The EU and Latin America and the Caribbean States are linked by strong historical, cultural and economic ties. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was launched in 2011 and represents a regional political coordination mechanism, which gathers all 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries in the region. CELAC is the EU's official counterpart for the region-to-region Summit process and strategic partnership.
The European Union's engagement with CELAC is part of a flexible approach to its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, combining different levels of relations – regional, sub-regional and bilateral – which are complementary and mutually reinforcing. The engagement with CELAC is complemented by strong bilateral relations with individual countries, while deepening cooperation with other sub-regional or regional groups such as Mercosur, CARICOM/CARIFORUM and the Pacific Alliance.
Cooperation on home affairs related issues, in particular on migration and mobility is a key element of this bi-regional partnership and is as such identified in the EU-CELAC Action Plan. The EU-Mercosur Agreement, agreed in principle on 18 June 2020, contains an article on migration and international protection of refugees.
Regional dialogue on migration
Cooperation on migration issues between the EU and the Latin America and the Caribbean States takes place in the framework of the EU-CELAC Structured and Comprehensive Dialogue on Migration, launched in June 2009.
The European Commission attaches importance to this dialogue, as it brings together the EU and 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries to discuss migration and mobility matters.
In addition, the EU has concluded Strategic Partnerships with Mexico and Brazil, which foresee cooperation on security and migration related issues both in multilateral fora and at bilateral level.
In the context of the Strategic Partnership with Mexico, a dialogue on justice and security has been established. The dialogue was created by the EU-Mexico Joint Executive Plan (JEP) adopted at the Santander EU-Mexico Summit in May 2010 and launched on 15 July 2011 in Brussels. The second dialogue took place in 2016 in Mexico. The third dialogue is currently being planned.
The modernised EU-Mexico Global Agreement, which was agreed in principle on 21 April 2018, contains provisions on migration, asylum and border management, drugs, money laundering and terrorism financing, cybercrime and data protection.