For almost two decades, Brazilian foreign policy has simultaneously sought increased international projection and aimed to build its regional leadership in South America. There has also been a significant effort to use foreign policy to support national development. Within the framework of these objectives, Brazil signed a Strategic Partnership agreement with the EU in 2007. However, Brazilian diplomacy’s perceptions of the EU are not always clear.
Europe has three different channels of relations with Brazil: EU-Brazil; bilateral relations between Brazil and one or more member states; and EU-Mercosur. For Brazilian diplomacy some EU member states – especially Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal – are considered important partners, while the EU as a whole is identified as a player that systematically creates trade complications for Brazil.
The type of leadership sought by Brazilian diplomacy is individual-based, and the country’s role as a global player is strongly upheld in the ideas of autonomy and universality. In light of this, this policy brief by Miriam Gomes Saraiva analyses Brazil’s complex vision of the EU; its perceptions and expectations, and considers the possible future of relations between the two powers.