EU-CELAC Summit: EU-CELAC Leaders support the work of the EU-LAC Foundation by initialling the international agreement

Brussels.- The work done by the EU-LAC Foundation in favour of the bi-regional relations, its contribution to the dialogue among the civil society and its active participation in the forums that took place in the run-up to the summit where Heads of the State and Government from Europe, Latin-America and the Caribbean gathered in Brussels received a fresh impetus by the initialling of the Agreement establishing the Foundation as an international organisation.

The initialling of the agreement, the first step of the complex administrative-legal process that now opens, was assigned by the EU High Representative of Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini and the Ecuadorian Chancellor of Foreign relations, Ricardo Patiño, representing CELAC.

The president of the EU-LAC Foundation, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and the Executive Director Jorge Valdez, witnessed the initialling act together with all Foreign Policy ministers from EU-CELAC who travelled to Brussels for the occasion of the summit, place where high-level meetings took place among parliamentarians, entrepreneurs, scholars and young people from both regions.

Initialling of the Agreement establishing the Foundation as an International organisation. Picture courtesy of the EU Commission.

The EU-LAC Foundation, through the intermediation of its president, its executive director and its programme managers made a great endeavour and effort in some cases to facilitate meetings; in other cases to moderate panels, present reports or to make interventions focusing on the importance of the bi-regional relationship in different realms.

This chain of interventions started some days before the arrival of the EU-CELAC Heads of State and Government to Belgium, in the seat of the European Parliament, on occasion of the 8th Session of the Euro-Latin-American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat)

The Foundation presented several documents to the different EuroLat commissions. Among these documents, one of the last works that deals with gender, part of the program Explore of the EU-LA Foundation and a report on corporate social responsibility, done by the researcher Yunina Kowszyk.

The president of the Latin-American Youth Forum, the Argentinian Malera Famá, was the spokesperson for the demands of the young, and made a reading of the so-called Quito's Declaration, as a result of the days on Education and Decent Employment organised by the Foundation last April in Ecuador.

The Vice President of the European Youth Forum, Joan Conca, later presented this Declaration to the EU Heads of State and Government.

Ferrero-Waldner's intervention took place by the closure of the EuroLat pre-summit session. She defined it as “a clear expression of one of the main values of the strategic partnership: democracy”.

During her intervention, the president made reference to the geopolitical changes and global challenges, as climate change or organized crime that both regions are facing. She informed the parliamentarians about the EU-LAC Foundation Activities and thanked for “a consistent support by EuroLat” since the Foundation’s establishment in November 2011.

“Everything was done under a huge legal and financial uncertainty. Legal because the founding treaty is not in force, and financial because of the limited resources for such an ambitious mission and wide membership” underlined Ferrero-Waldner inviting the parliamentarians to imagine what the Foundation might do with proper resources and political support.

Once the EuroLat session finished, Ferrero-Waldner appeared before the media accompanied by the co-presidents of that parliamentary assembly, the Spanish Ramón Jáuregui, representing Europe, and the Salvadoran Leonel Vásquez Búcaro for the Latin American component. The Brazilian Roberto Requião, also attended the conference.

Senator Requião had been elected in this session to succeeded Mr Vásquez Búcaro in representing Latin America at the EuroLat Assembly.

Other activities of the Foundation in the framework of the summit included a workshop on Culture and Cities in the EU-CELAC space, political meetings, the opening and participation in the academic summit, which deals with the creation of a common space for knowledge, in which the participation inone of the panels by the Foundation's Executive Director was relevant. And finally, the Business Summit, an event which the Foundation became a key promoter, counted with the participation of the EU-LAC Foundation’s President and the presentation of two reports on Corporate Social Responsibility and another one on SMEs published in collaboration with Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.