Since the start of the 1990s, the European Economic and Social Committee's attention has been increasingly turned towards Latin America. Several Committee opinions have focused on relations with Latin America, either as a whole or with one country or region in particular.
These EESC opinions accord particular importance to the development of civil society organisations and the implementation of participatory democracy. Economic and social development and regional integration are also among the EESC’s priorities.
In 1997, the European Economic and Social Committee decided to establish a follow-up committee on relations with Mercosur and Chile. In 2002 the number of members of this committee increased and its scope was broadened to include the whole of Latin America and so reflect the intensity and range of the Committee"s activities.
The EESC has close relations with representatives of civil society in Latin America. The relations operate at various levels.
Since 1999, at the request of the European Commission, the EESC has been organising meetings between organised civil society in Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The EESC has contacts with Mercosur, the Andean Labour Advisory Council, the Andean Business Advisory Council and the Consultative Committee of the Central American Integration System.
Since 2009, the Committee has established a civil society Round Table with the Brazilian Economic and Social Development Council . This Round Table is responsible for relations between civil societies of the EU and Brazil under the mandate of the EU-Brazil Summit in 2007 and under the EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership.