Collaboration between Europe and Latin America must be intensified for greater social inclusion

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The declaration approved today at the IV Ministerial Forum between the European Union and Latin America, whose work took place since yesterday at the Centro Cultural de Belém, points to the need to continue to develop the interconnection between the scientific networks redCLARA and GEANT, a recommendation that will be presented at the EU-LAC Summit of Heads of State and Government in Vienna, which takes place on 11 and 12 May.

Despite the final declaration pointing out some recommendations for the heads of Government, Mariano Gago, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, defended that the work done so far through cooperation between academic networks is still not enough. “We have to be more courageous. What we have achieved is very important but it is still not enough ”, said the minister.

Mariano Gago stressed that it is necessary not to forget the experience acquired and that the subsequent work must be based on what was excellent.

The same idea was defended by the deputy minister of Science and Technology of Brazil, Luís Fernandes, who affirms that it is essential to maintain the financing for the development of the networks and their extension to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In a press conference, European Commissioner Viviane Reding underlined the same objectives and admitted the European Commission’s intention to defend these same principles at the Summit of Heads of State in Vienna. «GEANT is what is called a ‘winning horse’ and we must continue to bet on it», he stressed.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education also reinforced the fact that currently the scientific networks that link the educational and research communities in Europe and Latin America are one of the successful projects. «If there is dominance in the Information Society where there is no doubt it is the importance of working together in the domain of these networks», he added.

More inclusion by ICTWith the theme of social inclusion at the center of the Forum, Mariano Gago guaranteed that much has been done in recent years, but that it is necessary to continue working to ensure that technologies allow the inclusion in the Information Society of populations marginalized by geographical, social or cultural. The minister acknowledges that there are real difficulties in putting into practice some of the ideas developed, but believes that through ICTs a more effective fight against this social exclusion is achieved.

Viviane Reding also said that positive experiences are being shared between countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, despite their different realities, in an important job, but which still needs to invest in the development of easy to use and inexpensive tools. «One certainty today is that you cannot be effective in reducing poverty if you don’t use technological tools,» added the Commissioner.

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