On 9 October 2013, the President, Benita Ferrero-Waldner and the Executive Director, Jorge Valdez, of the EU-LAC Foundation participated at the colloquium "Infrastructure and Integration: Euro-latin-american approach", organised by the EU-LAC Foundation, the Institut des Amériques (IdA), the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ALSTOM, in Paris. The aim of this event is to strengthen existing networks by incorporating new actors and stimulating new and relevant topics for the bi-regional partnership.
The colloquium discussed about the role of regional integration and investments in infrastructure from a sustainable development perspective, in a context of globalization. Infrastructures are both expression and central axis of the development, considering that they facilitate economic exchanges and approach the peoples. Thus, the event offered the meeting possibility between the organisms responsible for integration between the both regions, academic analysts as well the responsible for the public and private sectors specializing in infrastructure development, regional integration and EU- LAC relationships. The participants have analysed regional integration processes from the perspective of development of cross-border and transnational networks in transport, energy and internet, as well as their impact on socio-economic and territorial cohesion.
In her speech, the President of the EU-LAC Foundation, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, underlined the importance of the question of infrastructures as a major axis of the bi-regional relationship. For this reason, it is a collective issue, which requires collective responses that should include synergies between the States and other relevant actors. This question of infrastructure, including transnational networks is, in fact, a key concern of the Members of European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The Foundation is convinced that infrastructures and logistics in Latin America and the Caribbean are able to contribute to strengthening the process of regional development, as well as the regional integration and interconnectivity to promote social inclusion and cohesion.