU's fourth FDI recipient in Latin America (behind Brazil, Mexico and Argentina) and accounts for 3.4% of all EU FDI outflows between 2006 and 2009.
In light of Chile's economic performance, the EU decided in 2011 to “graduate” Chile from bilateral cooperation in order to explore together new forms of cooperation more suited to Chile´s situation and stature (e.g. a member of the OECD since 2010). Chile remains eligible for cooperation under thematic, regional and sub-regional cooperation programmes.