Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) were particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the region is facing its worst recession on record. The crisis aggravated existing structural challenges, including inequality, informal employment, gender-based violence and insecurity.
The social unrest and political instability that have marked the regional context in recent years could worsen as economic hardship is set to continue, notably for women, thus undermining social cohesion, democracy and respect for human rights.
The European Union is strengthening its engagement with the LAC region to support economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnership will work towards a renewed socio-economic model, which will contribute to long-term prosperity and stability. This will be based on a climate-neutral, circular and inclusive economic transition, including a just and clean energy transition, digital transformation, social fairness and increased regional integration.
In Central America, the EU supports the regional integration process. The objective is to promote joint solutions to shared challenges, with a focus on sustainable economic integration, green and blue recovery, digital transformation, and inclusive and peaceful development.
For the Caribbean, the EU-OACPS Partnership Agreement sets out the objectives of the Caribbean-EU partnership. The region has specific needs, especially given the intrinsic vulnerability of its small economies to regular external shocks. The objectives here include improving environmental sustainability and climate resilience; transitioning to a sustainable and diversified economy that supports decent jobs and growth, and promotes trade and investment; enhancing good governance, and building inclusive and secure societies where institutions are accountable, and no one is left behind.
Our cooperation with LAC partners will contribute to shared multilateral commitments, including the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the European Consensus on Development, as well as the Gender Action Plan in External Action and the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy.
A detailed outline of EU cooperation with the Americas and the Caribbean for the next budget period (2021-2027) can be found in the ‘multi-annual indicative plan’ (MIP) below.
During this period, regional programmes for the Americas and the Caribbean will mainly support
- the green transition
- digital transformation
- sustainable and inclusive economy
- democratic governance
- security and migration
They will also support social cohesion and address inequalities. Human development and education will figure prominently in these main areas.
Given the specific nature of the EU’s relationship with the Caribbean sub-region, cooperation to reinforce the Caribbean-EU partnership will focus on three priority areas
- the Green Deal
- economic resilience and trade
- governance, security and human development
- The EU-LAC Digital Alliance is the next major step forward for digital cooperation between the regions, strengthening the EU's digital engagement with LAC through a mutually beneficial alliance
- The BELLA connectivity programme links the European and Latin American research and education communities
- EL PAcCTO II seeks to contribute to security and justice in Latin America by supporting the fight against transnational organised crime
- The Amazon Basin programme aims to improve the capacities of the Amazon Basin countries to fight deforestation and forest degradation and strengthen indigenous and local communities’ roles in this fight, including through support for sustainable value chains in agriculture and forestry
- EUROCLIMA+ is our flagship cooperation programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with the LAC region
- The Latin America and Caribbean Investment Facility mobilises funding for development projects by combining EU grants with financial resources from European and regional financial institutions, governments and the private sector
- Copolad III supports the implementation of more effective drug policies
- Eurofront supports the fight against human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Latin America
- Central American Digital Trade Platform (PDCC in Spanish) facilitates trade and enhances economic integration in Central America, helping maximise the benefits of the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America
- EU Caribbean Resilience-Building Facility enhances the long-term disaster resilience and adaptation capacity for the most vulnerable in the Caribbean region