BRUSSELS: High Representative/Vice-President (HR/VP) Josep Borrell visited Argentina on 25-28 October, following his trip to Uruguay, as part of an overall trip to reinforce relations with the Latin American region.
In Buenos Aires, HR/VP Borrell met with President Alberto Fernández, where he outlined the EU’s commitment to strengthening the EU-Argentina partnership, particularly in the areas of trade, the fight against climate change, energy and the digital agenda. HR/VP Borrell reiterated the EU’s readiness to move ahead with the EU-Mercosur agreement, highlighting it takes into consideration Argentina’s concerns. They agreed to start negotiations for the modernisation of the bilateral EU – Argentina political and trade agreement, which had been established in 1990 and hasn’t been updated since. The HRVP also announced the upcoming conclusion of an Memorandum of Understanding on Energy with Argentina, for increased cooperation on renewables and green hydrogen, which will pave the way for LNG exports to Europe.
The HR/VP also held in-depth discussions on the Russian aggression against Ukraine with the Argentine authorities and thanked them for upholding the rules-based international order.
HR/VP Borrell also met with Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, as well as Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, to whom he reiterated the EU’s support to the Argentine people as they celebrate four decades of democracy next year.
The visit also included a crucial regional focus. The HR/VP co-chaired with Foreign Minister Cafiero an EU-CELAC ministerial meeting, which agreed a joint statement. Held for the first time since 2018, the meeting brought together 54 countries, represented at ministerial and senior official level, and provided an important opportunity to exchange on joint opportunities and shared challenges the Latin American and Caribbean region and Europe are facing. They agreed to launch the ‘Route 23’ – a roadmap of high-level events and activities that will culminate with the EU-CELAC Summit in summer 2023 in Brussels.
The HR/VP was also invited to attend the Ministerial meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) and held several bilateral meetings with member countries in the margins, such as Cuba, Ecuador, Paraguay and the Secretary General of CEPAL. During a bilateral meeting with his Chilean counterpart, Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola, they agreed to conclude the negotiations of the modernisation of the EU-Chile Association Agreement in the coming weeks in Brussels. The modernised agreement will provide a comprehensive framework for EU – Chile relations, fit for purpose for the new geostrategic environment.
Finally, on 28 October HR/VP visited the Río Negro region of Argentina to launch an EU-funded call for projects supporting human rights and civil society, worth €6 million.
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