The EU-LAC Foundation is an international organisation created in 2010 by the Heads of State and Government of the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean. Since its establishment in 2011, the Foundation is based in the Centre of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Germany.
Ever since its creation, the EU-LAC Foundation has enjoyed strong support from the German Government and the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, which contribute financially to the Foundation's operating expenses. Additionally, the Senate of Hamburg is actively involved in projects initiated and promoted by the EU-LAC Foundation. For instance, Ms Almut Möller, Secretary of State and Representative to the European Union of Hamburg is an active member of the EU-LAC Foundation's EU-LAC Women's International Network.
The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
Hamburg in numbers:
- Surface: 555.1 square kilometres
- Inhabitants: 1,889,160 (December 2019)
- Households: 1,041,724 (December 2018)
The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany and the largest non-capital city in Europe. Hamburg's urban area has a population of about 2.5 million people, the metropolitan area, however, is home to over five million people. Situated between the River Elbe and two of its tributaries, Alster and Bille, Hamburg is considered Europe's third largest port, which makes Hamburg a significant actor for European trade. The city is a hub of international trade flows, enabling intercontinental trade through its port facilities.
Additionally, Hamburg is home to almost 100 consulates, which makes it the second-largest consulate host-city - right after New York City. 20 of these consulates are permanent representations of Latin American and Caribbean countries and 24 are permanent representations of EU member states.
Hamburg and the European Union
Hamburg is one of the most European-friendly States of Germany. Based on its interest, situation and tradition, the Hanseatic City supports the development and integration of the European Union. Especially the areas of finance, environmental and climate policies, as well as transportation, are core topics to Hamburg, in which the City is actively shaping European politics.
As European policy concerns the entire public, the Senate Chancellery supports a decentralised public relations work on European policy. Initiatives in this regard are the organisation of various events to bring European policies to the knowledge of the citizens. Annual events in that matter include the Europe Week and the Long Night of Consulates. In addition, citizens of Hamburg can inform themselves about current European issues and European policy in the Info-Point Europa Hamburg.
To foster the close ties between the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the European Union, Hamburg, together with its neighbouring State Schleswig-Holstein, counts on its permanent representation to the European Union.
Hamburg and Latin America and the Caribbean
Trade relations between Hamburg and Latin America and the Caribbean date back to as early as the 17th century. In 1827, Hamburg was the first city to recognize the states of Latin America and the Caribbean and establish important trade relations, for example with Brazil and Mexico. Towards the end of the 19th century, Hamburg became the point of departure for many Europeans heading to Latin America via the Port of Hamburg. The shipping company, today known as Hamburg Süd, opened a direct liner service to Brazil, the country of destination for many Europeans, in 1871.
Today, Hamburg is fostering dialogue with the Latin American and Caribbean States through its voluntary ambassadors in Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, and Antigua. The dialogue is aided by 20 Latin American and Caribbean consulates situated in Hamburg. The Foundation’s host city has a close relationship with its partner city Léon in Nicaragua.
In the realm of Culture and Science, Hamburg promotes cooperation and mutual understanding through the annual “Latin American and Caribbean Fall” Festival, the Institute for Latin American Studies at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies, and the Bachelor’s and Master’s programme of Latin American Studies at the University of Hamburg, which offers exchange with some Latin American Universities.
In the area of economy, once again we need to highlight the Port of Hamburg and the growing importance of Latin America and the Caribbean for the economic interests of the port authorities. The Lateinamerika-Verein e.V., as a business network, helps companies to strengthen their ties to the LAC region.
"Latin American and Caribbean Fall" Festival
The "Latin American and Caribbean Fall" Festival is a festival conceived by the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg following the interest of the group of Latin American and Caribbean Consuls accredited in Hamburg. It takes place annually and aims to improve the visibility and knowledge of Latin America and the Caribbean in Hamburg through a programme of activities that allows the interested public to participate in the discussion of social, economic, and political issues and at the same time brings the public closer to the cultural richness of this region.
Read more about the "Latin American and Caribbean Fall" Festival here.