The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Brazilian Council for Economic and Social Development (CDES) were holding their seventh meeting of the European Union – Brazil Civil Society Round Table in Brussels, Belgium, on 22-23 January 2013.
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In February last year, Mrs Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, talking about EU-Brazil relations said that this is a relationship that is important, but she didn’t think that the EU had made it as important as it ought to be. We support the need to go deeper in our relations with Brazil. And here’s the evidence: we are again meeting today, keeping up the regular pace of our exchanges, willing to produce joint work that will be useful also to our political leaders.
So we will send the result of this Round Table to Mrs Ashton, and to the Brazilian authorities, as we always do, in order to provide a civil society contribution to her important work. And we are doing it right in time for the next EU-Brazil Summit that will take place in Brasília in two days from now.
Sustainable development is a long-term objective and needs continuous action, and in particular civil society involvement all over the world. Rio+20 was an important mobilising factor for civil society around the world, we need to keep up the momentum and to hold our governments accountable for what they have agreed to in Rio de Janeiro last June.
It has been one of the very positive experiences during my Presidency at the EESC to see how much we Europeans and you Brazilians agreed on key elements that were on the table of the negotiators at the Rio+20 Conference.
We have come now to the end of our two days of work, and I think we can congratulate ourselves. Our exchanges have been as fruitful as we expected. We produced a very satisfactory final declaration that reflects the commitment of the participants and the precise views of Brazilian and European civil society consultative bodies on very important issues. And we produced them right in time to be fed into the EU-Brazil Summit, which will take place in Brasília in two days.