International Seminar about the Caribbean and the EU-CELAC Synergy in Brussels

On 14 May 2013 the EU-LAC Foundation, the Interuniversity Institute for the Relations between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean (IRELAC) and the Institute of the Americas (IdA) organized an international seminar “The Caribbean and the CELAC-EU synergy: Operational proposals after the Santiago Summit”. The seminar took place in Brussels.

The seminar was dedicated to the issues and challenges the Caribbean region is facing in the framework of the EU-CELAC strategic partnership. In her opening speech, the President of the EU-LAC Foundation, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, emphasised the strategic relevance of the Caribbean in order to enhance and strengthen bi-regional relations. “I am convinced that the Caribbean can benefit a lot from the partnership, and that it also has a lot to contribute. The EU-CELAC partnership is not complete without the Caribbean”, she stated.

The event provided a space for an open exchange of ideas and discussion between academic experts and officials about the challenges but also the potential advantages of a further integration of the Caribbean. Among other topics the experts analysed the current role of the Caribbean within the EU-LAC partnership, the principal challenges the sub-region is facing, such as climate change and natural disasters, as well as the interconnectivity in transport, energy, communications, development, research and innovation. Finally, the operational proposals aiming to promote further integration and participation of the Caribbean into the EU-CELAC framework were discussed.

The seminar produced a number of ideas for cooperation in various sectors, including science and technology, higher education, employment and vocational training, energy, and security. The next steps will determine how to follow up on these issues in order to achieve the Caribbean’s full integration into the strategic partnership.

You can find the full speech of the EU-LAC Foundation President, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, here.