Economy & Business Energy & Environment European Union Latin America Politics & Diplomacy United States and Canada

Issue Brief

December 12, 2023

Galvanizing Spain’s presidency for the next chapter

By Ignacia Ulloa Peters, Diego Area, and Felipe Félix Méndez

Multilateralism, green transition, and digital transformation

A bolstered Euro-American relationship is critical for the promotion of prosperity and development across Europe and the Americas. Greater collaboration among the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the United States has the potential to spur the creation of unique solutions to the world’s greatest challenges while leveraging joint opportunities for growth based on shared values and common interests.

Spain’s presidency of the Council of the EU presents a unique opportunity to elevate the importance of greater engagement with LAC across the EU and the United States. However, Spain’s short tenure at the helm, potential leadership changes for the United States and EU in 2024, and the recent failure to finalize the highly-anticipated EU-Mercosur trade deal emphasize the importance of moving quickly to create tools and mechanisms that leverage the collective strength of the Euro-Americas for a more prosperous future. To further advance this goal, Club de Madrid partnered with the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center to launch an effort geared toward promoting trilateral cooperation, reducing inequality, and promoting development. By consulting regional experts and identifying best practices from successful bilateral cooperation initiatives, the Atlantic Council and Club de Madrid propose nine recommendations to shape the future of the Euro-Americas relationship on three axes: defending democracy, human rights, rule of law, and an international rules-based order; the green-energy transition; and digital transformation.


Defending democracy, human rights, rule of law, and an international rules-based order

  1. Harness the transformative power of multilateral organizations by establishing a robust framework for continuous dialogue between the EU-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit and the Summit of the Americas.
  2. Deepen shared values by advancing economic integration and people-to-people ties.
  3. Create and expand joint initiatives to develop science, technology, and innovation capabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The green-energy transition

  1. Promote forward-thinking approaches to optimize industry investment in infrastructure and accelerate access to financial innovation to bridge the digital divide and drive sustainable development.
  2. Reduce investment risk by equipping local stakeholders with the knowledge and tools needed to successfully navigate the emerging clean-energy sector.
  3. Unlock the financial and technical resources that will allow families and small businesses to opt toward clean-energy sources, while ensuring that regional energy-transition projects and proposals account for local needs.

Digital transformation

  1. Leverage multilateral organizations’ reach to increase cohesion on digital regulation and governance across transatlantic governments based on shared values.
  2. Increase the attractiveness of digital infrastructure and human-capital investments by highlighting the economic and social impact of successful digital-transformation initiatives.
  3. Guarantee access to the benefits of digital transformation by increasing resource availability and subsidizing cost-prohibitive services.

Get the latest developments, events, reports, and experts analysis on the political, economic, and social landscape in the region.

This report was written in collaboration with Club de Madrid, a nonpartisan and international nonprofit organization that serves as world’s largest forum of democratic former presidents and prime ministers.

The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center broadens understanding of regional transformations and delivers constructive, results-oriented solutions to inform how the public and private sectors can advance hemispheric prosperity.

Europe Center

The Europe Center promotes leadership, strategies and analysis to ensure a strong, ambitious and forward-looking transatlantic relationship.

Image: Leaders from the European Union, Latin America, and the Caribbean are pictured at the EU-LAC Digital alliance summit in Brussels, Belgium July 2023. REUTERS/Johanna Geron