ICT is well positioned in the EU-CELAC Policy Dialogue
basen on an Interview with Yolanda Ursa, Grupo Inmark & representative of the Leadership project (FP7)
Yolanda Ursa is cooperating with Latin American partners in EU funded projects for many years and is convinced that EU-CELAC cooperation stands on a good foundation and has always worked well. The Leadership project is in continuous exchange with ALCUE NET and involves and promotes ALCUE NET whenever possible. At the same time is ALCUE NET a very valuable partner for the Leadership project, especially due to its close relation with the Senior Official Meeting (SOM).
Yolanda Ursa thinks that there was a notable evolution in the trajectory of the SOM over the last years in the sense that projects like Leadership or ALCUE NET have gained importance and try to produce more concrete inputs for the SOM. In her personal opinion the SOM would still need to show more interest in the projects and their work and should inform and involve them more actively. Efficiency could increase through more transparency and a better communication between SOM stakeholders, SOM Working Groups and the existing bi-regional cooperation projects. ALCUE NET can have an important impact here if it achieves to advise the SOM to be more proactive, to produce concreter results on the operative level and to take up the results and recommendations given in the cooperation projects. ALCUE NET will also help to position Latin America better in the European cooperation.
What concerns the aim to better involve lower income countries from CELAC in international cooperation Yolanda Ursa sees a positive development in H2020 which is a programme that is very open to third country participation. The SOM confronts the great challenge to have to combine interests of very different countries from both regions. At least for the area of ICT Yolanda Ursa knows that common priorities have been identified which can work well for CELAC countries from different levels of international integration (e.g. bid data or cloud computing). In general, the area of ICT is well positioned in the bi-regional cooperation as it is of interest for all countries.
What concerns measurable evidence of impact, Yolanda Ursa wishes that ALCUE NET achieves to enhance the participation of diverse CELAC countries and actors in H2020 calls and European consortia. With a little anecdote she illustrates how the projects make a change on the individual level: she tells the story of an Argentinian researcher who she met and who had received some funds from MINCYT to participate in an European event and has had since then 13 meetings with European potential partners and more cooperation is expected to follow.