The EU-LAC Working Group, of which the EU-LAT Network is a member, published a Joint Letter on the EU-CELAC Summit and the Role of Civil Society, addressed to HR/VP Josep Borell and Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen.

The EU-LAC Group, a platform of European networks and organisations working on EU-LAC relations established in 2014 in light of the EU-CELAC Summit that year, agrees in valuing the relaunching of bi-regional relations between Latin America and The Caribbean and the European Union in view of the EU-CELAC Summit coming July. The Group agrees on the importance of these relations, but also, as has been stated on various occasions,  the complementary role that civil society plays in democratic societies as well as civil society participation in EU-LAC relations.

However, despite existing regulations and the EU’s recognition of and commitment to meaningful civil society participation, the EEAS and the European Commission have not established and implemented effective mechanisms within the framework of EU-LAC relations to fulfil this responsibility in preparation of the EU-CELAC Summit this year.

Therefore, the EU-LAC Working Group urgently calls on the European Commission and the EEAS to develop, in cooperation with the CSOs of the two regions, a genuine process of effective and meaningful participation guided by the principles of transparency and accessibility in preparation of the next Summit. As part of the objective of strengthening EU-LAC relations in all areas, the Group reaffirms its commitment and willingness to cooperate and develop jointly with the European institutions to design, plan and implement the processes of CSOs consultation and participation. This should be implemented both before and during the EU-CELAC Summit, as well as a follow up on the established commitments and agreements to ensure not only the plurality and success of this Summit, but also the future of the latter.

Please read the entire Joint Letter here