In an interview with DW, the Chilean President Sebastian Pinera Echenique says that the summit hails "a new chapter of relations” between the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
The Chilean president tells DW that the meeting takes place at a pivotal moment. He expects a level playing field at the 60-nation summit, which is being held from January 26 to 27 in Santiago de Chile.
"We want to enter a new chapter of relations between Europe and Latin America. We want more complementarity, closer cooperation, and more than anything we want Latin America not to be perceived as a problem, as in the past, but as part of the solution," says Pinera. "We've seen Europe in serious crisis for three years now. Economic growth in Europe is likely to be negative this year - in recession. By contrast Latin America is experiencing a revival."
He firmly believes that this summit between Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean nations will promote relations between the two continents and will bear fruit that will benefit Europe as well as Latin America.
For Pinera, the solution to Latin America's problems lies in a delicate balance between self-determination and equal opportunities. He says: "To achieve the highest possible levels of freedom, Latin America has to face the following big challenges: firstly, reduce poverty and extreme inequality and, secondly, improve the quality of the education system."
Pinera points out that rampant capitalism is no more the solution than rampant socialism or rampant religious authoritarianism: "It's so important to have a state that puts controls on a free-market economy, to reduce poverty and inequality, to ensure access to justice, to guarantee public order, and to protect the environment."
The Chilean president also demands a structural reform of the international system: "The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the UN were created after war and were shaped by that era. But today we live in different times. That's why we've always been in favor of countries like Germany, as well as Brazil and India, becoming permanent members of the UN Security Council. And we have to modernize financial structures, to avoid the kind of crisis we had in 2008."
The interview in full length will be broadcast on Sunday, January 27, 2013 on following DW channels (all broadcast time in UTC):
05:15, 08:15, 13:03
00:15, 05:03, 10:03, 13:03