- This is the first time in eight years that a Mexican Foreign Secretary has traveled to Brussels.
- At the EU-LAC Business Forum and with BusinessEurope, Secretary Bárcena explained Mexico’s priorities for sustainable investment, including the Sonora Plan and the Trans-Isthmus Corridor.
- The Secretary invited Europe’s leading business chambers to invest in Mexico to contribute to the development of the Mexican people.
- At the Progressive Leaders event, she said that the Mexican Government is focused on providing better living conditions for the most disadvantaged, achieving the wellbeing of the Mexican people, and ensuring that everyone has access to basic services.
- Secretary Bárcena took part in the People’s Summit 2023 at the European Parliament, highlighting the desire of political and social forces and movements to build an alternative development model and respectful relations between Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe.
- At the First Conference of Mexican Migrant Women in Europe, the Secretary said that the Foreign Ministry is working every day to ensure that Mexican migrant women participate in the decision-making in the countries where they live.
- The Foreign Secretary held bilateral meetings with more than 20 European, Latin American and Caribbean national delegations.
On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Alicia Bárcena concluded her participation in the CELAC-EU Summit, which she attended on behalf of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, after which she reached several agreements that will strengthen Mexico’s diplomatic work around the world and attract investments to the region and to the country’s priority projects.
This was the first time in the last eight years that a Mexican Foreign Secretary has traveled to Brussels and to the CELAC-EU Summit, the most important meeting for the relationship between the two regions. At the Summit, Foreign Secretary Bárcena remarked that there was a frank and open exchange between two regions, which share democratic values and respect for a rules-based international system.
The two regions agreed to move forward with identifying the infrastructure priorities in Latin American and Caribbean countries through the Global Gateway Initiative, which has 44.5 billion euros from Europe. Under this program, Mexico has promoted the participation of European investment in key projects for Mexico’s sustainable development, such as the Sonora Plan, the Interoceanic Corridor and sustainable water management.
From July 17-19, Secretary Bárcena’s agenda in Brussels included activities in addition to the Summit. These included attending the EU-LAC Business Forum and holding a meeting with BusinessEurope to explain Mexico’s priorities in terms of sustainable investment, including the Sonora Plan for Sustainable Energy and the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
In her remarks to the EU-LAC Business Forum, the Secretary highlighted the importance to the region of the European Union’s support for initiatives such as the Health Self-Sufficiency Plan backed by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). She referred to the importance of cooperation between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean, and in particular between Mexico and the European bloc, in order to capitalize on a broad spectrum of mutual benefits in a rapidly evolving geopolitical scenario with new strategic alignments.
Secretary Bárcena attended a lunch with BusinessEurope, an organization whose members are European national business federations, where she presented the Mexican Government’s priority projects, such as the Interoceanic Corridor and the Sonora Plan, and invited Europe’s leading business chambers of Europe to invest in Mexico to contribute to the development of the Mexican people.
At the Progressive Leaders event, an informal forum with key progressive leaders including the Heads of State and Government of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Portugal and Spain, and the Vice Presidents of the European Commission: Borrell (Foreign Affairs and Security), Timmermans (Green Deal) and Urpilainen (International Partnerships), the Foreign Secretary highlighted the mechanisms for facing global challenges that are made possible by cooperation and dialogue.
She said that the Mexican Government, headed by President López Obrador, is committed to the highest progressive values under the motto of “The poor come first.” She stressed that our government’s priorities are to provide better living conditions for the most disadvantaged; achieve the general wellbeing of the Mexican people; ensure that everyone has access to basic services and can freely exercise their rights; to consolidate the rule of law, and to fight corruption and impunity.
The Foreign Secretaray met with the European members of the Mexico-European Union Joint Parliamentary Committee. She agreed with the MEPs that both parties should urgently approve the modernized Global Agreement, so that it can be adopted during the current European legislature, whose legislative period ends in April 2024.
At the meeting, the two parties agreed on the excellent inter-parliamentary relationship. In the opinion of both parties, the Joint Parliamentary Committee is functioning well and, after the interruption forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, is again holding two alternating annual meetings.
Accompanied by the Mexican delegation, the Foreign Secretary attended the closing event of the People’s Summit 2023 at the European Parliament, which was attended by the presidents of Colombia and Bolivia; Socialist, Green and left-wing MEPs; and European and Latin American social representatives.
One of its goals was to raise awareness of the desire of political and social forces and movements to build an alternative model of development and respectful relations between Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe, and to promote a debate on current global issues, as an alternative to the vision imposed from the traditional centers of power. At the event, the participants highlighted the broad social changes brought about by the arrival of progressive governments in Latin American countries.
In line with the Mexican Foreign Ministry’s feminist foreign policy, the Foreign Secretary attended the First Conference of Mexican Migrant Women in Europe: Successes, Opportunities, Needs and Challenges, organized by the Embassy of Mexico in Belgium and the Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME).
In her remarks, she said that the Foreign Ministry works on a daily basis to ensure that Mexican migrant women participate in decision-making in the countries where they live, with its institutional strategies to create opportunities and more egalitarian, sustainable, efficient and inclusive spaces that are in line with the transformation, inclusion and development of Mexican women around the world.
She said that Mexico’s feminist foreign policy aims to eliminate structural differences and gender inequalities. Also participating in the event were IME head Luis Gutiérrez Reyes, and the Foreign Ministry’s Director General of Consular Protection and Strategic Planning, Vanessa Calva Ruiz, who is in charge of protecting the rights of Mexicans living outside of Mexico.
While in Brussels, Secretary Bárcena held bilateral meetings with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell; the European Commission Executive Vice-President and European Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis; the Vice President and European Commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas; and the Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen. In the meetings, the main issues of bilateral cooperation were addressed, highlighting the urgent need to approve the modernized Global Agreement between Mexico and the European Union, and bilateral collaboration on trade facilitation and health regulations, among others.
The Foreign Secretary also met with the heads of delegation and representatives of the following countries: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Spain, Jamaica, Haiti, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Romania, for bilateral discussions.
Lastly, she met with representatives of the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Investment Bank to discuss investment priorities and their project portfolios in Mexico, particularly with regard to the European Union’s financial participation.