Cooperation in Science & Technology between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-LAC) dates back to the first Summit of Heads of State and Government from both regions, held in 1999 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On that occasion, cooperation in Education, Science and Technology was introduced as a key element in the policy dialogue agenda in both regions. During 2000 and 2001several high officers meetings were held in order to define thematic priorities of cooperation and to execute what is stipulated in the Rio Declaration.
The Second EU-LAC Summit was held in Madrid in 2002. This Summit addressed in detail the political commitments about strengthening cooperation in S&T. The same year, the First Bi-Regional Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology was conducted in Brasilia. In that meeting, a common vision on priorities and a joint action plan were agreed upon.
A significant leap was made in the Third EU-LAC Summit, in Guadalajara 2004, as the creation of an EU-LAC Knowledge space was established in the resulting declaration. This was consolidated in the Fourth EU-LAC Summit, in Vienna 2006, which also updated the action plan adopted in 2002.
In the EU-LAC Summits in Lima 2008 and Madrid 2010, the agenda was focused on environmental, social cohesion and technological innovation matters, thus enabling a strong boost to scientific and technological cooperation between both regions. Likewise, the EU-LAC joint initiative for Research and Innovation was adopted in the Madrid Summit. This initiative sets up an institutional framework for systematic dialogue and concrete milestones to be jointly achieved.
In the Madrid Summit Chile took on the co-presidency of the next EU-LAC Summit, which will be held in Santiago in 2012. This will be an opportunity to deepen on the areas of regional interest and strengthen cooperation between both regions.