Europe Seeking New EU-LatAm Relationship: Van Rompuy
    2013-01-27 11:17:04     Xinhua       Web Editor: Liu Ranran

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Saturday praised the close relationship between the Europe and Latin America, especially those with Mexico and the Caribbean.

Europe is negotiating a trade treaty with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), a trade body made up of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Paraguay.

"There is a rapprochement process between the CELAC and the EU, which we soon hope to see reflected in joint organizations," he said at the opening session of the Latin American Community of States (CELAC) and European Union (EU) summit.

The Council is a separate organization to the EU and has no legislative power, although its suggestions often become EU policy.

"We will spare no effort in reaching that goal," said Van Rompuy, a former Belgian prime minister.

"The European Union, with its experience in integration is watching this ambitions project with great interest, because of its political, socioeconomic and cultural aspects," he said.

Van Rompuy warned that there were substantial differences between the two blocs, but the leaders on each side of the Atlantic had to begin making real decisions on the subject.

Despite those caveats, "we are battling those inequalities and millions of people have already been lifted out of poverty."

"Globalization means our fates are interlinked, and our organization had strengthened its relationships and has taken action, seeking to tackle the international crisis head on," he said.

He noted that much work needed to be done in Europe, and existing goals were not yet reached, especially in deepening economic and monetary union and boosting competitiveness.

"We know that we represent a great partner alongside whom we will be able to tackle those challenges. CELAC is an important partner in the international community, not only economically, but also politically," he said.

Some 43 heads of state attended the two-day CELAC-EU summit on Saturday. Croatia, which will become a full EU member in July, was also invited to the meeting.

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