The European Union-Latin American and Caribbean countries (EU-LAC) Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) took place 21-22 March 2012 in Concepción, Chile. It was co-chaired by María-Teresa Ramírez Pandolfi, Director for International Relations of CONICYT Chile and Isi Saragossi, Director for International Cooperation of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission, and forms part of the implementation of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (the 'Joint Initiative').
Four thematic working groups (Bioeconomy including food security – co-led by Argentina and France, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for meeting societal challenges – co-led by Chile and Finland, Biodiversity and Climate Change – co-led by Colombia and France, Energy – co-led by Mexico and Spain) were joined by new members and agreed on next implementation steps.
A meeting of senior officials of funding agencies of both regions will be convened to facilitate alignement of programmes at national, regional and bi-regional levels. The co-chairs of the Joint Initiative, Chile and the EU, will report back about progress to the forthcoming Summit, scheduled for 26-27 January 2013 in Santiago de Chile.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani together with 25 European business leaders visited the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil) in December 2011.
Tajani signed important agreements with Brazil and Argentina to enhance cooperation in the field of small and medium-sized enterprises, promote technology clusters and promote exchanges of young professionals between the two sides of the Atlantic.
The Vth European Union-Brazil Summit held in Brussels on 4 October 2011 where leaders reaffirmed the values and principles shared by the EU and Brazil which find expression in their Strategic Partnership.
The Summit outlined energy as one of the building blocks of the EU-Brazil Partnership. Leaders welcomed that EU and Brazil are leading global efforts on the use of renewable energy sources and that regular exchanges take place on bioenergy. They also welcomed enhanced cooperation on energy efficiency and safety. The EU and Brazil noted the importance of stable and transparent energy markets and the need for continuous efforts in energy access and sustainability, which are crucial elements for global economic growth. They agreed to reinforce co-operation in the multilateral context, namely in the context of the G20, the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) and the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC).