Breaking the vicious circle of conflict and fragility

By Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General, European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development

Insecurity bears political, social and economic costs, depriving people of a life free of fear and want and diminishing their trust towards state institutions. By 2030, 62% of the global poor will live in fragile and conflict-affected states.[1]  People in these states are twice as likely to be undernourished as those living in other developing countries, while their children are twice more likely to die before the age of five. On the other hand, lack of representation, weak and unaccountable institutions, socioeconomic exclusion, and lack of access to basic services create fertile ground for violent conflict, organised crime and increased irregular migration flows. To break the vicious circle of conflict and low development, we need to adopt a different development approach, putting security at the top of the agenda. Continue reading

EU-Latin America: Post-Occidental relationship?

By Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Former EU Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Former Foreign Minister of Austria and former President of the EU-LAC Foundation

Today more than ever, the European Union and Latin America face the opportunity to advance a post-Occidental partnership. Already, the two regions share the same culture, speak the same language in part and promote the same values and principles enshrined in democracy, the rule of law, human dignity and peace. Such mutual bi-regional respect and tolerance serve as a clear counter-ideology to the surge of extremism and religious fanaticism that we see.

Alain Rouquié, academic, Latin America expert and former French ambassador to Brazil, referred to Latin America as Europe’s “Far West.” Yet, the many changes in the relationship between the European Union and Latin America no longer reflect this definition of the “West.” Thus, building a new enhanced post-Occidental strategic partnership is timely. Indeed, Europe and Latin America could be much stronger allies, politically, socially and economically. What does this mean in concrete terms? Continue reading

Getting ready for the next wave: Towards a more dynamic and inclusive Latin America

By Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre, and Angel Melguizo, Head of the Latin America and Caribbean Unit at the OECD Development Centre.

Latin America and the Caribbean enjoyed a decade of strong growth between 2004 and 2013. Growth averaged 3.8% and in some years over 5%. They were helped along by growth in China and other emerging economies that raised demand and prices for exported commodities such as food, metals and fuels.

This led to an extraordinary easing of financial conditions, especially after the global financial crisis. Latin America was riding good times. However, the extraordinary external conditions blurred the true state of the region’s domestic supply and demand situation. Now the good times are over – at least for a while – and it is easier to check out the true shape of the regional economy. Continue reading