POLICY BRIEF:Brazilian foreign policy and the relations with the EU

Plataforma CIPÓ launched on Monday (17/07) in Brussels, Belgium, the policy brief “Lula’s New Government: Prospects for Brazilian Foreign Policy and Relations with the European Union,” available in Portuguese and in English. The launch took place in the sidelines of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union (EU) Heads of State Summit, which brought together leaders from 70 countries, including President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Authored by Maiara Folly, executive director of the organization, and Marília Closs, associate researcher, the publication was produced in partnership with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS). The launch event, organized by CIPÓ and FEPS, was one of the side events to the Summit and was attended by progressive Brazilian and European parliamentarians.

The policy brief examines opportunities for cooperation between Brazil and the EU in the areas of climate, environment, deforestation, and energy transition. The study also provides a series of recommendations for Brazil-EU stakeholders to strengthen bilateral relations in a mutually beneficial manner.

According to the researchers, Lula’s new government faces significant challenges domestically, including fiscal constraints, a lack of a majority in Congress, a resurgent extreme right, and the need to rebuild federal institutions that were dismantled by the previous government, especially in the areas of environmental protection and human rights. At a global level, the study points out setbacks in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, intensified geopolitical rivalries and the climate crisis, as well as a crisis of legitimacy and credibility in global governance institutions.

“As a result, Lula’s new government will face a different set of choices than his previous two mandates, impacting Brazil’s role in the world and its relations with the EU,” states the publication.


The study outlines several recommendations, including:

  • Fostering technology transfer and joint production of value-added green technologies;
  • Strengthening the sustainability component of the agreement between the European Union and Mercosur by incorporating stronger socio-environmental safeguards that apply to all parties of the agreement in a balanced manner;
  • Ensuring that the EU provides positive incentives and financial contributions to enable Brazilian actors to meet the requirements set forth in the European Union Regulation on the Import of Deforestation-Free Products (EUDR). The EUDR, which obliges EU-based companies to ensure deforestation-free imports, has faced criticism from the Brazilian government and certain industrial sectors.
  • Deepening political cooperation between Brazil and the EU at the United Nations and other multilateral spaces.
  • Developing a positive agenda to identify key areas of common interest, taking advantage of global frameworks and events such as the EU-CELAC Summit and the G20 meetings, as Brazil assumes the presidency of the G20 in December 2023.

During the previous government, Brazil left CELAC and returned this year after Lula’s inauguration. Established in Mexico in 2010, the bloc brings together 33 countries interested in expanding regional integration.

Plataforma CIPÓ
Plataforma CIPÓhttps://plataformacipo.org/
Plataforma CIPÓ is an independent, women-led policy institute focusing on climate, governance, and peacebuilding in Latin America and the Caribbean and, more generally, the Global South.



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