Leire Pajín, President of the EU-LAC Foundation and Carlos Maza, Programme Manager for Members' Relations and Strategic Partners traveled to Madrid on July 18th to participate in meetings with the State Secretary for the European Union at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain and the Secretary General of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture.
The goal of the mission was to discuss the perspectives of the strategic relationship between the EU and CELAC, particularly the guidelines and priorities of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023, as well as the proposed EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government. Additionally, it was important to exchange ideas on the development of the initiatives of the 2022 Foundation's Work Plan and the planning for 2023.
The meeting with Pascual Navarro (PN), State Secretary for the European Union at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain resulted in a fruitful exchange of ideas on the bi-regional partnership between Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. The upcoming Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023 was also discussed, with special emphasis on the proposed EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government, as one of its key goals.
Afterwards, the team met with Mariano Jabonero (MJ), Secretary General of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture. In the meeting, he exchanged views on the bi-regional relationship between EU and LAC, the political context, and other important elements of the work programmes with President Leire Pajín. She highlighted the importance that accompanying the proposed EU-CELAC Summit has for the Foundation, and that this would be the fundamental objective for the 2023’s work programme and reiterated the importance of articulating efforts with the OEI towards that same objective. This with focus on 3 main areas: Knowledge, Social Cohesion and Gender. She concluded stating that Culture will remain a key aspect of the association and therefore the initiatives in this area remain strategic.