HC Deb 22 May 2002 vol 386 c319W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the Second European-Latin American and Caribbean Summit. [58364]

The Prime Minister

I attended the EU-Latin American and Caribbean Summit in Madrid on 17 May, with my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The summit was a significant further step towards closer relations with Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. We discussed important issues, notably terrorism and sustainable development, which affect us all and on which inter-regional co-operation is essential. The summit also made good progress on liberalising trade between Europe and Latin America, welcoming completion of negotiations on an EU/Chile Association Agreement, and agreeing to press forward with an EU/Mercosur Association Agreement. In addition, the summit decided to take concrete new steps in the development of EU/Andean and EU/central American relations.

I was also pleased to see Caribbean concerns recognized—the result of effective engagement in the summit and its preparations by many Caribbean countries. We have worked with the Caribbean to ensure that they are now playing a full part in the summit and that their voice is heard.