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Giving focus to the Cultural, Scientific and Social Dimension of EU - CELAC relations

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Meetings & Events

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Participation of EULAC-FOCUS team member is foreseen for the following events in the near future:

  • 11th of May 2017 - Chamber of Labour Austria: „Institutional power shifts in the EU and its consequences for social policy and gender relations“

  • 19th-21th of May 2017 - Annual Conference of the Association of Latin American studies in Austria: Partcicipation and presentation of first EULAC results in the Session: ¿De dónde vienes y a dónde vas? Migraciones transnacionales en/desde/hacia América Latina.

  • 12th July 2017 - 19:00 - Berlin, Germany - ¿Cuál es el papel de la cultura en las relaciones entre la Unión Europea, América Latina y el Caribe?


Interview with Dr Peter Birle of IAI: Cross-Cutting Pathways and Research Strategies

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WP2: Cross-Cutting pathways

I can see from the deliverable 2.5 synthesis report that you have identified ‘Mobility, Diversity, Inequality and Sustainability’ as the key cross-cutting topics, could you explain why?

The four key cross-cutting topics were not selected by our Work Package alone, but by all project partners. A fundamental decision about the topics to be worked had already been taken during the preparation of the application. After the approval of the project this was then specified by all partners during the opening workshop in Madrid 2016 and further discussed during the workshops in Berlin and Quito. The selection of the cross-cutting topics was guided by four criteria: Firstly, they are paradigmatic key concepts encapsulating a broader spectrum of themes and problems. Secondly, they address significant aspects of the social, the scientific and the cultural dimensions of bi-regional relations between the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). This means that they are pertinent to all three dimensions of bi-regional relations considered in the project. Thirdly, they are of strategic relevance for the EU-CELAC bi-regional agenda and play also an important role within the UN framework. And last but not least, there is a need for a systematic and more differentiated analysis of these cross-cutting issues with regard to the social, scientific and cultural dimensions of EU-CELAC relations and taken altogether, in order to comprehend their interlinkages better. In this sense the analysis of the selected cross-cutting issues makes a contribution to overcome blind spots in our understanding of EU-CELAC relations. It is important to point out that the four cross-cutting topics are not only analysed individually for the cultural, scientific and social dimensions of the EU-CELAC bi-regional relations. In addition, overlaps and interconnections between mobility, inequality, diversity and sustainability are explored.

You have also identified 7 ‘cross-cutting pathways’ questions, how did you bring it down to these 7 questions?

First of all, together with our Work Package 2 Co-Leader, the University of São Paulo Support Foundation, we thought about which questions could be made in a meaningful way with regard to the cross-cutting pathways. The questions were then presented to the other project partners and to the external experts that are members of the Trans-Sectorial Board. To this extent, these are questions which have been shared by all. The basic guiding principle was to ask questions that contribute to a better and more differentiated understanding of EU-CELAC relations. First and foremost, we want to identify through the lens of the key cross-cutting topics significant similarities and differences between the EU and CELAC in the cultural, scientific and social dimension of their relations. Furthermore, the questions are intended to identify where and in which sense one region could learn from the other.

Could you talk me through each of the 7 questions, one by one?

Of course, but it seems most sensible to do this for each of the cross-cutting topics and also briefly explain how these have been defined. So let's start with mobility. We understand mobility as the spatial movement of people and knowledge between Europe and Latin America/the Caribbean. Beyond knowledge, values, worldviews and experiences are mobilized and circulate across the Atlantic. The mobilization of people may be temporary or long-term (e.g. labour migration). When analysing the mobility of people in all three dimensions we will find that depending on the context key groups of actors change (e.g. in the scientific dimension, students, post-docs, senior researchers; or in the social dimension workers carrying out health- or child-care services). We will also see that the digital transformation produces new patterns of mobility beyond institutional and national borders. In the analysis of mobility we focus on the following key questions: How is mobility addressed in the social, scientific and cultural dimensions of bi-regional relations? How has this changed in the time period considered (1999-2018)? To what extent and how does mobility have an impact on the cultural, scientific, and social dimensions of bi-regional relations? What are the main achievements, what are the main challenges regarding mobility in the social, scientific and cultural dimensions of bi-regional relations?  Are the existing funding instruments and formats adequate to foster social, scientific and cultural mobility between the EU and CELAC? Which additional instruments and formats would be necessary to enhance mobility?

