Lula has a full schedule on the 4-day European tour that runs until Friday.
After arriving in the Italian capital this Tuesday, the president’s agenda began with a meeting with the sociologist of work Domenico de Masi, a specialist in the post-industrial society of the 21st century. The meeting is of particular interest in view of the federal government’s strategy of prioritizing the reindustrialization of Brazil, a sector in decline in recent years.
This Wednesday, there will be at least 8 bilateral meetings. The highlight is the meeting with Pope Francis, with whom the president builds a close relationship prior to his arrival in the presidency. Lula should reinforce the invitation for a visit by the leader of the Catholic Church to Brazil.
Lula will also speak with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, from the post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) party, in a gesture of dialogue with the extreme right leadership, elected last year. The meeting is particularly interesting since the prime minister had been questioned for not sending any high-ranking figure to the inauguration of the Brazilian president.
Lula also meets Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who offers the Brazilian head of state and Janja Lula a lunch as a tribute.
The agenda provides for a meeting on the same day with the secretary general of the Italian Democratic Party (center-left) Elly Schlein, recently elected to rescue the party that once led the Italian Republic and languished in recent years. Schlein is bisexual and gained notoriety for opposing the previous line of former Prime Minister Mateo Renzi, who opted for the liberalization of labor laws. Elly advocates a shift to the left in the party.
The issue of labor rights in the new global scenario therefore gains a particular character on Lula’s agenda in the Italian capital. The President concluded his visit to Rome with a meeting with Roberto Gualtieri from the city.
France and the planet
In France, Lula has bilateral meetings with several presidents of the so-called “Global South” in the midst of the New Global Financial Pact, celebrated in Paris on the 22nd and 23rd. and activists like Greta Thunberg.
The proposal is to initiate a discussion on the restructuring of the global economic scenario, integrating the consequences of climate change, whose forecasts are worse for countries in the southern hemisphere. Another major theme of the event is the increase in their indebtedness, notably with China, and especially after the pandemic. The food and economic consequences of the War in Ukraine, especially in Africa, are another aspect to be discussed during the works.
The Brazilian government will not speak during the panels, but was invited to participate in the event’s working meetings.
The profile of President Lula’s bilateral meetings reinforces the resumption of the emblematic foreign policy of the PT governments, that of “South-South” cooperation, that is, between countries in the southern hemisphere.
On Thursday, he will meet the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, right from the start. The country is a member of BRICS, a group also made up of Brazil, Russia, India and China. South Africa hosts the next BRICS meeting.
Lula’s meeting with his South African counterpart is a step in that direction, as well as in the re-establishment of relations with Africa, abandoned since the coup, in particular by Jair Bolsonaro, who has not made an official visit to even one of the continent’s countries. , a rupture with the foreign policy conducted by the PT government.
The big difference is that Brazil is now chasing after Africa, which seems to gain greater prominence on the international scene, in particular for its proposed mediation for the War in Ukraine. A group of African countries visit Kiev and Moscow with this aim.
The initiative seems to be more valued by the global powers than the Brazilian proposal, which precisely envisaged creating a group of countries “not involved” in the War to find a solution. The Lula government may be trying to combine the two proposals.
Lula’s agenda also has a Latin American focus. The president meets his Cuban counterpart Miguel Díaz-Canel and, soon after, has a bilateral meeting with Haitian President Ariel Henry. The serious economic situation of both countries, for different reasons, leads Brazil to reinforce the need for a transnational solution for the Caribbean countries; the first, affected by American sanctions, and the second by political instability, the dismantling of the State, an abysmal debt and the explosion of violence.
A configuration that leads their populations to growing migratory flows, which travel through Brazil and other countries in South America and are submitted to various risks and human rights violations in an attempt to reach the United States and Canada.
Afterwards, Lula meets with the President of the COP-28 in the United Arab Emirates, Sultan al Jaber. The Climate Conference takes place between November and December of this year. It will be Lula’s first as president. Climate is the area in which Brazil currently has more international “political capital” with Lula’s return to the presidency and his environmental commitments, as opposed to the international disrepute into which the country had fallen with Bolsonaro, who did not attend any COP, denying climate change and making headlines around the world for (encouraged) deforestation in the Amazon.
Climate change is thus incorporated as a central axis of the Brazilian international agenda, even more so considering that Brazil will host the COP30, under the initiative of the Lula government.
A sign of international credibility and hope recovered after an earth-shattered government, Lula was invited by Coldplay to speak at Power Our Planet, an event in Paris that brings together world leaders, activists and artists such as Billie Eilish, Lenny Kravitz and HER
If the European press compared Lula’s tour in November 2021 across the continent to that of a “rock star”, this time the comparison is almost literal. Lula will practically open the event in the French capital, with a speech scheduled for 8:15 pm.
On Friday, Lula participates in the work meetings of the New Global Financial Pact and goes to the Palacio do Eliseu, where he has lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron.
As with Pope Francis, the Brazilian representative will reinforce an invitation to the President of France for an official visit to Brazil, which would be Macron’s first since taking office in 2017, proof of the degradation of official Franco-Brazilian relations since the coup. and the exercise of inflection and resumption engaged by Lula.
As he said repeatedly, including to the DCM in November 2021, Lula wants to approve the free trade agreement negotiated between Mercosur and the European Union, but France is precisely one of the biggest opponents. If Paris says it will not approve the treaty to French farmers, but with international figures it is more flexible, Lula wants to convince the one who received it that year with the pomp of a head of state to give up his veto power and change his position.
A hyperactive, ambitious, difficult agenda like never before since the coup.