Conference IdA-EU-LAC Foundation 2017: The Caribbean in the strategic partnership EU-CELAC
Within the framework of their strategic partnership, the European Union – Latin America and Caribbean Foundation (EU-LAC) and the Institute of the Americas (IdA) organise every year, during the Latin American and Caribbean Week in France, with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the European Commission, a conference to valorize and strengthen the bi-regional partnership.
In 2017, the IdA-EU-LAC interdisciplinary Conference is organised jointly with the Montesquieu Center for Political Research of the Montesquieu Research Institute (IRM-CMRP) University of Bordeaux, a member institution of IdA. It will be an event with high visibility that will bring together researchers, public decision makers and representatives of international organizations and private sector with the aim to exchange experiences from Caribbean, Latin America and Europe points of view, the issues related to commercial, cultural, geopolitical relations and scientific cooperation between both regions.
- Eric Dubesset, Montesquieu Center for Political Research of the Montesquieu Research Institute (IRM-CMRP) - University of Bordeaux
- Carlos Quenan, Institut des Amériques
- Antonio Romero, Cátedra de Estudios del Caribe, Universidad de La Habana
Based on the existence of strong historical, social and economic links and a community of values, Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union (EU) initiated during the First Summit of Rio de Janeiro in 1999, a 'bi-regional strategic partnership' process. Aiming, among other objectives, a dynamic political dialogue and the creation of a vast free trade area between the two regions, this ambitious project was strengthened in 2010 with the founding of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Designed as a regional political platform bringing together thirty-three states of the American continent, CELAC has become the EU's interlocutor in the bi-regional partnership.
The Spanish-speaking, English-speaking, French-speaking (Haiti) and Dutch-speaking (Surinam) States of the Caribbean are part of this consortium. They all face many environmental and economic challenges and deal with the current context of globalization. Their exposure to natural disasters, the weakness of their regional trade, their levels of production and exports, and their important economic dependence and extroversion are all obstacles to their development and integration into the global economy. The reduction of their vulnerabilities and the international valorization of their know-how in different sectors (telephony, fiber optics, green energy, remote sensing, port infrastructures, tourism, finance) necessarily require a concerted insertion.
In the context of global and regional changes coupled with the post-Cotonou consultation process, it is necessary to take into account the evolution of the place and participation of the Caribbean States in the cooperation mechanisms of the CELAC with the EU. The participants of the conference will be invited to consider the challenges that would imply a greater involvement of the Caribbean States in the bi-regional strategic partnership. This will include considering how the participation of Caribbean States could be strengthened in the near future, and what could be the appropriate mechanisms to achieve it.
The main objective of this conference is to contribute to the knowledge and reflection on the stakes and the potential of a greater inclusion and participation of the Caribbean in the processes of strategic partnership between the EU and the CELAC. This conference should:
- be based on the geographical, historical, social, economic and political characteristics of the various Caribbean countries and territories.
- take into account the most recent academic literature.
- promote dialogue between students, researchers, policy makers, representatives of international organizations and the financial and private sector.
It will be necessary to analyze and evaluate:
- the transformations of Caribbean societies and cultures in the course of globalization;
- the main challenges the Caribbean Area is facing in terms of economic development and international integration;
- policy options to overcome the obstacles imposed by economic and environmental vulnerability in the globalization’s era;
- the resources, assets and successful experiences, in terms of sustainable development and social justice. Considering what can be offered by the Caribbean States and Territories to contribute to the consolidation of the EU-CELAC bi-regional partnership;
- the opportunities and synergies likely to optimize the benefits of cooperation between the countries of the Caribbean, Latin America and the European Union. For example, in terms of exchanging experiences and good practices;
- the possibilities arising from the bi-regional strategic partnership process expressed in the Declarations and Plans of Action of the EU-CELAC Summits in order to increase the participation of the Caribbean in the EU-CELAC partnership.
Date and place:
Thursday, 1st June 2017
Salle Médicis, Palais du Luxembourg-Paris, France.