The second cross-cutting topic is inequality. We define inequality on two analytic levels. On the one hand, we address inequalities between countries and among regions. On the other, there are inequalities between individuals and social groups that can be defined as a disparity among individuals, social groups and institutions, in time and space, that create a hierarchy of access to socially-relevant and economically important goods (income, wealth, etc.) and power resources (rights, political participation, political power, etc.). Beyond the traditional emphasis on class differences and unequal distribution of income, we also consider inequalities of gender, class, ethnicity and the interrelations among these social categories. In the analysis of inequality we focus on the following key questions: How is inequality addressed in the social, scientific and cultural dimensions of bi-regional relations? How has this changed in the time period considered? How and to what extent does inequality have an impact on the cultural, scientific, and social dimensions of bi-regional relations? What specific roles do cultural, scientific and social relations between EU and LAC play in fostering social inclusion and reducing social inequalities within and between the two regions? What are main achievements, what are main challenges regarding inequality in the social, scientific and cultural dimensions of bi-regional relations? What are commonalities and differences concerning strategies to address social inequalities and enhance social inclusion? What could both regions learn from each other?

The third cross-cutting topic, diversity, is recognized by us on two dimensions: On the one hand, cultural diversity, which encompasses diversity in terms of cultural norms, values forms of knowledge, and practices. It also includes differences spanning gender, age, and ethnicity, as well as the interconnections between these social categories. On the other, biological diversity which refers not only to a diversity of living species in ecosystems and to their complexity. Both dimensions are mutually interdependent when it comes to wellbeing and sustainability. With regard to this topic, we also ask how it is addressed in the social, scientific and cultural dimensions of bi-regional relations, how has this changed in the time period considered, to what extent and how it does have an impact on the cultural, scientific, and social dimensions of bi-regional relations und what are main achievements and the main challenges regarding this topic in the social, scientific and cultural dimensions of bi-regional relations.

The fourth cross-cutting topic is sustainability. At the core of the concept are the interconnections between economic growth, environmental health and social wellbeing. Sustainable development has been a mainstay concept and goal of the social and environmental international agenda from the late 1980s until the present. In the social and cultural areas, the concept of sustainability addresses transformations related to development dynamics, highlighting interdependencies between spatial scales (local, national, regional and global scales) and temporal frames (past, present and future). In the scientific dimension sustainability is more directly addressed as the durability and resilience of ecological rather than eco-social systems, and is increasingly brought into close connection with the implementation of particular technologies that are associated with sustainable practices. The questions we ask with regard to this topic are once more how it has been addressed in the social, scientific and cultural dimensions of bi-regional relations, how has this changed in the time period considered, what are main achievements and main challenges regarding the issue in the social, scientific and cultural dimensions of bi-regional relations and to what extent and how sustainability does have an impact on the cultural, scientific, and social dimensions of bi-regional relations.

How do you expect the WP3, 4 and 5 to respond to use your conclusions?

It is not simply that the other Work Packages should react to our conclusions. The whole interplay between the different WPs is giving and taking. Our Work Package fosters the interdisciplinary treatment of trans-sectorial pathways and feeds into the analysis of the cultural, scientific and social dimensions of EU – CELAC bi-regional relations. We also see our task in synthesizing the outcomes regarding the cross-cutting topics provided by the thematic pillars WP3, 4, and 5. Thus, WP2 will promote knowledge exchange, close interconnections and feedback loops between WP3, 4, and 5 in order to mutually reinforce those thematic Work Packages and provide a targeted input to the vision-building process of WP6. Results from the analysis of the cross-cutting topics of the cultural, scientific and social dimensions of the bi-regional relationship will be taken into account in the scenario building process, which addresses key factors, trends and uncertainties that will most probably shape and determine the future of EU-CELAC relations.

