Relaunch of the CELAC-EU Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI)

The relaunch of the CELAC-EU Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation, under the joint leadership of the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, in his capacity as President Pro Tempore of CELAC, and the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth of the European Union, Ms. Mariya Gabriel, was held on October 30, within the framework of the VIII Meeting of High Authorities of the JIRI co-hosted by Mexico and the European Union.

This Initiative was originally launched at the CELAC-EU Summit in Madrid in 2010. Since 2017, the JIRI had not been able to meet due to the prevailing political context. In this complex environment, the relaunch of this Initiative has been recognized bi-regionally as an important achievement.

This relaunch was preceded by an intense, open and participatory consultation process led by the Mission of Mexico to the EU as PPT CELAC in Brussels, which made it possible to reach an important bi-regional consensus geared towards tangible results, as it was reflected in the Joint Press Release and in the draft Strategic Roadmap 2021-2023 that were endorsed at the Meeting. The Strategic Roadmap 2021-2023 must now be submitted to the consideration of the relevant bodies, particularly the Council of the EU, for approval. This will further strengthen its status as a basis for ensuring the future of bi-regional cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

Among these results, the actions aimed at strengthening the CELAC-EU Common Research Area stand out for their relevance, including the consolidation of its pillars of cooperation in Researchers Mobility, Research Infrastructures and Addressing Global Challenges, as well as the incorporation of a new pillar: Innovation. The combined strength of these results gives us the opportunity to enhance our cooperation in support of a green economy, our digital transformation, the securing of health as a global public good and the exploration of the new technological frontiers.

It is also worth highlighting the commitment assumed by the JIRI to maximize synergies with other cutting-edge initiatives, in particular the Science and Technology in Society Forum (STS Forum), which we will host for the first time in Latin America in Mexico in 2021, as well as the Ibero-American Knowledge Space that will be further strengthened at the Ibero-American Summit to be held in Andorra in 2021.

The relaunch of the CELAC-EU Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation occurs at a key moment in which the start of the new 2021-2027 multi-year planning cycle of the European Union and the imperative of strengthening cooperation to face global challenges coincide. Its achievement demonstrates the bi-regional will and capacity to achieve understandings for the benefit of our societies and will contribute significantly to the revitalization of the CELAC-EU political dialogue and the deepening of bi-regional cooperation.

Joint press communique of the 8th Senior officials meeting EU-CELAC on Science and Technology