September 12, 2023

The BRICS Expansion: Perspectives for the EU

When Lord Jim O’Neill, a former Goldman Sachs economist, coined the acronym “BRIC” in 2001 to describe the economic potential of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, he hardly foresaw that a formal BRICS political grouping, including South Africa, would emerge. Fast forward to the 2023 BRICS Summit, the group is now expanding. The Johannesburg II declaration, issued on 23 August 2023, offers a formal invitation to the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS from 1 January 2024 onwards. The expansion came as a surprise to many and left some wondering where BRICS is heading, as well as what the expansion will mean for other actors such as the EU.

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