EU-CELAC Summit, 17-18, 2023 - Family Photo



Brussels, Belgium

Main Outcomes

July 17-18, 2023

"We reaffirm that by working together as sovereign partners, we are stronger and better placed to face the multiple crises and challenges of our times." ---Declaration of the EU-CELAC summit 2023

Eight years since their last gathering, EU leaders and leaders from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) met in Brussels for the third EU-CELAC summit. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the CELAC pro tempore president, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves, co-chaired the summit. At the summit, EU and CELAC leaders committed to renewing their long-standing partnership, which is founded on shared values and interests and strong economic, social and cultural ties.

The leaders discussed a broad range of issues to bolster the partnership, including: enhanced cooperation in multilateral, global peace and security, trade and investment, efforts to combat climate change, justice and security for citizens. At the end of the summit they adopted a declaration, which was endorsed by all countries, with one exception due to its disagreement with one paragraph, and agreed to hold summits every two years.


The leaders reaffirmed that the basis of the EU-CELAC partnership is a shared commitment to democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, inclusive multilateralism and international cooperation in line with the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and international law. Together, the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean make up more than a third of UN membership and are a force for a strong rules-based multilateral system. In this context, the leaders committed to:

  • fight discrimination and gender-based violence
  • promote fundamental labour rights and standards
  • promote gender equality
  • promote the rights of indigenous people, children, human rights defenders, persons in situations of vulnerability and people of African descent
  • enhance cooperation in multilateral fora and financial institutions

The leaders expressed their profound regret for the untold suffering inflicted on millions of men, women and children as a result of the transatlantic slave trade.

Climate change and sustainable development

The leaders recognised the importance of open and fair trade, productive supply chains and access to markets and their contribution to sustainable development. Cooperation with regard to critical raw materials and rare earth metals is especially important in this respect. The EU, Latin America and the Caribbean have one of the world’s densest trade networks, with total trade in goods and services of €369 billion in 2022. Building on these solid foundations, the leaders welcomed ongoing work on trade agreements between the EU and Chile and Mexico and discussed how to further strengthen economic and trade ties between the regions. They also took note of ongoing work between the EU and Mercosur. Leaders also recognised the potential contribution of the EU-LAC global gateway investment agenda, which will address investment gaps and mobilise funding for areas such as sustainable development, digital transformation, health infrastructures and energy production.

Digital transition

Leaders stressed the importance of promoting a responsible, human-centric, values-based and inclusive digital transition. In this regard, they highlighted the need to protect privacy rights, increase digital connectivity and cybersecurity, close digital gaps and contribute to trust in the digital economy. In the margins of the summit, a joint declaration on a digital alliance was also agreed, with the aim of boosting cooperation on digital matters to the benefit of citizens.

Justice and security for citizens

The leaders agreed to consolidate and strengthen their partnership on justice and security and to combat organised crime in all its forms, as well as corruption and money laundering. The leaders also noted the huge challenges faced and efforts made by countries fighting international crime, including the illicit drug trade and trafficking in weapons and humans.

Health resilience

The EU and CELAC committed to advancing work on the local manufacturing of vaccines, medicines and health technologies. They will also work together to strengthen the resilience of health systems to improve prevention, preparedness and response to public health emergencies. In this regard, leaders look forward to progress on the new legally binding instrument from the World Health Organization, which it aims to agree by May 2024.