EU-LAC Digital Alliance partners have agreed on joint areas of collaboration on digital matters, marking an important milestone in the strengthening of the bi-regional digital partnership following the endorsement of a Joint Declaration at the third EU-CELAC Summit in July 2023.
Over 150 senior government representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the European Union (EU) and its Member States, as well as civil society, academia, and private sector, gathered in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on 27-29 November 2023, with the purpose of identifying concrete areas to advance digital cooperation towards the next EU-CELAC Summit, to be held in Colombia in 2025.
The EU-LAC Digital Alliance Days underlined the political determination of the partner countries to collaborate closely on key digital matters through shared dialogue and joint initiatives, fostering a human-centric digital transformation in both regions. As a critical component to delivering the ambitions of the Global Gateway in Latin America and the Caribbean, it forms part of the EU offer to build and boost trusted and sustainable connections with partner countries.
The EU-LAC Digital Alliance Days were co-organised by the European Commission, the Spanish Agency for International Development (AECID), the Digital for Development (D4D) Hub, and key partners of the EU-LAC Digital Alliance.
A total of five high-level policy dialogues on Artificial Intelligence (AI), data governance, digital government, inclusive connectivity, and cybersecurity, were held, analysing common challenges and opportunities in these areas, exchanging best practices and lessons learned. As a result, representatives identified on the following joint areas for further collaboration: alignment of cybersecurity frameworks, implementation of innovative policies and strategies to achieve inclusive and secure connectivity, development of interoperable digital identity mechanisms, improved free and safe flows of data, and the adoption of strategies and policies to mitigate the risks of AI while seizing its potential opportunities.
Moreover, a first follow-up dialogue on cybersecurity in February 2024 will be hosted by the Dominican Republic, with follow-up dialogues on connectivity and digital inclusion, data governance and e-governance to take place later in the year.
During the event, Colombia announced that it will join the BELLA submarine fiber-optic cable that directly links the European Union with Latin America. The event also featured the announcement of a new Digital and Green Innovation Action in Latin America, emphasising the importance of a just transition for both regions.
Finally, the partners of the Alliance discusses further how to strengthen the deployment and use of the submarine cable BELLA II and develop the uses of the Copernicus Regional Centres for Earth observation. They also participated in exchanges with private sector representatives as part of the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator.
About the EU-LAC Digital Alliance
Launched in March 2023 in Bogota, the EU-LAC Digital Alliance is the first regional digital alliance between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries. The Alliance provides an informal strategic framework within the framework of the Global Gateway strategy and aims to achieve inclusive digital transformation. It utilises bilateral action and regional initiatives based on four pillars: 1. High-level Policy Dialogues on Digital Policy and Regulations, 2. increased secure connectivity through the BELLA II, 3. inclusion of the private sector via a Digital Accelerator, 4. Two Regional Copernicus Centres for earth observation to address societal challenges. Pillar I of the Alliance is also co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
About the Digital for Development (D4D) Hub
The Digital for Development (D4D) Hub is a strategic platform established by the European Union and its Member States with the aim of fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships and boosting investments to advance a human-centric digital transformation worldwide. Together with the UN Economic Commission for LAC (ECLAC), the D4D Hub serves as the main platform to ensure multi-stakeholder coordination in the framework of the EU-LAC Digital Alliance.