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The Relations between the European Union and Latin America

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Latin America's fragile and unstable democracies: A role of political stabilization for the EU.
    1. A history of political instability and a recent restoration of fragile democracies.
    2. The involvement of the EU to support political stability and democratic values in Latin America.
    3. Transition.
  3. EU-Latin American Economic and trade agreements.
    1. Latin America's economic and development's difficulties.
    2. EU-Latin America co-operation on the economic and social fields.
    3. Financial aid for development.
  4. A focus on the issues of drug traffic and guerrillas.
    1. The interconnected issues of drug traffic and internal guerrilla.
    2. EU as an emerging actor in the fight against drug traffic and the matters linked with guerrillas: Focus on Colombia.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

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. [...]

[...] In parallel to this strategic partnership, and at a political level below, the EU reinforces its political relations with Latin America through the Rio Group that was established in 1986 and later enlarged to all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a forum of political consultation that facilitates a strengthened political relationship through ministerial meetings which implement the decisions made within the Strategic Partnership. In the Athens' Declaration of March 2003, the countries of the EU-Rio group affirm their common values and objectives such as the defence of human rights, justice and the consolidation of democratic regimes. [...]

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