Brazil-EU: Parliamentarians’ exchange

How to strengthen cooperation on the climate and sustainable development agendas

17/07/2023
16:00 - 19:30
FEPS HQ (Expert meeting)
FEPS HQ (Expert meeting)
Brazil-EU: Parliamentarians’ exchange
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brazil-european-union-parliamentarians-exchange
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The world faces a looming recession and an armed conflict with global repercussions, as well as grave setbacks in poverty alleviation, the fight against hunger and the pursuit of sustainable development. Amidst this turbulence, climate change continues to pose growing challenges.

This context, which is also marked by growing tensions between the United States and China, reinforces the strategic value of strengthening cooperation among partners from different regions, such as Brazil and the European Union (EU), who aim to develop more effective responses to global challenges while also advancing common interests.

As both actors seek to accelerate the transition to more sustainable economies, including to fulfill commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, it becomes ever more important to elevate the cooperation between Brazil and Europe on issues related to climate, environment and sustainability more broadly.

It is against this background that the EU-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Heads of State Summit was held in Brussels on 16 and 17 July 2023, with the aim of expanding bi-regional cooperation on strategic issues. The Summit took place at a time when Brazil is working to strengthen regional integration, which is already being advanced as a result of the country’s return to CELAC and to the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), as well as via efforts to reinvigorate the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), including through a free trade agreement with the European Union – which is pending ratification by the parliaments of the two economic blocs.

Besides the EU-Mercosur agreement, which has repercussions in areas that range from industrialisation to the environment, there are a series of Brazil-EU cooperation initiatives that could have significant domestic impacts and, therefore, require attention from parliamentarians belonging to both regions. For example, the European Union’s legislation aimed at prohibiting the imports of products associated with deforestation, which will come into force in 2024, will require robust adaptations by business sectors in commodity producing countries, including Brazil. The EU pursuit of transitioning to more sustainable energy models will also have strong consequences for countries that possess critical minerals for the green transition, such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Beyond the realm of sustainability, enhancing political cooperation will also be essential to address common challenges such as the threats posed by anti-democratic trends and the rise of the extreme right worldwide.

Consequently, FEPS and Plataforma CIPÓ hosted the meeting: “Brazil-European Union: Parliamentarians’ exchange on how to strengthen cooperation on the climate and sustainable development agendas,” at FEPS’ headquarters in Brussels on 17 July 2023. The event brought together progressive Brazilian parliamentarians and members of the European Parliament. The goal was to informally debate and identify opportunities to advance cooperation, based on mutual interests, with an emphasis upon the areas of climate, technological and energy transition, sustainable development and green industrialisation.

The event marked the launch of our policy brief ‘Lula’s new government‘, produced in collaboration with Plataforma CIPÓ, on perspectives for cooperation between Brazil and Europe and was followed by a standing dinner.

Guiding questions

  • Which role can parliamentarians from both regions play to ensure that Brazil and EU member states fulfil international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement? In this regard, which sectors should be prioritised to encourage bilateral cooperation on a sustainable basis?
  • How can parliamentarians act to reduce the risks that bi-regional free trade agreements, such as the EU-Mercosur agreement, could have in reinforcing unequal trade patterns?
  • How to ensure that initiatives for the extraction and trade of critical minerals to the energy transition generate mutual benefits for both exporting and importing partners? In other words, how to ensure that countries holding critical minerals can also benefit from the added value of products derived from the extraction of such minerals?
  • How can Brazil and the European Union cooperate to achieve supply chains that are free from deforestation and other environmental crimes in order to ensure compliance with the Brazilian environmental framework and European due diligence regulations?
  • How can Brazil and the European Union cooperate to achieve supply chains that are free from deforestation and other environmental crimes in order to ensure compliance with the Brazilian environmental framework and European due diligence regulations?
  • How can the Brazil-EU cooperation be strengthened in preparation for the 2023 SDG Summit and the 2024 Summit of the Future?
  • How can Brazil and the EU enhance their cooperation to counter anti-democratic and extreme right trends?
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About Plataforma CIPÓ

Plataforma CIPÓ is an independent, non-profit, women-led research institute dedicated to issues of climate, governance and international relations from Latin American and Global South perspectives. CIPÓ supports local and national governments, international organisations and civil society and private sector entities in developing effective responses to the emerging challenges of the climate crisis.

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