Fiftieth Lecture - Benita Ferrero Waldner

Fiftieth Lecture - November 30, 2012

“EU-LAC Relations: Towards a Renewed Partnership of Cooperation”

Speaker: Benita Ferrero Waldner, President of the EU-LAC Foundation

It's a great honor and pleasure for me to be here today in my capacity as an Honorary Chairwomen of the European Union - Latin American and Caribbean Foundation, the Ell-LAC Foundation, a function that I exercise as an Honorary Chairwomen and I would like to thank you for the invitation to speak about " EU-LAC relations towards a new partnership", here at the Headquarters of the Organization of American states
(OAS) in Washington DC. My conviction about the relevance of the partnership between the European Union, Latin America and the EU has been a cornerstone of my political and diplomatic career: First, as Secretary of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria and later on, as European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighborhood Policy.

If I look back, I think that over the years we have consistently been strengthening the Strategic Partnership, initiated in Rio de Janeiro in 1999, and I believe that the present and the future hold many opportunities to continue doing that. Of course there are lots of challenges but I tend to see them as a chance to renew our partnership.
The relations between Latin America and the Caribbean on the one hand and the European Union on the other have already seen some centuries of shared history with "light and shadow".
Both regions have had already an institutionalized relationship for more than 4 decades and, from the Summit of Rio de Janeiro onwards a Strategic Partnership between EU and LAC was created, thus giving a framework to the bi-regional relations between the two continents, comprising a total of 60 countries, the 27 of the EU and the 33 of LAC.


Full Speech in English