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Cablegate: Brazil and Europe: Priorities and Paradox

VZCZCXRO4666
RR RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHBR #0849/01 1721928
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 201928Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1923
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 4124
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 3836
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 8163
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6290
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 2260

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000849

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/BSC, EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/16/2016
TAGS: PREL BR EU
SUBJECT: BRAZIL AND EUROPE: PRIORITIES AND PARADOX

BRASILIA 00000849 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: A/DCM Frank Manganiello, Reason: 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY. Although relations with Europe do not
figure highly in Brazilian public statements of foreign
policy priorities, Brazil,s relations with the EU and with
major European governments are gaining in importance and
complexity. As with the United States, Brazilian leaders
sometimes seek political advantage from reflexive opposition
to Europeans, but, as Brazil seeks a global role, its
political approach to Europe will continue to develop.
Several recent high-level visits to Brazil by European
leaders and Brazil-EU discussions on the margins of the
EU-Latin America Summit in Lima illustrate that, while closer
European relations may not rank high on Brazil,s foreign
policy wish list, its importance remains high. The challenge
will be to include Brazil as an Atlantic partner, rather than
allow it to be a catalyst for U.S.-EU competition. END
SUMMARY.

2. (C) In public statements of Brazil,s foreign policy
priorities, South America, Africa and the BRIC countries tend
to figure prominently, with the United States and Europe far
down the list. In fact, for the May 2008 EU-Latin America
Summit in Lima, the Ministry for External Relations (MRE) had
to bring Brazil,s consul from San Francisco back TDY as
MRE,s understaffed Europe division had no one to work Summit
issues. Nonetheless, with a growing economy and aspirations
to a more prominent global role, Brazil,s relations with
Europe are developing more rapidly than with many other
regions. Economic potential and Brazil,s historic ties to
Europe drive the relationship, despite MRE,s preference for
a greater focus on the developing world. Brazil has recently
completed &action8 plans with the EU and with Germany that
highlight areas for future cooperation, including energy,
research and development and UN reform. While for political
purposes, the GOB continues to emphasize South America and
Africa, in 2007 President Lula visited more countries in
Europe (ten) than any other continent.

KEY ISSUES
----------
3. (C) Biofuels are at the top of Brazil,s list of policy
priorities when dealing with Europe. President Lula has
condemned EU governments for their reluctance to import more
Brazilian ethanol, blaming protectionism and misplaced
concerns about the effects of ethanol production. While high
oil prices have generated interest in Brazilian ethanol,
environmental concerns and technical barriers hold back
European purchases. Ironically, although it was Volkswagen
that helped produce the first mixed fuel vehicles in Brazil,
the government of Germany has opposed increase domestic use
of ethanol because the majority of German cars cannot use
more than a small percentage of ethanol in their fuel.
During the Lima Summit and in bilateral Brazil-EU
consultations, there was general agreement that the
environment was an important area of mutual interest, but the
EU proposal for a passage on climate change in the Summit
declaration met with Brazilian opposition. Officially,
Brazil objected to the text being introduced late in the
negotiation process, but MRE was also uncomfortable with what
it believed could be interpreted as criticism of Brazil,s
management of deforestation in the Amazon region.

4. (C) Brazil has pursued a strong relationship with the EU
on security issues. With the increasing understanding that
Brazil,s military need modernization, MRE has sought to
promote the idea that European defense exporters would be
more reliable when it comes to technology transfer than those
from the United States. Brazilian leaders, including Defense
Minister Jobim, have announced their intention to purchase
French submarine technology to develop nuclear propulsion
capability, although the French Embassy claims there is no
agreement yet on such a purchase. At the same time, the
German Embassy reports continued interest in German-made
submarines. At Lima, Brazil sought and received praise for
its leadership role in the UN Mission in Haiti. Brazil has
cooperated with Germany to build support for a permanent UN
Security Council seat. While Brazil and the EU agreed on the
importance of UNSC reform in Lima, the endorsement lacked
specifics. Jobim also recently invited NATO SecGen de Hoop
Scheffer to visit Brazil to discuss Atlantic security.

5. (C) While Brazil has been the main proponent of greater
South American integration through UNASUL, in its relations
with the EU, Brazil has preferred a bilateral approach. The

BRASILIA 00000849 002.2 OF 002


Lima Summit declaration focused on sustainable development,
eliminating inequality, energy and other topics well within
the center-left mainstream but stayed away from specific
programs. The MRE described the Summit outcome as &a
maturing relationship.8 One EU diplomat differed,
describing the Brazilian delegation as &difficult8 and
&finicky,8 preferring its bilateral relationship with the
EU to working toward greater regional integration. Within
Brazil the visits of German Chancellor Merkel and Spanish
Prime Minister Zapatero were well-received. Even though they
yielded little of substance, Brazilians like to know they are
being treated as an important country and look to Europe,
like the United States and their BRIC partners (Russia,
India, and China), for validation of this importance.

6. (C) COMMENT. Brazil has many of the same challenges in
its relations with Europe as it does with the United States,
including trade barriers, immigration, and differences on
environmental issues. Similarly, the United States and
Europe share an interest in seeing Brazil become more a part
of the international mainstream and a partner in trade,
global security, and democracy promotion. Many Brazilians,
particularly in the MRE, prefer to see Europe, and especially
the EU, as a useful counterweight to the United States, as
Brazil pursues its "rightful place" in a &multipolar8 world
order, a vision that often provides a convenient mask for
anti-Americanism. The interests of the United States,
Brazil, and EU members are best served by a relationship
built on cooperation, not competition. The challenge for
U.S. policy is to promote an alternative vision of a growing
trans-Atlantic partnership of democracies that includes
Brazil and its neighbors working with Europe and the U.S. to
promote greater prosperity and security.
SOBEL

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