President-Elect Lula Da Silva Meets President of Superior Electoral Tribunal in Brasilia
President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva speaks during a press conference after a meeting with President of Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) Alexandre De Moraes as part of the official presidential transition on November 9, 2022 in Brasilia, Brazil. Leftist leader Lula Da Silva defeated Jair Bolsonaro in the presidential run-off and will take office on January 1, 2023. Andressa Anholete/Getty Images.

After attending the EU-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) summit on Monday and Tuesday, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is back in his country. He is convinced that it was "extremely successful."

Lula said that of all the meetings in which he had participated with the European Union, "this has been the most successful of all."

And he has a solid reason for it, as per El Pais.

He said that he has rarely seen so "much political and economic interest from the EU countries towards Latin America."

Brazil is the main political and economic player in the region, and the appreciation of its President leaves no doubt about the summit's outcome. The politician is also not deceived about what made Europe take interest in the region. He said that it was possibly due to the dispute between the U.S. and China or China's investments in Africa and Latin America. Another possibility he see is the "new Silk Road (the Chinese investment program) or possibly due to the war in Ukraine."

Regardless, Lula is happy that the EU showed "great interest in investing by announcing an investment of $50.2 billion."

According to France 24, the summit of over 50 senior figures was the first one to be held between Brussels and the CELAC since 2015.

While welcoming Lula, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had said that they need their "close friends to be at our side in these uncertain times."

Lula also shared that the EU had promised "to help finance $100 billion to fight the deforestation of the jungle, be it the Amazon or another jungle."

But Lula also slammed the EU for making environmental demands during negotiations of a free trade deal, reported Euronews.

In a letter, there was a mention of a series of pre-ratification requirements that would comply with the Paris Agreement, uphold labor standards and protect biodiversity. The letter was sent by the European Commission earlier this year to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. These countries make up the Mercosur group.

The EU-Mercosur free trade deal agreement has been more than 20 years in the making. It still faces resistance from some of the European governments like Austria, France and Ireland. They are concerned about the deforestation in the Amazon rainforest apart from the competition posed by low-cost agricultural products that are made in Latin American countries.

Lula said on Wednesday morning that Europe played an aggressive card, and that the letter "threatened punishment if we didn't meet certain environmental requirements."

According to him, two strategic partners do not discuss threats, instead they "discuss proposals."

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.