Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, speaking at the closing ceremony of the First South American Community of Nations summit, declared that South American integration is moving along faster than the European Community did.
"We have made extraordinary progress," said Lula, adding that in three years more advances have been achieved than the EU achieved in its first ten years.
Lula added that the progress made was the result of the willingness of regional leaders and the fact that the talk of integration has become concrete action.
"We are seeing the practical effects of practical gestures and practical action plans which make integration really possible," said Lula.
Pointing out that the EU took 40 years to consolidate its union and still has problems today, Lula said that the South American integration process must take into consideration the difficulties of each nation.
"We must be patient in order to deal with differences of opinion. We have begun a process that is not going to be an easy task. We seek to build and consolidate a community, respecting the existence of asymmetric factors, cultural differences and individual difficulties. We must work hard on this," said Lula.