The Synthesis Report on Cross-Cutting Topics we delivered in December 2016 is work in progress. It summarizes the results of a first round of evaluating primary and secondary sources for two out of the three dimensions that have to be taken into account, the scientific and the social dimension. The evaluations and conclusions presented in the report are preliminary and can be expected to become more differentiated as the analysis evolves over time. Future versions of the document will also take the cultural dimension into account and will go into greater detail in reviewing and evaluating the content of political, policy and programme documents to the extent that they are relevant for analysing the cross-cutting topics. Thus far, no results from the other working packages were considered, but of course we hope to enrich our analysis through this material in future versions of the report.

How do you think this will then be used to improve bi-regional relations?

As you know, the main objective of the EULAC Focus project is that of “giving focus” to EU–CELAC bi-regional relations. The project pays special attention to the social, scientific and cultural dimensions, proposing a new strategic and more targeted framework for bi-regional relations. We hope that with our analyses, we can make a small contribution to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the bi-regional relations and finding areas that should be given special attention in the future.

The interview was conducted by Estelle Morris.


First hot topic web conference now live

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The road to a common language, EULAC FOCUS Project’s First Web conference on Research Infrastructures ran by the EULAC-FOCUS project took place on 13th June 2017. The aim of the activity was to exchange lessons learned, common considerations and challenges between the CELAC and the European Union.

The speakers for the event were:

Fernando Amestoy, Polo Tecnológico de Pando, Uruguay - CELAC leader of the SOM Working Group.
Gerd Rücker - InRoad Project representative.
Margarida Ribeiro - EC representative in ESFRI project.
Moderator: Mónica Silenzi, ALCUE NET Project Coordinator / Ramon Torrent, EULAC FOCUS Coordinator

The event was a success with 25 participants online and some really good questions and discussion on the subject of research infrastructures and the different initiatives on going from Europe & the potential synergies/ lessons learnt for CELAC.

It engaged EC representatives and participant from European and CELAC countries as a preliminary dialogue on this important topic. It also engaged new stakeholders to the project (e.g. MEC from Uruguay, SENESCYT from Panamá, CNPq Brazil, among others). It is also worth noting that this activity was coordinated by 3 on-going EC projects : EULAC FOCUS, ALCUE NET & ERANET LAC.

Further Hot Topics web confeerences will be organised in due course. The full programme will be published on www.eulac-focus.net/about-eulac-focus/hot-topics/. In the meantime, the recording of the web conference has now been published live on the EULAC-FOCUS Youtube channel on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7J9Kk-mS4Q and can also be found on the Hot Topic section of the EULAC-FOCUS website on http://eulac-focus.net/about-eulac-focus/hot-topics/


FIRST WEB CONFERENCE ON RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES

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The road to a common language, EULAC FOCUS Project’s First Web conference on Research Infrastructures

In the framework of the EU LAC FOCUS project, we invite you to participate in the first "Hot Topic Web Conference" on Research Infrastructure (RI). The aim of the activity is to exchange lessons learned, common considerations and challenges between the CELAC and the European Union.

The speakers for this event will be:

  • Fernando Amestoy, Polo Tecnológico de Pando, Uruguay - CELAC leader of the SOM Working Group.
  • Gerd Rücker - InRoad Project representative.
  • Margarida Ribeiro - EC representative in ESFRI project.

Moderator: Mónica Silenzi, ALCUE NET Project Coordinator / Ramon Torrent, EULAC FOCUS Coordinator

Please note that the live web conference is available on invitation, but will be recorded and made available on the website at a later stage.


WP4 Scientific Dimension Update

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The scientific cooperation between the EU and CELAC builds on a strong tradition of exchanges and links between individual researchers from both regions, dating back from the rise of scientific development in Latin America and the Caribbean during the last century. “The scientific dimensions” of EULAC Focus (WP 4) tries to create a comprehensive picture of the past and ongoing  bi-regional STI collaboration, which will support the formulation of policy recommendations for future activities between the 2 regions.

