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The cultural, scientific and social dimension of EU-LAC relations


Specific challenge: A shared history, as well as cultural, political and economic ties, closely connect Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Individual countries enjoy close bilateral relations, and cooperation at regional and sub-regional level is gaining momentum.

At bi-regional level, the Strategic Partnership between the EU and LAC was launched in Rio de Janeiro in 1999 and has gradually been upgraded into the current EU-CELAC[1] Partnership. Aided by this process, the two regions have cooperated on a wide range of issues in a number of sectors, including those identified by the EU-CELAC Action Plan and more particularly the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI) adopted at the Madrid Summit in 2010.

Today, the European Union is the leading investor in the region, the second largest trading partner after the U.S.A. and a major provider of development cooperation assistance. However, beyond the economic relationship, the EU-CELAC cooperation needs to reinforce the cultural, scientific and social ties and common vision between the two world regions.

Scope: Research under this topic should critically examine past and present cultural, scientific, intellectual and social exchanges between individuals, countries and regions within the wide EU-CELAC area, with a view to determining synergies and cross-fertilization, as well as identifying asymmetries in bi-lateral and bi-regional relations.

The cultural exchanges between EU and LAC should be studied, as for instance those brought about through long-standing migration movements between the two regions, as well as those taking place in fields such as arts, literature, sports and beyond. Scientific exchanges between EU and LAC should also be examined in an historical and forward-looking perspective and research should look at how mobility of researchers and cooperation between research institutions and laboratories can contribute to an increased understanding and cooperation between the two sides. Research could also shed light on how LAC representative groups of citizens perceive the role of Europe in their own continent and the process of European integration, more generally.

The social dimension of the EU-CELAC relation should also be taken into consideration. Research could look at the impact of the EU-CELAC relation on the promotion of social cohesion in the two regions and at how different approaches to fight social exclusion and regional disparities can be successfully shared and applied to different contexts.

Research should be focused on those areas that are deemed crucial to explain the current state of play of relations between EU and LAC, and those that are considered strategic for future interaction and cooperation between the two regions.

Proposals shall include at least three legal entities established in three different LAC countries. However, an even broader participation of international partners from the LAC countries in proposals submitted to this call is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Research under this topic will provide a better understanding of the cultural, scientific and social dimension of the relationship between the EU and LAC, thus supporting the process of EU-CELAC cooperation outlined by the EU-CELAC Action Plan 2013-2015 in defining a common vision for the years to come.

Research will contribute to the understanding of the role of social actors in both societies and to encourage mutual knowledge between the two regions, thus feeding into the work of the EU-LAC Foundation[2]. Research is also expected to inform the on-going bi-regional networking activities of the JIRI and the work of the Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities (T-AP).

Type of action: Research and innovation actions

[1] Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeῇos

[2] Created in May 2010 by the 6th Summit of Heads of State and Government, the European Union-Latin America and Caribbean Foundation (EU-LAC Foundation) took up its activities in November 2011.