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A valuable summit

By Christian Leffler Managing Director, Americas DepartmentEuropean External Action Service  -  07.02.2013 / 03:55 CET
EU's summit with Latin American did make some headway.

In last week's edition, you wrote that the EU's summit with Latin American and Caribbean countries on 26-27 January in Santiago de Chile had “little in the way of tangible results” (“Lack of results”, In Brief section, 31 January-6 February).

It may all be a matter of perspective but still this strikes me as slightly unfair. To give a couple of examples: We convinced our partners to sign up to the importance of stable and transparent regulatory frameworks and of providing legal certainty for economic operators.

We also brought closer the entry into force of our landmark free-trade agreement with Peru and Colombia and our association agreement with central America (both are now expected to be provisionally applied by the middle of 2013). And we added two chapters to our common action plan, opening new areas of co-operation.

Above all, I would like to reassure your readers that contrary to what you wrote, the two sides did not reaffirm a “commitment to protectionism in all its forms” but rather a commitment to avoiding protectionism, as you rightly reflected in your more extensive article on the summit in the previous edition (“Change of approach in Latin America talks”, 24-30 January).

Given the problematic behaviour of some countries in the region in recent months, this in itself strikes me as being a worthwhile and positive result from the summit.


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