The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen made her first visit to Chile on June 14, as part of a regional tour that includes Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. The objectives of this visit were to further the bilateral relationship that is deepening with the upcoming signature of the new EU-Chile Advanced Framework Agreement and launch new cooperation initiatives on the development of renewable hydrogen. The visit also provided an opportunity to highlight the new agenda for strengthening the European Union’s partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean and focus on the bi-regional issues to be addressed at the EU-CELAC Summit, to be held in Brussels on July 17-18.
During her visit, President von der Leyen affirmed the European Union’s conviction that Chile is truly a privileged partner of the EU. “Chile is a like-minded partner and our offer is to take our extensive cooperation to the next level.”
In a bilateral working meeting with the President of the Republic of Chile, Gabriel Boric, the President of the European Commission expressed her confidence that the EU-Chile Advanced Framework Agreement will be signed soon, and emphasized the importance that this new agreement will have in the relationship between both parties. It is worth noting that the Advanced Framework Agreement will help deepen political dialogue and cooperation for joint action on current global challenges. It will advance common values and interests, such as human rights, peace and security, and the defence of multilateralism. It will also foster sustainable trade and investment, supporting the green and digital transitions and offer new opportunities for business.
“This agreement will open a new chapter in our partnership and place our shared values at the heart of our alliance: respect for human rights, gender equality, transparency and sustainability. And it will also ensure that these values are reflected in our trade and investment relations,” said President von der Leyen at the joint press conference.
As an example of this closer cooperation, President von der Leyen announced the launch of two new bilateral dialogues between the European Union and Chile on Security and Defence and on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. She also conveyed the European Union’s interest in concluding a strategic partnership on raw materials to deepen cooperation and build sustainable value chains.
Regarding the trade pillar of the new EU-Chile Advanced Framework Agreement, the President stated that “Chilean companies and investors will receive the same treatment as their European counterparts in our market. Small and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from simpler procedures when doing business in Europe. And Chilean agricultural products will have better access to the EU market”.
In the framework of this same meeting, the two leaders addressed the international context and the President of the European Commission stressed the importance of a global condemnation of the illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine that has had such devastating consequences and valued Chile’s clear position on the matter.
The President also spoke to President Boric about the strategic importance of the New Agenda launched last week to strengthen the European Union’s partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean, which will be a cross-cutting theme of the upcoming EU-CELAC Summit. The priorities of the bi-regional meeting will include multilateralism and rules-based order, the green and digital transitions and trade and sustainable development.
At the Palacio de La Moneda, President von der Leyen and President Boric presided over the launch of two new renewable hydrogen cooperation initiatives developed in the framework of the European Union’s investment and connectivity strategy ‘Global Gateway’: the “Team Europe Project for the Development of Renewable Hydrogen in Chile” and the “Team Europe Renewable Hydrogen Fund in Chile”.
These projects are an example of the concrete opportunities that can emerge from deeper cooperation on shared priority areas between the EU and Chile, including the digital transition and the development of renewable energies in a way that is mutually beneficial and supports the need for both regions to move towards green and clean economies.
President von der Leyen ended her visit to the country at Comberplast, a Chilean plastics recycling company that maintains close ties with several European companies, using state-of-the-art technology from Germany, Austria, France and Italy, importing duty-free thanks to the 2002 Association Agreement, and exporting recycled products to the Netherlands and other European countries. In addition, Comberplast is participating in a European Union cooperation project, providing technical assistance to identify European suppliers of technology for the recycling of telecommunications cables.
During her guided visit to the company in the company of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alberto Van Klaveren, President von der Leyen had the opportunity to meet with a group of children from an elementary school in San Bernardo, who were then treated to an educational play and received a graphic novel illustrating the issue of ocean pollution. These activities were supported by the European Union as part of its efforts to raise awareness among young people of the various dimensions of the fight against climate change.
Source: European Union