Inter-regionalism beyond the executives
Contemporary dynamics of EU–LAC inter-parliamentary relations
in Latin America–European Union relations in the twenty-first century
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Inter-regional relations between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean (EU–LAC) have not only been identified within the diplomatic and intergovernmental spheres. In fact a prominent inter-parliamentary dialogue between these regions has been promoted since the 1970s, years before the first EU–LAC executive summits. The fact that due to colonialism the continents have historically shared the same language, political traditions and culture facilitated the political approximation of both sides, including at the inter-parliamentary level. Alongside this common political and cultural background, in 2006 the Euro–Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (Eurolat) was formalised as the parliamentary dimension of EU–LAC bi-regional Strategic Association (1999). Considering the relations among parliamentarians from the two sides of the Atlantic, this chapter aims to shed some light on the past and current developments of EU-–LAC inter-parliamentary relations, something still neglected by the academic literature on EU–LAC inter-regionalism. By unveiling recent debates and topics of the Eurolat agenda since its establishment in 2006, this chapter intends to highlight how EU–LAC relations at the parliamentary level have evolved over the past decades. Important emphasis is given not just to the development of the institutional settings of this relationship but also to the political or ideological aspects of it, which explain how parliamentarians and political parties of the two regions have dialogued and clashed over key political, economic and social issues over the past years.

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