BRAZIL & the EU
Brazil and the European Union share a longstanding relationship based on strong cultural and historical ties, a common heritage which contributed in time to strengthen their economic and political relations.
More than five decades of close cooperation
Brazil has been one of the first countries with whom the EU has established diplomatic relations, starting their first common efforts back in 1960 with the exchange of formal diplomatic missions. Since 2007, when the EU recognized Brazil as one of its main global interlocutors by establishing a formal the EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership, the EU and Brazil are also strategic partners, strengthening co-operation and developing a deeper dialogue.
Yearly Summits have been held since 2007, focusing on key global challenges such as climate change, the international financial crisis as well as the analysis of the respective regional situations. These have been very successful events generating a positive dynamic in the relationship and providing guidance and impetus for an intensified cooperation at more technical levels. More than thirty sector dialogues have been established so far, and the implementation of the second EU-Brazil Joint Action Plan (JAP 2012-2014) is steadily advancing.
In the coming years, the EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership should evolve in tune with a constantly changing global environment and with Brazil’s increasingly prominent role in it.
The present relationship is governed by the EC-Brazil Framework Cooperation Agreement(1992), the EU-Mercosur Framework Cooperation Agreement(1995) and the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation(2004). Relations are very solid, with growing regular political dialogue meetings and consultations in the margins of major multilateral events.
Making Brazil a strategic partner has generated a major diversification and intensification of the EU-Brazil relationship. Significant results have been achieved in many “technical” areas of cooperation through the signature of specific bilateral agreements, the establishment of new sectoral dialogues and the intensification of bilateral exchanges.
Overall and beyond the numerous specific activities, the Strategic Partnership shall continue to build mutual trust and understanding and an enhanced ability to act together. Setting and updating a common agenda and working on the basis of full reciprocity will be important elements to progress.
Today, Brazil and the EU have reached one of the highest points in history of their political, economic and trade relations, but they are not yet close to prove their true potential.
The EU-Brazil Agenda
The launch of formal EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership was the key for the EU to further deepen its ties with Brazil. This important Partnership was formalized at the first ever EU-Brazil Summit, which was held in Lisbon in July 2007. The Strategic Partnership and its first multiannual Joint Action Plan (2008-2011) lead to a reinforced relationship between the two sides, including in the area of political relations. Central topics of the partnership include effective multilateralism, climate change, sustainable energy, fight against poverty, Mercosur’s integration process and Latin America’s stability and prosperity. In 2011, a new multiannual Joint Action Plan was agreed for the period 2012-2014, with the aim of further enhancing and structuring bilateral cooperation. Today, high level bilateral dialogues are taking place in over 20 different areas of common interest.
The EU and Brazil have an important trade relationship, as Brazil is the most important market for the EU in Latin America and a key country in Mercosur. The EU, taken as a block, is still the main trade and investment partner for Brazil, ahead of China and the US.
Science and Technologyand Information Society and Media are two other important areas where cooperation with Brazil is particularly important, with specific EU-Brazil partnerships in several sectors and numerous joint project activities.
With reference to technical and financial cooperation, the Brazil Country Strategy Paper provided a strategic framework for the EU cooperation with Brazil during the period 2007-2013. A total of €61mn was earmarked for Brazil in two focal areas: enhance bilateral relations [through sectoral dialogues, scholarship programmes and the European studies institute] and the environment.