In the last year, WP 4 progressed significantly in the conduction of a mapping study of scientific publications on bi-regional STI collaboration and the analysis of the STI policy dialogue and its development over the last decade.

A former important step was made in the area of Research Infrastructures: A close cooperation with the newly founded Senior Officials Meeting Research Infrastructure working group was established and consultations on how to support them by conducting the interviews with key players from the area were initiated. The discussions will be deepened in the upcoming hot topic web conference.


WP2 - Cross-cutting Topics Update

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In December 2016, Work Package 2 "Cross-cutting pathways", led by the Ibero-American Institute, Berlin, presented an updated version of the "Synthesis Report on Cross-cutting Topics". This version of the report analyses the four cross-cutting topics: mobility, inequality, diversity and sustainability for the scientific and social dimensions of the EU-CELAC bi-regional relations. Future versions will also take the cultural dimension into account. 

Looking into cooperation programmes and activities between the EU and LAC regions within the framework of the EULAC-FOCUS project (namely: Cultural, Scientific and Social dimensions), they have often been characterized by the participation of only some countries in each region. This is the case regarding scientific mobility in which four countries in Latin America carry a very high percentage of all participation. It is also the case for a frequent exclusion of the Caribbean, or of separate negotiation processes, such as is the case in the climate programmes, EUROCLIMA Programme between EU and Latin America on the one hand, and the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) programme between the EU and the Caribbean on the other.

A major institutional asymmetry in the EU-CELAC relationship is related to the fact that beyond the political dialogue, a large part of bi-regional relations is implemented through instruments to fund common programmes and activities which stem almost exclusively from the EU. There is a tendency to which funding dictates the format, the thematic priorities and outcomes.

Mobility

Mobility is central to bi-regional relations between EU-CELAC in the field of science, technology and innovation.

Although specific motives and drivers for mobility are not necessarily the same on each side of the Atlantic and differ with regard to status groups, disciplines and interests, key factors for mobility include access to cutting edge science and complementary know-how, gaining entry to international technology markets, the valuation of skills, information, and insights concentrated in other countries, and access to funds from foreign institutions and foreign funding agencies.

A qualitative and strategic change in the bi-regional relationship with a significant effect on the mobility of information, knowledge and researchers is marked by the initiation of the Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation (JIRI), launched in 2010 at the Madrid Summit.

 

Diversity

In the scientific dimension of bi-regional relations, diversity refers almost exclusively to biological diversity. Diversity in the sense of other types of knowledge, including traditional knowledge has been politically recognized but has not been addressed through scientific collaboration.

In the social dimension of LAC-EU bi-regional relations, diversity is defined through the lens of social cohesion and social inclusion, principally via programmes that seek the inclusion of diversity of the population considered as vulnerable — e.g., groups excluded on the basis of gender and ethnicity, or language. Diversity in the social dimension is therefore closely linked to social inequality.

More information can be found here


The EULAC-FOCUS 3rd partner event took place in Quito, 29-31 March 2017

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The 3rd EULAC-FOCUS partner event took place in Quito, Ecuador from 29th to 31st March 2017. Over 60 project partners, guests and transectorial board members took part in the meeting, which was the opportunity for all to share information about the early results in each of the Work Packages as well as the work to be completed in the not so far future. 

The event started with a partner meeting which was the opportunity for all work packages to demonstrate the achievements already accomplished and in particular present the first deliverables due and submitted. The meeting was also attended by transectorial board members who were given the opportunity to give their feedback and advice on the work that has been carried out in each of the 5 main work packages.

Day one of the meeting ended with a public meeting that took place at the Auditorium of the Instituto de Fomento al Talento Humano where Barbara Göbel of IAI, Marianne Van Steen of the Delegation of the European Union in Ecuador, René Ramírez Secretary of Superior Education, Science and Technology, Jorge Gómez Director of the Solutions Network for The Sustainable Development of the Region Andean, Wolf Grabendorff of the University Andina Simón Bolívar and Ramon Torrent of the University of Barcelona, presented their views on Diversity and Inequality: Challenges for EU-CELAC Relations and answered questions from the floor.

