European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek made the following remarks during the official visit to Uruguay, after meeting President José Mujica:
"EU and Mercosur are large entities on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean with a total population of 750 million people. We need each other. We have the same heritage and same system of values. By improving our cooperation we can play a more active and stronger role in the global economy. There is a win-win strategy which is beneficial for both sides.
Today, if we want to tackle global challenges successfully we should be ready for more integration both within and between our respective regions. Mercosur countries share with Europe very strong cultural ties and a rich history of interactions. However, we need to step up one gear in our relations. We believe that cooperation and discussion are essential in overcoming pending difficulties.
On the one hand, we can learn from the experience of Latin America in dealing with economic crises and reform of the banking sector. On the other, Europe can contribute to a greater transfer of new technologies, investments and innovation.
Politics, at any level, happens through partnerships. The EU at its heart was founded on the basis of regional cooperation where fierce rivalries had previously prevailed. Mercosur countries have to find their own way and Europe could be a source of inspiration.
In Montevideo, President Buzek also met with the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Luis Lacalle Pou and with the leader of the Colorado Party, Senator Pedro Bordaberry.