On 28-30 April, the Dialogue "Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe: Recalibrating our strategic partnership" was held in Cartagena, Colombia, jointly organised by the EU-LAC Foundation and the European External Action Service (EEAS), with the support of the Spanish Cooperation Training Centre (AECID).
The objective of the Dialogue was to bring together a group of leading intellectuals and professionals with expertise in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to discuss and exchange perspectives for the region and innovative ways to address the challenges and opportunities of EU-LAC bi-regional relations ahead of the EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government in July 2023 in Brussels.
The Dialogue was opened by the Vice-President of the Republic of Colombia, Francia Márquez Mina, the President of the EU-LAC Foundation, Leire Pajín Iraola, the Secretary of State for International Cooperation of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Pilar Cancela, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles.
The main political, economic and social trends in the Latin American and Caribbean region; the current geopolitical scenario and its implications; human security and the challenges it faces; ways to promote just, inclusive and sustainable ecological, digital and social transitions in LAC; and the bi-regional citizenship agenda were the main topics addressed during the event.
The need to build bonds of trust and understanding between the two regions was highlighted in a cross-cutting manner during the sessions. To this end, emphasis was placed on the fundamental role played by the civil societies of the countries to renew the commitment to build a common project, based on diversity and divergences, with a view to the EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government. The need to include the diversity of experiences of societies, including youth, women, indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, LGBTQIA+ communities, among others, was emphasised.
The opportunity represented by the bi-regional Summit in July to lay the foundations for a renewed and relevant relationship, which not only produces areas of collaboration on urgent issues for societies on both sides of the Atlantic, but also contributes with a proactive agenda to address global challenges, mainly in the face of climate, food, war, economic, political and social threats, was also underlined.
The dialogue was closed by the Executive Director of the EU-LAC Foundation, Adrián Bonilla, and by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles.