Reflection on expectations for the II CELAC-EU Summit and how the potential of the strategic partnership CELAC-EU could be maximised for the Caribbean countries

Hon. Frederick A. Mitchell is the Member of Parliament for the Fox Hill Constituency and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The Bahamas, as Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for the period January-June 2015, presently sits as the CARICOM representative on the CELAC Quartet.

This paper is a contribution to the EU-LAC Foundation’s Newsletter of June 2015 dedicated to the theme of “Reflection on expectations for the forthcoming CELAC-EU Summit and how the potential of the strategic partnership CELAC-EU could be maximised (for the Caribbean countries)”.

The truth is that the reasons for the coming together of the Latin American and Caribbean States (now, the Community, CELAC, using the Spanish acronym) and European Union (EU) some sixteen years ago in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the institutional relationship now called the CELAC-EU have not changed that much. This is evident in the anticipated outcomes of the upcoming summit in Brussels, and the process towards them remains challenging.

The theme of the Brussels Declaration (“Shaping our common future: working together for prosperous, inclusive, cohesive and sustainable societies for our citizens”), the Political Declaration (“A partnership for the next generation”), and the areas of focus for the related Action Plan on this occasion include the very issues on which the relationship had its genesis in 1999 – among them in no particular order, education and higher education, employment, promotion of social inclusion and cohesion, citizen security, migration, sustainable development, environment, climate change, biodiversity, and energy

Neither has the sense of urgency in addressing the common points really changed.

What has changed, or perhaps more appropriately what is changing, is ... (read paper)