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


The Cross-cutting Pathways of EU-CELAC Relations - Vienna meeting, 7 June 2018

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The Cross-cutting Pathways WP2 research work played an essential role at the start of the project in order to define in detail the cross-cutting issues that the thematic work package teams have to consider and address.

A Synthesis Report on Cross-cutting Pathways has been drafted, circulated and discussed between project members and external experts of the Trans-Sectorial Board already with the final version to be finished by February, 2019.

In the first 12 months of the project, the cross-cutting topics (mobility, inequality, diversity, and sustainability) were mainly addressed for the scientific dimension and, to a lesser extent, the social dimension. Work then focused on the cross-cutting topics regarding the cultural and the social dimension of EU-CELAC relations.

Through their research, the team identified that since 2007 (European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World), the EU multilevel cultural cooperation strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean has been implemented in diverse frameworks of collaboration including strategic partnerships (with Brazil and Mexico) and economic partnership, trade and association agreements with sub-regions (Central America, Colombia/Peru/Ecuador) and sub-regional entities (CARIFORUM, MERCOSUR).

However, the vast majority of cultural cooperation approaches between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean is located outside the scope of birregional relations, in culture-related foreign policies of European countries or institutions of European origin, cooperation schemes between individual countries or activities of civil society actors.

Looking more specifically at the mobility cross-cutting issue in relation to the cultural dimension, the team has concluded that: Mobility is mainly addressed as “exchange”, “interaction” or “circulation” between both regions; for example as mobility of people (e.g. artists, brokers), items (e.g. goods, services), knowledge (e.g. expertise, techniques) and cultural practices;

As for the inequality cross-cutting issue in relation to the cultural dimension, the team has identified that: culture is envisioned as an important dimension to reduce social exclusion and to promote social cohesion and inclusion in the political dialogue, but there are few references to inequality within the cultural dimension and no agreements or binding documents which address inequality within the cultural dimension.

Considering the diversity cross-cutting issue in relation to the cultural dimension, the team has concluded that: diversity is a central concept within the cultural dimension of  bi-regional relations; it is addressed as a key feature of cooperation in the field of cultural industries with broad support by EU and LAC countries. However since 2005 there has been shrinking attention on “diversity” in connection with “culture” in the scope of bi-regional summits but growing attention in the context of bilateral and sub-regional agreements.

As for the sustainability cross-cutting issue in relation to the cultural dimension, the team has found that: Sustainability in the cultural dimension is a rather a subordinated topic mainly related to “development” with loose or indirect connections to ”culture” in the political dialogue. It is limited for example to preserving "cultural heritage", fostering "cultural industries" or promoting "cultural diversity".



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