EU–LAC: a relationship beyond trade
Political dialogues between unequal partners
in Latin America–European Union relations in the twenty-first century
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The recent decline in EU–LAC trade exchange and development co-operation occurred parallel to an increasing weakness of political dialogue forums. The three elements trade, development co-operation and political dialogue between the EU and Latin America followed the EU foreign policy doctrine of inter-regionalism, a group-to-group relationship between two integrated blocs. This “triangle model” came under stress from the backlash of globalisation and regionalism, and the emergence of external actors like China or India to the detriment of traditional partners like the US and the EU. To reactivate relations, the EU and Latin America should reduce political co-operation to those issues that are of real mutual interest and inter-regional convergence like drugs or climate policies. At the same time the “one size fits it all” approach does not work in a deeply divided region in terms of development, size, political ideology and external partners.

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