Latin America and the European Union: Conceptual Approaches and Practice of Economic Cooperation

Cover Page

Cite item


The article deals with North - South cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) with an emphasis on bilateral trade. Over the past decades, cooperation with the EU has been perceived in LAC as a counterweight to the US dominance and one of the priorities of external economic relations. The article presents a retrospective of theoretical approaches of the non-Western Latin American school of UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, CEPAL in Spanish) to the economic cooperation with the EU. A feature of the article is the study of trade interaction between the LCA and the EU countries. When analyzing the dynamics of trade during the first two decades of the 21st century the author of the article comes to the conclusion that the trade exchange between the EU and the LCA is uneven. There are many LAC countries that continue to export low-value-added products to the EU. Thus, the dichotomy between two models of commercial specialization of LAC has exacerbated. On one hand, there is a model of South American countries focused on raw materials (MERCOSUR, Andean Community), and, on the other hand, there is a model that includes the export of manufactured products and participation in industrial production chains (Mexico, Central America). The article concludes that MERCOSUR will probably face a number of trade challenges related to its model of economic globalization, particularly with regard to its export specialization in commodities and food. The relevance of the study is due to the fact that in the context of exacerbation of geopolitical contradictions and a changing world order, it is important to analyze the Latin American approach to economic cooperation with the EU countries, among which, in turn, there is a growing understanding that still free niches in the Latin American market can be occupied by China or other partners not belonging to the collective West.

About the authors

Violetta M. Tayar

Institute of Latin America, Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1539-9929

PhD (Economics), Deputy Director for Science, Head, Center for Iberian Studies

Moscow, Russian Federation


  1. Bárcena, A., & Prado, A. (Eds.). (2015). Neostructuralismo y corrientes heterodoxas en América Latina y el Caribe a inicios del siglo XXI. Santiago: CEPAL.
  2. Borzova, A. Yu., Eremin, A. A., Ivkina, N. V., & Petrovich-Belkin, O. K. (2021). Russia — Latin America economic cooperation: Insights from EU — CELAC sustainable development concept. Vestnik RUDN. International Relations, 21(4), 785—802.
  3. Briceño Ruiz, J., & Rivarola Puntigliano, A. (2012). Integración latinoamericana y caribeña: Politica y economía. México: S.L. Fondo de Cultura Economica de España.
  4. Butorina, O. V. (2021). Goals of regional integration: A modern understanding. World Economy and International Relations, 65(10), 5—14. (In Russian).
  5. Caetano, G. (2022). Análisis y prospectiva del Acuerdo de Asociación Unión Europea — Mercosur. Documentos de Trabajo: Nº especial FC/EU−LAC, (4), 1—37. Retrieved from
  6. Caldentey del Pozo, P. (2022). El Acuerdo de Asociación entre la Unión Europea y Centroamérica: Un potencial por explotar. Documentos de Trabajo: Nº especial FC/EU−LAC, (6), 1—31. Retrieved from
  7. Davydov, V. M. (2017). Global and regional determinants of Latin American development. Latinskaya Amerika, (12), 6—14. (In Russian).
  8. Davydov, V. M. (2019). Latin American studies of our time: Its origins, results and targets for the future. Latinskaya Amerika, (7), 8—28. (In Russian).
  9. Davydov, V. M. (Ed.). (2022). Sustainability perspective. Appeal to global and Latin American realities. Moscow: Ves’ mir publ. (In Russian).
  10. Davydov, V. M., & Bobrovnikov, A. V. (2009). The role of rising giants in the global economy and politics (the chances of Brazil and Mexico in the global dimension). Moscow: ILA RAN publ. (In Russian).
  11. Degterev, D. A. (2021). Non-Western theories of development in the global capitalism era. World Economy and International Relations, 65(4), 113—122. (In Russian).
  12. Fairlie Reinoso, A. (2022). Nuevos retos para el Acuerdo Comercial Multipartes de la Unión Europea con Perú, Colombia y Ecuador. Documentos de Trabajo: Nº especial FC/EU−LAC, (2), 1—35. Retrieved from
  13. Freres, C., & Sanahuja, J. A. (2006). Hacia una nueva estrategia en las relaciones Unión Europea — América Latina. Barcelona: Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales. Retrieved from
  14. Grisanti, L. (2004). El nuevo interregionalismo transatlántico: La asociación estratégica Unión Europea — América Latina. Buenos Aires: BID — INTAL.
  15. Hernandez, B. (2022). La modernización del Acuerdo de Asociación UE — Chile: El fortalecimiento de una alianza para la inclusión social y la sustentabilidad ambiental. Documentos de Trabajo: Nº especial FC/EU−LAC, (5), 1—30. Retrieved from
  16. Krapohl, S. (2017). Regional integration in the Global South. External influence on economic cooperation in ASEAN, MERCOSUR and SADC. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
  17. Lavut, A. A. (2017). Latin American region’s new development strategy: Neostructuralism plus. Latinskaya Amerika, (2), 36—51. (In Russian).
  18. Prebisch, R. (1992). Peripheral capitalism: Is there an alternative to it? Moscow: ILA RAN publ. (In Russian).
  19. Razumovskii, D. V. (2016). Intra-industry trade specialization strategies and models in South American integration associations [thesis]. Moscow. (In Russian).
  20. Serrano Caballero, E. (2022). La modernización del Acuerdo de Asociación Unión Europea — México: entre el cambio y continuidad. Documentos de Trabajo: Nº especial FC/EU−LAC, (7), 1—30. Retrieved from
  21. Shkolyar, N. A., & Pivikova, E. K. (2019). Mexico market entry strategy. Moscow: Ves’ mir publ. (In Russian).
  22. Simonova, L. N. (Ed.). (2017). Opportunities and limits of innovative development of Latin America. Moscow: ILA RAN publ. (In Russian).
  23. Simonova, L. N. (Ed.). (2020). Latin America in the system of international economic relations. Moscow: ILA RAN publ. (In Russian).
  24. Tayar, V. M. (2007). European Union — MERCOSUR: Strategic partnership. Latinskaya Amerika, (5), 28—36. (In Russian).
  25. Tayar, V. M. (2021). Latin American regionalism and trade agreements with the European Union: Experiences and approaches. RUDN Journal of Economics, 29(2), 413—425. (In Russian)
  26. Yakovlev, P. P. (2021). MERCOSUR: 30 years behind. What’s ahead? Russian Foreign Economic Journal, (11), 30—48. (In Russian).

Copyright (c) 2022 Tayar V.M.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies