Global Gateway: EU, Latin America and Caribbean partners launch in Colombia the EU-LAC Digital Alliance
Today in Bogotá, Colombia, the European Union-Latin America and Caribbean Digital Alliance was launched, a joint initiative to champion a human-centric approach to digital transformation. It is supported by an initial contribution of €145 million from Team Europe, including €50 million from the EU budget to boost digital cooperation between both regions.
The Alliance's aim is to foster the development of secure, resilient and human-centric digital infrastructures on the basis of a values-based framework, ensuring a democratic and transparent enabling environment and putting a strong emphasis on privacy and digital rights. It is the first intercontinental digital partnership agreed between both regions under Global Gateway investment strategy, the EU's offer for trusted and sustainable connections with partner countries.
The initiative was hosted by the Presidency of Colombia in the framework of CELAC and launched at a high-level event by Executive Vice President of the European Commission Margrethe Vestager, the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council and representatives from the Latin American and Caribbean and EU Member States. A process to finalise a joint declaration to underpin the Alliance was kickstarted towards the Summit. The Alliance will provide a forum for regular high-level dialogue and cooperation on priority topics. Both sides will work together on crucial digital areas such as infrastructure, regulatory environment, skills development, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, and digitalisation of public services, as well as Earth observation data and satellite navigation applications and services.
It will rely on two important platforms for coordination, creating synergies in and between both regions: the D4D (Digital4Development) Hub for Team Europe partners, and ECLAC (UN Economic Commission for LAC) for Latin American and Caribbean partners. Governments, private stakeholders, international finance institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, civil society and academia will be involved in the implementation of the alliance.
Participants also discussed proposals for a digital investment agenda involving the private sector of both regions, in view of the EU-CELAC Summit in July 2023. Representatives of international finance institutions, CEOs of EU and LAC companies, civil society and academia also participated in the event.
The EU-CELAC Ministerial Meeting of 27 October 2022, co-chaired by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Argentinian Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, called for setting-up an EU-LAC Digital Alliance, underlining its benefits for both regions.
In order to promote connectivity, innovation and the digitalisation of government and business, the EU-LAC Digital Alliance will support the digital projects of our EU-LAC Investment Agenda, that will be discussed at the Summit and in particular, a number of Global Gateway initiatives. Notable examples of the Digital Alliance in action include:
- Extension of the BELLA fibre-optic cable, building secure digital backbone connectivity and bringing the research communities of the EU and LAC closer together;
- Implementation of a regional Copernicus strategy including two regional Copernicus data centres in Panama and Chile;
- Establishment of an EU-LAC Digital Accelerator to foster multi-stakeholder and private sector collaboration, competitiveness, skills and innovation in the digital area. This will include the promotion of impact investments and support to the delivery of e-services by both public and private entities.