Chile: the government struggles to implement its reform programme

25-04-2019

Chile is a close partner of the EU in Latin America. The EU and Chile have a mutual interest in pursuing even closer ties, leading them to agree to upgrade and modernise the Association Agreement signed in 2002. They started negotiations on a modernised agreement in November 2017. President Sebastián Piñera's centre-right government took office in March 2018. Politically, the situation of the Mapuche indigenous community and stricter migration policies have dominated its first year. The government has also tabled comprehensive proposals for tax and pension reform but has found it difficult to implement its reform programme. This is largely because it lacks a majority in Congress and faces a much more diverse political landscape than in the past, making it more difficult to gain broad support for its proposals. However, it has benefited from a robust economic recovery that started in 2018 after two years of sluggish growth. Under President Piñera, Chile has adopted a tough stance against the Venezuelan government, in line with other centre-right governments in South America. Chile played a key role in the launch in March 2019 of the new organisation for regional cooperation, the Forum for the Progress of South America (Foro para el Progreso de América del Sur, PROSUR).

Chile is a close partner of the EU in Latin America. The EU and Chile have a mutual interest in pursuing even closer ties, leading them to agree to upgrade and modernise the Association Agreement signed in 2002. They started negotiations on a modernised agreement in November 2017. President Sebastián Piñera's centre-right government took office in March 2018. Politically, the situation of the Mapuche indigenous community and stricter migration policies have dominated its first year. The government has also tabled comprehensive proposals for tax and pension reform but has found it difficult to implement its reform programme. This is largely because it lacks a majority in Congress and faces a much more diverse political landscape than in the past, making it more difficult to gain broad support for its proposals. However, it has benefited from a robust economic recovery that started in 2018 after two years of sluggish growth. Under President Piñera, Chile has adopted a tough stance against the Venezuelan government, in line with other centre-right governments in South America. Chile played a key role in the launch in March 2019 of the new organisation for regional cooperation, the Forum for the Progress of South America (Foro para el Progreso de América del Sur, PROSUR).