Edgars Rinkēvičs is Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU. This paper is a contribution to the EU-LAC Foundation’s Newsletter special edition EU-CELAC Summit 2015.
On January 1, 2015 Latvia for the first time assumed the Presidency to the European Council. The priorities of the Latvian Presidency are Competitive Europe, Digital Europe and Engaged Europe. The first priority aims to enhance the competitiveness and growth of the European Union, second - fully exploit the digital potential in the economy, but third - to reinforce the role of the European Union in the global arena. Taking into account that EU and Latin America are like-minded partners linked by an intensive political dialogue as well as strong historical, cultural and economic ties, third priority is directly linked with enhancing relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean. Therefore I am honored that exactly during Latvian Presidency Brussels on 10 – 11 June, 2015 will host II EU – CELAC summit.
Sustainable development, citizen security, climate and even fundamental freedoms, like human rights, are facing global challenges that can be tackled only in a close and strategic partnership of like-minded partners. Therefore, the second EU- CELAC Summit is an excellent opportunity to affirm and develop the partnership between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean. To have all our Latin American partners at a single event is remarkable and we ought to use gathering like this to further our shared aspirations. (Read paper)