EuroLat plenary in Panama: control of trade talks and fight against crime

Panama

(Milo Miloezger, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The scrutiny role of parliaments in trade talks and EU-Latin American cooperation against organised crime will be debated this week in Panama.

The 150 members of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat), 75 MEPs and 75 representatives of the Latin American and Caribbean parliaments, will gather in Panama City on 12 and 13 December for its twelfth plenary session.

This will be the first EuroLat meeting since the European elections in May 2019. Many of the members of the European Parliament delegation to the Assembly are new, and they are headed by a new European co-president, Javi López (S&D, ES). The Latin American co-president is Chilean senator Jorge Pizarro.

Since the last EuroLat meeting, more than a year ago, the political landscape in Latin America has changed dramatically, and several countries in the region are experiencing unrest.

Inaugural session and press conference

The Assembly will be opened by Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, President of the Republic of Panama, and Josep Borrell, the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, via a video message. Co-presidents Javi López and Jorge Pizarro will also take part.

Following the inaugural session there will be a press conference, with López and Pizarro, at 11.00, in the Parlatino headquarters, in Panamá City.

Trade and digital platforms, organised crime, culture and more

In the context of growing public concern about international trade agreements, parliamentarians will discuss how to increase transparency and legislative scrutiny of the negotiations. They will also debate how to improve international cooperation on criminal justice, given that criminal organisations increasingly operate transnationally and even globally.

The policy and regulatory challenges caused by the expansion of digital platforms will be another topic on the agenda.

In the social affairs field, the discussions will focus on the need to increase cooperation on cultural matters and the urgency to facilitate transcontinental recognition of university degrees.

Debates are foreseen too on promoting investment in the bioeconomy -which encompasses production and extraction of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value-added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products and bio-energy- and the recognition of the human right to water and sanitation.

Background

The Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) is the parliamentary institution of the Bi-regional Strategic Association established in June 1999 in the context of the EU-CELAC Summit (between European Union-Latin American and Caribbean). EuroLat was created in 2006. It meets in plenary session once a year.

EuroLat is a multilateral Parliamentary Assembly composed of 150 members, 75 from the European Parliament and 75 from the Latin America, including Parlatino (Latin American Parliament), Parlandino (Andean Parliament), Parlacen (Central American Parliament) and Parlasur (Mercosur Parliament). The Mexican and Chilean congresses are also represented via the EU/Mexico and EU/Chile joint parliamentary committees.

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