Spaniards born of Latin American families are running for the first time in the European Parliament elections. They have a unique agenda.
MADRID — A new movement of Latin Americans has emerged in Spain ahead of the EU parliamentary elections, to be held this month. The Independent Euro Latino Movement, or MIEL ("Movimiento Independiente Euro Latino"), is made up of Latin Americans with double citizenship or residing in Europe and it seeks to represent more than 2.5 million Spanish Latin Americans or Latin American Spaniards with the right to vote. They have 52 candidates for the EU parliamentary elections.
The movement will add diversity to the intense debate on the future of Europe at a crucial moment for Spain and the European Union. Spain's emerging European Latinos or Latin Europeans want to keep their identities and original cultures, while becoming more involved within Europe, contributing work and ideas. The movement is also seen as a way of helping Latin America from the EU.
The idea is to reach Brussels to strengthen cooperation with Latin America, and defend the rights of Spanish and European Latinos within the EU. The list of candidates is multicultural and includes Venezuelans, Ecuadorians, Colombians, Peruvians, Cubans, Bolivians, Dominicans and Spaniards.
It is a new coalition and is yet to become familiar to Spanish Latino voters.
The movement will put forward proposals regarding specific concerns of European Latinos, like visas for the Schengen zone, migratory restrictions for relatives and family members, detention in migrant centers, remittances or recognition of university and professional qualifications.
The movement's founder is José Luis Cordeiro, a Spanish-Venezuelan engineer and graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has written several books on the economy and technology, and is particularly known for contributions in the fields of AI and new technologies. His proposals include seeking research and development funds for a European Anti-Aging Agency. Cordeiro favors boosting EU-Latin American cooperation in nanotechnology, biotechnology and academic exchanges beyond the existing EU-Latin America and Caribbean pact in the sector.
The group's success in the coming EU elections remains to be seen, since it is a new coalition and is yet to become familiar to Spanish Latino voters. The EU election campaign is very brief and coincides with elections for municipal districts and autonomous or regional communities. There are signs however that the new Latin Europeans might win the 300,000 votes needed in these polls. In any case, their emergence is remarkable, and there is no reason why the movement should not mature and become a permanent fixture of EU politics in the future.