Mission of the Executive Director of the EU-LAC Foundation to Spain

From 20 to 25 September, the Executive Director of the EU-LAC Foundation, Dr Adrián Bonilla, was in Spain, where he participated in the event "The necessary creation of a Euro-Latin American and Caribbean cultural space: values, principles and proposals" which took place between 22 and 24 September in the city of Yuste.

The EU-LAC Foundation co-organised this Congress in conjunction with the Centre for Ibero-American Studies of the King Juan Carlos University (URCJ), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, the Universidad del Norte, UC3M, the Organisation of Ibero-American States (OEI), the National University of Rosario, the Centre for International Relations Studies of Rosario and the European and Ibero-American Academy Foundation of Yuste, the latter being the entity that hosted the hybrid event. During the event, which was attended by more than 100 people from both regions, the importance and potential of culture as a fundamental element of relations between Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe was highlighted.

The experts who participated in the three discussion panels, from the fields of research, academia, civil society and international organisations, promoted the presentation and discussion of the cultural dimension in the bi-regional space between Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union, for the dissemination and awareness of culture with the aim of creating a Euro-Latin American and Caribbean cultural space. During the Congress, formulas and good practices were presented in the face of the challenges in the field of creative industries and copyright from the regional and international sphere, with special emphasis on the issues addressed by the Bi-regional Summits.

The Executive Director's work agenda also included meetings with representatives of organisations and partners in Spain with the aim of discussing possibilities for cooperation to further strengthen relations between Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union in the year 2022. With the Executive Director of the Carolina Foundation, Dr José Antonio Sanahuja, the follow-up to the activities related to the publication of the Association Agreements derived from the workshops that took place between May and July 2021 was discussed. The strategic planning of activities for the 2022 work programme was also the subject of meetings with Ambassador José García Belaunde, Representative of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) in Europe, and representatives of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Dr Bonilla and Juan Manuel Santomé, Director of the EUROsociAL+ Programme, also exchanged on the progress of the case studies of the joint research on gender between the EU-LAC Foundation and EUROsociAL+.

On 23 September, Dr Bonilla also attended the First Inter-institutional Meeting on Cooperation through Euro-Ibero-American Cultural Routes and Itineraries, which was coordinated by the OEI with the objective of creating a programme of collaboration in the area of cultural routes and itineraries in the Euro-Ibero-American space, seeking complementarities and synergies between entities, groups and networks of different types that work at the local, national or regional level. In addition to the OEI, the participating entities included the Council of Europe, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, the Regional World Heritage Institute of UNESCO in Zacatecas, the European Institute of Cultural Routes, among others.