On Thursday 21 and Friday 22 March 2024, CNCD-11.11.11, together with the participation of numerous European networks, including the EU-LAT Network, organized the European Citizens’ Summit. The Summit coincided with the meeting of European heads of government in Brussels, in the framework of the European Council.

At the Summit, Belgian and European civil society discussed six main topics: peace, human rights and security, in-depth transformation of our economy, respect for planetary boundaries, migration justice, democratic participation, and a united response to global challenges. By exchanging views on the path towards a sustainable and just Europe, some common strategies were identified.

The Summit was organized around different thematic workshops and two plenary sessions with keynote speakers. The EU-LAT Network participated in the co-organization of a workshop on EU-CELAC relations. The workshop offered a critical perspective on EU-Latin America relations and the fundamental role that civil society should play in decision-making processes. Starting with an overview of the current EU-CELAC dynamics and the assessment of the EU-CELAC Summit in July 2023, new opportunities and challenges were explored in the run-up to the next Summit in Colombia in 2025.

David Velazco, a Peruvian human rights lawyer who was in Brussels as part of an advocacy tour organized by the EU-LAT Network and Caritas France, also participated in this workshop. His valuable intervention, bringing the local view from the region, was highlighted in a press release that addresses the impact of mining in Peru.

On the second day, our Interim Executive Director, Giovanna Teijido Vazquez, intervened in the final plenary session specifically covering the issue of closing democratic spaces in Latin America, and reaffirming the need for bi-regional civil society to have a place at the table in the preparations and development of the future EU-CELAC 2025 Summit.

At the end of the Summit, more than a hundred civil society organizations, including the EU-LAT Network, signed a Declaration expressing their dedication and commitment to promoting a just, sustainable and solidarity-based Europe. The Declaration “[affirms] the equal right of all people to lead a decent life and emphasize that the fight against all forms of inequality, whether social, gender, racial, or any other, must be the cornerstone of all policies aimed at guaranteeing universal respect for human rights.”

You can find the Summit Declaration at the following link:

Summit Declaration