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Minister Murphy welcomes EU partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean


Minister Murphy welcomes EU partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Mr Dara Murphy, TD, today attended a meeting of Ministers of the European Union and of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Brussels.

Ministers were meeting to finalise preparations for the EU-CELAC Summit on 10-11 June, which the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, and Minister Murphy will attend, along with Heads of State and Government from the 28 EU and 33 CELAC countries. The purpose of the Summit is to reinforce the EU-CELAC relationship and build a partnership on the theme of "Shaping our common future: working for prosperous, cohesive and sustainable societies for our citizens".

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Murphy said:

“Leaders from the European Union and from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States will meet tomorrow and Thursday to discuss how to strengthen the historic links between the two regions, and build on our like-minded approach to overcoming global challenges.

“Today Ministers finalised an ambitious plan for the Summit and worked together to ensure a common and positive message which reflects the priorities of the over one billion people we collectively represent. These include joint actions to work together on global issues such as the fight against poverty, protecting the world’s climate, the post-2015 UN development agenda, education initiatives, and the promotion of human rights.

“Ireland has longstanding ties to the Latin America and Caribbean region, with active Irish communities and growing cultural and economic links there. Trade between Ireland and the region totals more than €3bn, and the Irish diaspora in Latin America numbers over 500,000 people.”


Note to Editors

· The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, is a regional bloc which encompasses all 33 sovereign Latin American and Caribbean countries, representing roughly 600 million people. CELAC aims to strengthen the region's political dialogue, and social and cultural integration, improve its quality of life, stimulate economic growth, and advance the well-being of all of its people.

· CELAC has become the EU's counterpart for the bi-regional partnership process, including at summit level. Every two years, since 1999, EU, Latin American and Caribbean leaders meet at a summit to set the priorities of the partnership, the EU being the oldest institutional partner of the region. Previous EU- LAC summits were held in Rio de Janeiro (1999), Madrid (2002), Guadalajara (2004), Vienna (2006), Lima (2008) and Madrid (2010).

· The first EU-CELAC / 7th EU-LAC summit took place in Santiago (Chile) on 26-27 January 2013, under the Irish EU Presidency, and focused on trade collaboration and the promotion of investments of social and environmental quality.