Prof. Dr. Dr. H. C. Claudia Lima Marques - The director of the CDEA in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the newest Centre for German and European Studies, also teaches at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul-UFRGS.
“The EU is far more than simply a process of economic integration. It is a model for decades of peace between nations, for strong and wide-ranging cooperation, and for a common understanding of social issues. The Europe of before the EU and the Europe of after the EU are two different worlds. The EU has given people a new identity and governments a new kind of solidarity. The great accomplishment of the EU is that it has built new social, legal and political bridges between its societies. In my opinion, the EU is a very attractive model for Latin America. Communication between the societies of Latin America is easier thanks to their common languages of Spanish and Portuguese, and thanks to their shared colonial history. The challenges, on the other hand, are greater: the individual countries have reached different stages of development, so priority is often still given to economic and social problems on the national level.”