María J. García
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Arantza Gómez Arana
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Conclusion
The more things change the more they stay the same?
in Latin America–European Union relations in the twenty-first century
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This volume has shown how inter-regional relations have evolved over time, and how they have been mediated by exogenous factors, mainly US policies, economic crises and, more recently, the perceived crisis in globalisation. President Barack Obama’s approach to trade policy, with his desire to engage in mega-regional agreements in the Pacific and Atlantic spaces in order to set the global trade rules, bypass the WTO and stagnating Doha Round negotiations, and counter Chinese economic power, helped to encourage MERCOSUR states to re-engage in negotiations with the EU (Gomez-Arana 2017). Even more importantly, since the election of President Donald Trump in November 2016, the EU took on the baton of promotion of a liberal trade agenda and redoubled efforts to conclude ongoing trade negotiations with partners across the globe, in symbolic defiance of the US stance. In the 2020s EU–Latin American co-operation for a united front in defence of the liberal order, exemplified in the conclusion of EU–MERCOSUR negotiations and motivated by the need to respond to Donald Trump’s presidency, shows a renewed spirit of co-operation amongst two regions united by common values and goals. However, as in past decades, each side’s complicated domestic political and economic situations, which the Covid-19 outbreak has exacerbated, threatens to once again relegate EU–Latin American relations in the hierarchy of foreign policy priorities.

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