I am very pleased with the results of these two days of discussions with our Latin American and Caribbean partners.
Latin American and the Caribbean is an area of stability in the world, a success story which has lifted 70 million people out of poverty in the last decade.
President Tusk outlined already what was agreed during the Summit so let me just add a few words on two topics:
Deepening Economic Ties
Our economies are already deeply connected:
– Trade agreements have been concluded with 26 countries out of the 33 in the region, which makes this the region the EU has the most trade agreements with.
– Latin America is also the area where, apart from North America, the EU has the most investment: with over half a trillion in investments, we have invested more than we have in Russia, China and India together.
The EU has always supported CELAC and will continue to do so.
The European Commission announced over €800 million in support to the region in the last 2 days :
– €230 million to support the efforts towards the sustainable development of Latin America and the Caribbean
– a landmark €346 million for a new regional funding programme with the Caribbean region up to 2020
– an EU contribution of €118 million for strategic investment projects
– €81.5 million to finance capacity building projects linking European and Latin American higher education institutions
– around €25 million for a new fibre-optic cable connecting Europe and Latin America
And the funds we have allocated to cooperation for the next period will remain unchanged. Almost €2.5 billion for Latin America to support programmes in the areas of education, information society, environment, support to SMEs; and an additional billion for the Caribbean countries which have particular needs linked to their vulnerability to climate change.
A new type and focus for our cooperation
A lot has changed in the last decade.
Countries which used to be recipients of development cooperation are now donors – student becoming teacher – and are playing a more prominent role in international relations.
So too must the way we cooperate evolve. New opportunities for South-South cooperation are opening up and we want to be partners in this process.
So I am happy to announce that the Commission will set up an international cooperation facility aimed precisely at triangular cooperation.
We are also working to tackle the global challenges together. Our planet and our citizens demand it from us.
We will be working closer together on areas such as migration, the fight against illicit drugs and poverty reduction.
We had a thorough discussion on climate change in view of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) scheduled for next December in Paris. We all agree on the need for an ambitious agreement Peru has put us on track for this, and in Paris we need to deliver.