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IP/04/675

Brussels, 25 May 2004

EUROsociAL: supporting social cohesion in Latin America
The European Commission is keeping its commitment to support social cohesion in Latin America with the launch of EUROsociAL, a €30 million programme for the region. With this 5 year programme, the Commission will assist Latin American countries to develop and implement social policies that will contribute to reducing the gap between the rich and the poor in the region. EUROsociAL aims to strengthen social cohesion by developing, among those responsible for preparing public policy, the necessary capacity to take into account the social dimension. Focus will be given to health, education, administration of justice, employment and taxation policies.

The sharing of experiences and good practice between European and Latin American institutions will be the heart of the activities that this initiative will promote in the coming years. Thanks to EUROsociAL the persons responsible in Latin-American countries for the design, approval and implementation of public policies that affect social cohesion will have the opportunity to observe, analyse and discuss the difficulties and the successes experienced by European as well as by Latin American countries in managing them as means of achieving social cohesion and integration.

EUROsociAL objectives are to raise awareness at the political level as well as to improve the capacities of public authorities and public administrations in formulating and applying policies effective in promoting social inclusion and cohesion. To achieve these objectives, the programme foresees dialogue on policies, visits on the ground, training activities, residential workshops, seminars, diffusion of methodologies on the achievements, the topics and the aspects of policies which have a connection with the problems of social cohesion. Building on these contacts and the sharing of good practice, the best projects involving the transfer of experiences which have multiplying potential will be identified and carried out in some Latin American countries.

The implementation of EUROsociAL will be entrusted to the International Labour Organisation (for the ‘Employment’ policy) and, after a call for proposals, to four consortia (one for each policy sector) grouping public institutions of the EU and Latin America. These consortia will create a network of European and Latin American public institutions in charge of the health, education, administration of justice and taxation policies which are interested in sharing best practice.

The programme Steering Committee will be composed of the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) and will assure the coherence of the programme with the co-operation policies implemented by multilateral organizations.

More information on the EU’s relations with Latin America at
http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/la/index.htm


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