Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union strengthen their collaboration ties with the launch of the EU-LAC Digital Alliance

This March 14 took place in Bogotá, Colombia, the launch of the European Union-Latin America and the Caribbean Digital Alliance. This initiative seeks to promote digital cooperation between both regions through actions that promote the development of digital infrastructure and the convergence of policies and regulations that guarantee the protection of human rights online. This initiative is part of the Global Gateway, a European strategy that seeks to promote the cooperation links of this region with partner countries to contribute to the development of the economy and society.

The launch event was attended by various authorities from Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean, including the attendance of the Minister of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) of Colombia, Sandra Urrutia, and the Vice President Executive of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager. The latter highlighted in her intervention the importance of promoting “our vision of a digital transformation that is inclusive, sustainable and human-centered, based on the EU’s digital rights and principles and the eLAC2024 Digital Agenda”.

One of the main components of the Digital Alliance will be coordinated by ECLAC in coordination with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. From Europe, this component will be coordinated by the Europe Team made up of cooperation agencies from Germany, Spain, Estonia and France, among other member countries. The initiative will seek to accelerate the digital transformation process in Latin America and the Caribbean by building capacities that improve the design and implementation of digital policies, regulations, and governance mechanisms. Likewise, it will seek to consolidate a space for permanent dialogue between both regions, strengthen the institutional capacities of the countries and support the productive transformation based on digitalization and innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Through the eLAC2024 Digital Agenda, ECLAC has been promoting a process of cooperation in digital matters, where governments share best practices and experiences, and common principles and priorities are defined. This space also serves as a platform for dialogue and collaboration with organizations from the private sector, the technical community and civil society. The eLAC2024 Digital Agenda will serve as a strategic framework to articulate cooperation activities with the European Union, especially with regard to regulation and governance, as key elements of digital transformation.

The eLAC2024 Digital Agenda sets out four axes. The first is related to the drive for universal and inclusive digitization and is mainly linked to infrastructure, connectivity, skills and competencies development, and essential elements to move towards better governance, greater security and a better enabling environment. The second axis corresponds to the productive and sustainable digital transformation, where aspects of the digital economy, entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability are incorporated. The third axis is related to the digital transformation for social welfare and incorporates issues related to inclusion, innovation and the digital transformation of the State. The fourth axis refers to the generation of new alliances and incorporates actions related to commercial integration, the regional digital market and cooperation.

Part of the projects that will be developed in the Digital Alliance are the expansion of the BELLA fiber optic cable to create secure digital backbone connectivity and bring researchers from both regions closer together, the regional Copernicus strategy, with two regional Copernicus data centers in Panama and Chile, the creation of an EU-LAC Digital Accelerator to foster multi-stakeholder collaboration and the private sector, competitiveness, skills and innovation in the digital field.

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Written by Editor TLN

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