Why Brazil’s Lula is a bellwether for EU-Latin American relations

Why Brazil’s Lula is a bellwether for EU-Latin American relations
Why Brazil’s Lula is a bellwether for EU-Latin American relations

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Good morning. The EU and Tunisia final night time agreed to co-operate on curbing migration, however didn’t but seal a big monetary help bundle. And Russia has seized Danone’s local subsidiary and a brewer owned by Carlsberg, within the Kremlin’s newest escalation in opposition to western companies.

As we speak, I clarify why Brazil’s president is the person everybody shall be watching at this week’s summit between EU and South American leaders, and we’ve got information on a proposal by the European parliament to ban spying on journalists (which international locations reminiscent of France wish to keep away from).

You bought me on my knees, Lula

Greater than twenty leaders from the Caribbean and Latin America descend on Brussels in the present day for a summit with the EU’s personal leaders, however one issues greater than all the remainder: Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Context: The primary EU-CELAC summit for eight years begins in the present day, in a bid to rebuild, restart or in some circumstances, resurrect Europe’s standing in the region. The leftwing Lula’s return as Brazil’s president in January was initially hailed by the EU as an ideal likelihood to get issues again on observe.

It hasn’t labored out that approach. Lula’s “neutral” stance on the war in Ukraine, his opposition to EU-proposed environmental safeguards within the still-unsigned Mercosur commerce settlement, and his warmth towards Beijing and Moscow have laid naked Brussels’ standing with the area’s linchpin state.

Spain, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, desperately desires the two-day summit to be successful (although prime minister Pedro Sánchez may very well be forgiven for being a little bit distracted with his job on the line in six days).

The pre-summit antics haven’t augured effectively. Preparatory discussions noticed some Latin American nations demand the removing of a condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine within the draft conclusions, and tried so as to add a requirement for European reparations for the transatlantic slave commerce.

Lots of the visiting leaders fairly understandably roll their eyes on the current spike in European curiosity of their international locations, realizing {that a} quest to purchase up their important uncooked supplies is the primary purpose.

Nonetheless, at the very least Lula is coming. And for a lot of, whether or not it finally ends up successful is dependent upon how he feels when it concludes. Whereas a Mercosur deal is extraordinarily unlikely, constructive statements from the Brazilian bellwether on future co-operation would sign some progress for Brussels in its bid for extra regional relevance — and to meet up with China.

“Latin America is not an easy partner,” the FT’s editorial board wrote final week. [But] these difficulties haven’t delay the Chinese language . . . Subsequent to them, Europe dangers changing into sidelined.”

It could take greater than only a allure offensive to vary that, however it’s not a foul place to start out.

Chart du jour: Bullet time

Factories in Europe have stepped up output to replenish national ammunition stockpiles. However business executives say that regardless of nationwide pledges to extend defence spending and new procurement initiatives by each Nato and the EU, progress has been slow.

I spy

The European parliament will put ahead a de facto ban on using spyware and adware in opposition to journalists, as MEPs hit again at “harmful” proposals by EU international locations that will allow intrusive tech, writes Ian Johnston.

Context: The EU’s Media Freedom Act goals to guard media independence and pluralism, and guarantee editorial freedom. However media teams warn {that a} instructed carve-out pushed by member states, led by France, to permit safety providers to spy on journalists could have the other impact.

Tomorrow, the parliament committee accountable for parliament’s tackle the use of spyware will vote by itself proposal on the media guidelines.

In response to a draft seen by the FT, MEPs need protections in opposition to spyware and adware used to entry knowledge associated to journalists’ work, together with accessing details about journalists’ relations or sources.

The sections on spyware and adware that the MEPs will in all probability undertake contradict the member states’ place to permit authorities to spy on journalists on nationwide safety grounds. Each parliament and the council of member states have to agree earlier than the legislation can come into pressure.

Ramona Strugariu, the MEP from the liberal Renew group main the negotiations, mentioned the council’s strategy was “actually harmful”. “I believe that it doesn’t have something to do with democracy and freedom of speech,” Strugariu added.

Parliament’s counterproposals will allow surveillance tech as a final resort within the investigation of great crimes, however provided that ordered by a choose and to not uncover info referring to a journalist’s skilled exercise.

Geoffroy Didier, a conservative MEP additionally accountable for the laws, mentioned: “There’s a danger of a conflict between the parliament and the council. If the French authorities places up a crimson line, we’ll put up a crimson line.”

What to look at in the present day

  1. Brazilian president Lula meets Belgian King Philippe.

  2. G20 finance ministers and central financial institution governors meet in Gandhinagar, India.

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