EU-LAC Foundation Engages in Bi-regional Civil Society Forum and the III EU-CELAC Summit 2023


The EU-LAC Foundation has engaged during this past week in important bi-regional events in Brussels. The Foundation's activities included the organisation of a panel discussions, the assistance in high-level meetings, and the participation as observer in the III EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government.

Expert Panel Discussion on "Latin America and the Caribbean with Team Europe: Working better together towards a Just and Green Transition"

On July 12, 2023, the Foundation joined the hybrid Expert Panel Discussion organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Euroclima, and GIZ. The event aimed to align the BMZ's approach with the EU's Team Europe strategy, supporting the Global Gateway Strategy and the Euroclima programme. In this event, the BMZ’s new position paper for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was presented by the Federal Minister for Economic and Development Cooperation, Svenja Schulze. The strategy was commented upon by Roberto Jaguaribe, the Brazilian Ambassador in Germany; Felix Fernandez-Shaw, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at DG INTPA, European Commission; Volker Oel, Director for Latin America, Middle East/MENA, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe at BMZ; Sebastian Carranza, Director of Climate Change and Risk Management at Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development; and Laura Señan, analyst at Fundación Avina, Latin America. The dialogue centred on joint actions, intra-regional collaboration, and cooperation with multilateral organisations to foster a just and green transition, combined with the strengthening of the rights of women and girls and the promotion of good governance and democratic processes in the region.

EU-LAC Forum: Partners in Change and Panel on Multi-Stakeholders' Engagements

The "EU-LAC Forum: Partners in Change" took place on July 13 and 14, 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. The event brought together youth leaders, civil society representatives, and local authorities from both regions to discuss opportunities for a sustainable and inclusive future. The Foundation actively participated in the Forum, contributing to discussions on reducing inequalities, climate change, gender equality, digital transformation, and cultural cooperation.

The EU-LAC Foundation also convened its panel, "Partnerships and Multi-Stakeholders' Engagements: Democracy, Knowledge, Gender Equality, and Just Transitions," where recommendations from their Knowledge, Gender Equality, and Just Transitions Forums were presented. Key topics included science and technology cooperation, gender equality, climate change, and inclusive digital transformation.

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Meetings with Key Stakeholders

During the events, the Foundation engaged in critical meetings with Mr. Felicce Zaccheo from the European Commission's International Partnerships (DG INTPA) and Prof. Karina Batthyány, Executive Secretary of the Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO). Discussions explored potential collaborations, mutual goals, and ways to strengthen the bi-regional partnership.

2023 III EU-CELAC Summit: Strengthening the Bi-Regional Relationship

The EU-LAC Foundation actively participated as observer in the EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government on July 17 and 18, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. The Summit marked the renewal of high-level meetings between the two regions after an eight-year hiatus.

In the Declaration and approved at the Summit, the EU and CELAC reaffirmed their long-standing partnership based on shared values anfd interests as well as string economic, social and cultural ties. They committed to deepen political dialogue and economic relations and foster people to-people contacts and social relations. The Heads of State and Government highlighted several key areas for cooperation to tackle multiple challenges and crises of our times, including climate change and environmental degradation, structural inequalities, poverty, food insecurity, supply chain disruptions. In the EU-CELAC Road Map 2023, both regions agreed on a series of high-level bi-regional events and dialogues to tackle issues of mutual interest, including economy and finance, health, security, drugs, connectivity, research and innovation, or space policies.

The EU-LAC Foundation is committed to follow-up on the Summit agreements, for instance, by preparing a Multi-Actor Forum on the social, green and digital transitions in San José, Costa Rica, on October 4th, 2023.

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Advancing the Bi-regional Agenda

The EU-LAC Foundation's active engagement in these events reinforces its role in promoting dialogue and cooperation between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean. The Foundation's contributions were acknowledged by both civil society and government representatives, and its initiatives were praised for positively influencing the EU-CELAC partnership.

The President of the Foundation, Leire Pajín, stressed that the EU-CELAC summit under the Spanish Presidency of the EU has reinforced the will to walk together in a multipolar world. This includes coverage of strategies towards fairer climate, digital and social transitions, strengthening multilateralism and peace, fulfilling the 2030 agenda and the Paris agreement. It also includes the reform of international financial institutions, gender equality, the bi-regional alliance for the generation of vaccines, among others.

After many hours of negotiation, the declaration strengthens the bi-regional relationship and commits the Foundation to follow up and implement it. Looking ahead, the EU-LAC Foundation remains committed to promoting just and green transitions, enhancing regional cooperation and facilitating knowledge exchange between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean.