The EU-CELAC Chair is an initiative proposed by the European Institute of International Studies (EIIS) developed within the frame of the Iber-Eu-America Consortium, and presented in Brussels during the II EU-CELAC Academic Summit on June 9, 2015.
The latest developments on the global stage have brought about a series of important changes which have had a series of effects and repercussions on the European Union-Latin American and Caribbean relationship (EU-LAC).
In the first place, the surge of new global actors, with powerful emerging economies and an increasing political sphere of influence—a phenomenon which is not unknown in the American continent—is the clearest and most immediate fact.
From this perspective, the economic development of many Latin American and Caribbean countries, from the low to the middle-income spectrums, have generated a new political economic, and social context which promises, on a global scale, a greater prominence and relevance for the region as a whole.
Meanwhile, the European Union has begun to display a more focused attention on this development, and has exhibited increasing interest towards the Latin American and Caribbean region.
However, the EU’s attempts to establish interregional treaties of association and commerce with the LAC have produced, up to this moment, limited results, insofar as to this date, only two successful examples of these accords exist: the Economic Partnership Agreement with CARIFORUM and the Association Agreement with Central America.
Nevertheless, several factors, external and internal, must be considered, both in order to explain the present situation and to assess future prospects.
China’s increasing political, economic, and commercial clout has modified the global outlook, so that some of the most pressing priorities of the region have turned towards achieving greater engagement with the Pacific area.
Internal crises in the respective regional integration processes, both in Europe and in Latin America and the Caribbean, have sharply decreased the efforts needed to fill in the gaps of mutual ignorance regarding the respective dynamics of change in each region, and enhancing the relationships necessary for a renewed encounter between both areas.
Fortunately, the creation of the EU-CELAC Summits has opened a broad space for this reencounter and with this, the opportunity to extend and deepen our relationships in various sectors, including university and academic ones. In any case, the Summits have generated a new and fitting scene in which to recast global relations between both countries.
It is, therefore, of the greatest importance to grant a keen and careful attention to the progress of these summits.
To this end, the European Institute of International Studies (EIIS), as a promoter and coordinator of the Iber-Euro-America Consortium, which encompasses more than 31 institutes and academic centers in Europe and Latin America, decided to create the EU-CELAC Chair, with the following objectives:
- Organization of seminars and conferences (related to the topics on the strategic agenda and the approved proposals at the EU-CELAC Summits).
- Creation and implementation of courses (academic post-graduate programs, training programs for high-ranking officials).
- Preparation and formulation of schemes.
- Presentation and execution of projects.
- Preparation and application of programs.
- Studies, reports, and evaluations.
- Any academic activity related to topics and matters which may be or have been the object of attention, a recommendation or a decision reached by the EU-CELAC Summits.
The reference framework of the EU-CELAC Chair is the new scenario generated by global inter-relations inherent to the EU-CELAC Summits and its activities, which are oriented, as far as possible, in knowledge and the dissemination of the fruits of the Summits; as well as to collaborate in the achievement of its goals.
To this purpose, the EU-CELAC Chair wishes to serve as a platform in which organizations and academic, government, business, and cultural sectors can converge and help to prepare and enrich previous debates, as well as contributing, as much as possible, to the success of the recommendations, decisions, and projects of the Summits.