As part of a friendship programme between Germany and Latin America and Caribbean, on 26th of September the EU-LAC Foundation welcomed at its Headquarters in Hamburg a delegation of diplomats from 13 countries of Latin America and Caribbean: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Executive Director of the EU-LAC Foundation, Dr Adrián Bonilla, welcomed the group stressing the importance of furthering the strategic partnership between Europe and LAC in particular, in the midst of the current period, characterised by many challenges for multilateralism, security and development. He emphasised that relations between the European Union and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have remained strong despite the pandemic, not only due to economic interests, but also because of cultural and immaterial bonds between the two regions. Thus, he mentioned, though high-level meetings have not occurred since 2015, there have been a series of meetings or High Officials and, specially many exchanges of civil society, universities, researches and students, as well as a strong birregional agenda on development assistance, green transformation and social cohesion.
In that light, Dr. Bonilla stressed the role of the Foundation in creating spaces to link different actors (such as states, civil society, universities and international organisation, etc.) of Europe and Latin America and Caribbean in order to strengthen cooperation through a positive agenda. Dr. Bonilla further described the objectives of the Foundation, and the importance of the close work carried out with its membership. He also presented the strategic topics of the Foundation: higher education; science, technology and innovation; economic and social development; climate change; culture; multilateralism and bi-regional cooperation; gender. For that matter, he explained to the visiting diplomats the ratification process of the Constitutive Agreement of the Foundation.
A productive exchange followed about the bi-regional agenda, such as climate change and the green transformation, gender equality issues, youth and social cohesion and digitalisation.
In concluding, Dr Bonilla addressed the possibility of an EU-CELAC summit in 2023 as an occasion to renew the bi-regional agenda to deal with the current challenges and opportunities for cooperation between European Union and Latin America and Caribbean in a new international environment.