Guadalajara, 27 May 2004 Press release

Ferrero-Waldner for stronger co-operation on social issues between Europe and Latin America


Austria will share its experiences with Latin America

Guadalajara, 27 May 2004 - On the fringe of the EU-LAC summit in Guadalajara, Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner underlined her efforts for a stronger co-operation between Europe and Latin America with respect to social issues. "I have strongly supported a closer co-operation between Europe and Latin America to improve social cohesion, because social issues are a matter of utmost importance to the whole region", the Foreign Minister said.

In this context, Ferrero-Waldner emphasised the essential role the European Union is playing in the co-operation between Europe and Latin America. "The EU is not able to compensate for the hitherto insufficiently developed social policy and the lack of social transfer payments in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, as Europeans, we should be in a position to contribute our European experiences to the development of programmes which are truly effective."

This issue should also be further discussed at Austrian level. "I will inform my Austrian colleagues who are responsible for social issues about the talks in Guadalajara. Particularly with regard to these matters, Austria has a lot to contribute, and I will personally take care that we share relevant experiences with our friends in Latin America."

Finally, the Foreign Minister welcomed the fact that the European Commission will make available 30 million Euros for additional programmes in the sphere of social cohesion in the next few years.