S&T cooperation with Latin
American and Caribbean countries featured highly at the ALCUE summit,
held in Madrid last May. According to the Commission’s international
experts, future cooperative research with the region should follow a twin-track
strategy. Firstly, in the short to medium term, a method must be created
to establish S&T priorities, as well as to implement – through
networking platforms – joint working partnerships with EU scientists.
The second course of action, and a more longer-term goal, should be to
ensure the progressive integration of Latin American and Caribbean researchers
into the S&T activities the EU carries out, while also promoting scientific
cooperation at sub-regional level, such as with MERCOSUR and the Andean
These activities would reflect the development of the
region’s trade arrangements. The EU is keen to forge links between
science, society and the economy because it sees research as a key element
of international relations. Why? Because forging effective scientific
partnership is crucial to achieve three interrelated goals – building
economic mutual benefit, alleviating poverty and supporting environmental
While setting the ground rules for the European
Research Area, the Commission made it clear that it would welcome enhanced
cooperation with all third countries as a way of increasing global knowledge
and learning. Added to this, there are a number of specific reasons why
cooperation with Latin America is important to the EU. It would like to
increase European cultural presence in the region to at least match the
political influence that the USA has there. The EU also wants to attract
Latin America’s best scientific resources to its research activities.
Greater knowledge and understanding of the region will help European scientists
make progress on issues such as environmental sustainability and socially
equitable economic development.
An opportunity to discuss the above and other issues will come at a meeting
of the EU-Andean Pact S&T Sub-Committee, likely to be held in Peru
towards the end of 2002.
on ALCUE workshops.