Latin America is a huge geographical and cultural space that faces many serious difficulties in development because of high social inequalities, drug traffic and democracies that are often young and fragile. Because of these important issues, and as Latin America is a potentially important economic partner and is linked to the European culture, history and identity because of its colonial past -mainly under the Spanish and the Portuguese Empires-, one expects the European Union to play an important role of the there. However, since the independence of Latin America, the United States has considered Latin America to be under its sphere of influence, part of its security policy and rejected any kind of European involvement there. This was proclaimed in the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. Even though the United States wants to remain the main foreign actor in Latin America, things have changed today, as European countries are not imperialists anymore and appear to be a support for stability and democracy.
[...] Plus, EU and Latin America passed agreements in order to give to the European Investment Bank an active role in the development of the region. During the period 2007-2013, the financial aid to Latin America has an amount of EUR 2.8 billion. The Commission uses all the levels of governance existing in Latin America in order to give as much efficiency as possible to the funds it distributes. In other words, it applies the principle of subsidiarity in Latin America: some funds must be used at the regional level, others at the national one. [...]
[...] TRANSITION It's undeniable that the close cultural and historical links existing between Latin America and the European Union, mostly through Spain and Portugal, facilitate much the increasing co-operation and collaboration between both sides. Every Agreement that was signed between them underlined that fact. Plus, the EU has a relation of confidence with Latin America that the US lost because of the Realpolitik the last one applied in what it considered to be its “sphere of influence” during the Cold War. [...]
[...] Indeed, it is both a source of better understanding strong cultural ties exist between Latin America and the EU- and an element limiting the European involvement in Latin America's internal affairs. Conclusion “Every true history is contemporary history”. That's what said the Italian historian Benedetto Croce to criticize the excesses of positivism in social sciences. This sentence could also be used to qualify the change of states' behaviours and role in international politics in time. While the United States appeared to be a key partner of the new Independent Latin American Republics in the beginning of the 19th century against the European colonial empires, the situation is inversely different now in the mind of many Latin Americans. [...]
[...] The level of trade relations between the EU and Latin America doubled in the last fifteen years, which proves the growing links that emerged between both sides. EU imports from Latin EU exports to Latin America-Caribbean America-Caribbean (trade) (agricultural products, (mainly capital goods, transport equipment and transport equipment and energy) chemical products) The EU is the leading investor in Latin America, along with the US, with a level of investments of EUR 250 billion in 2003. The agreements that have been mentioned in the first part of this essay not only aimed at reinforcing political links but also at increasing economic links between EU and Latin America. [...]
[...] The involvement of the EU to support political stability and democratic values in Latin America (mostly via co-operation with regional and sub-regional levels of governance) The European Union has become a very important political partner for Latin American countries. It decided to reinforce its political links with Latin America through multilateral agreements and regular meetings of heads of states and governments, and ministers. Its objectives are to promote regional co-operation within Latin America, political stability, democratic values and human rights, as well as to make both sides more interconnected. [...]
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