 

The following 2 days, saw further discussions and debates between partners and transectorial board members in plenary sessions and individual parallel Work package sessions, where focus was sought on the data that has already been collected and the way that it should be both presented and exploited further.

All 3 days where a great opportunity for such a dispersed team to sit down and work together on consolidating the first achievements of the project and set the objectives for the next phase of the project.

The project ended with an optional tour of Yachay Tech Campus and Botanical Garden, an opportunity for partners and transectorial board members to discover this incredible new campus and some of the country's amazing biodiversity.

We look forward to meeting again as a team in Buenos Aires in November 2017. For more information on the programme of the meeting and to view the brochure of the public meeting please visit http://eulac-focus.net/events/quito-meeting/programme/


Hot Topics

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The Hot Topics web conferences, are organized within the framework of the EU LAC Focus project with the aim to contribute by: discussing emerging research topics of the project, defining fields of action for the renewal of the dimensions, supporting the dialogue of cross-cutting topics, attracting new actors, fostering the alignment of the consortium partners, and disseminating the project activities and results.

First “Hot Topic” Web conference: Research Infrastructures

How to develop a harmonized and aligned regional approach to research infrastructure policies? How to find a common language to start a dialogue?

For date and location of the web conference, please check the regularly updated information on the hot topics web page 

The fifth Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on Science and Technology of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation (JIRI) from 14 March 2016 confirmed the need to ensure a strategic regional partnership in research and innovation through the development of the EU-CELAC Common Research Area. Senior officials committed towards the research infrastructures dimension as one of the three strategic pillars of this Common Research Area (CRA).

In order to enable a structured dialogue on research infrastructures, the European Commission is setting up a bi-regional Working Group on Research Infrastructures (WG RI), which would support policy making in the RI dimension and would facilitate multilateral initiatives leading to a better use and development of research infrastructures in the two regions.

For that reason, the EU LAC Focus Project will support this Working Group by organizing the first web conference on bi-regional dialogue on the subject of Research Infrastructures.

The web conference will be aimed at representatives of research infrastructures of CELAC and EU. They will be invited to the conference as participants in order to enrich the discussions.  


WP5 - Social Dimension Update

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The first phase of the project focused on the creation of a common understanding of what “social dimension” can mean in the LAC and the EU context.

This came about through intense communication and cooperation between the WP5 team members and the elaboration of a Work Implementation Plan that enabled the team to approach the social dimension of EU-LAC relations in a common but coordinated way. Regular online meetings also took place with the intention to have a continuous exchange on the scientific state of the art in both regions, which also was a way to put intercultural and interdisciplinary communication into work.

This intense work process concluded in the elaboration of Deliverable 5.1:  “Identifying common Trends and Challenges. Research Trajectories on social issues in EU and LAC” in April 2017, which will be updated in the further course of the project as important developments on the EU side are taking place at this very moment, in particular: the EU Pillar of Social rights: is a Commission Recommendation, effective as of today (27.04.2017), and a a proposal for a joint proclamation by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission (see: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-17-1004_en.htm). The WP5 team is monitoring the process of the implementation of the EU Pillar of social rights and will in the next months examine the relevance of this new development for the EU Social Model and the social dimension of EU-LAC relations.

Furthermore the WP5 team is working actively on the fine-tuning of D5.2 and D5.3. The meeting in Quito was an excellent opportunity to align the research focus and to make some necessary adjustments to the focus of the specific tasks. A further two online meetings were held since then.


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News

¿Cuál es el papel de la cultura en las relaciones entre la Unión Europea, América Latina y el Caribe? more

Meetings & Events more

Interview with Dr Peter Birle of IAI: Cross-Cutting Pathways and Research Strategies more

First hot topic web conference now live more

FIRST WEB CONFERENCE ON RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES more

WP4 Scientific Dimension Update more

WP5 - Social Dimension Update more

WP2 - Cross-cutting Topics Update more

The EULAC-FOCUS 3rd partner event took place in Quito, 29-31 March 2017 more

Hot Topics more

EULAC-FOCUS