The Second Academic Summit: On Injecting Substance into the Bi-regional Association

Laurence Whitehead is Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford University. This paper is a contribution to the EU-LAC Foundation’s Newsletter special edition EU-CELAC Summit 2015.

The Bi-Regional Summit process linking the EU to Latin America and the Caribbean has been in operation since 1999, but it was not until January 2013 that the first Academic Summit was held. In the ensuing two and a half years considerable energy has been devoted to strengthening and deepening the higher education component of the relationship. The EU-LAC Foundation as entity responsible for supporting the bi-regional cooperation towards the establishment of a common space in higher education, and a Permanent Academic Forum has been created to identify priorities and develop strategies in fulfillment of the Santiago Summit mandate. The culmination of these efforts will be on display at the forthcoming Bi-Regional Summit to be held in Brussels in June 2015. The state level meeting of the 61 participating members will be preceded by a second successive Academic Summit, together with a Business Sector counterpart, and equivalent events for mayors, legislators, and civil society representatives. (Read the paper)