On 13 August, the EU-LAC Foundation President Benita Ferrero-Waldner has been invited to give a lecture about the challenges and opportunities of the European Union – Latin America and the Caribbean Strategic Partnership at the Diplomatic and Consular Academy “Carlos Antonio López” in Asunción. Among the audience were senior officials from the Paraguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other representatives of the Paraguayan society.
In her speech, Ms Ferrero-Waldner has analysed a number of examples that illustrate the depth of European-Latin America and the Caribbean cooperation and positive outcomes thereof. Furthermore, Paraguay’s last round of peaceful and free elections, its young population, its ability to generate electric energy and its natural and cultural wealth make it a country with enormous potential for development.
Nonetheless inequality remains a major obstacle in the way to development, not just for Paraguay but also for all Latin American and Caribbean governments. The EU-LAC Foundation’s president proposes to address this problem through strategic investment in education and encourages Paraguay to make use of existing bi-regional education initiatives more actively.
The protection of the environment and the battle against climate change were mentioned as other areas of interest for increased bi-regional cooperation, since it not only bears consequences for a country’s competitiveness in the global market but also poses important questions regarding our intergenerational responsibility.
Infrastructure investments and the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises are other topics to be taken into account and Ms Ferrero-Waldner offered Paraguay the EU-LAC Foundation’s full support in its efforts to further integrate within the framework of the bi-regional partnership. Regarding Paraguay’s temporary suspension form Mercosur, the EU-LAC president expressed hope that a solution will be reached to re-establish stability and bearing in mind the best interest of the Paraguayan population.