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Brussels, 11 June 2009

European Commission and Government of Mexico launch policy dialogue in education and culture

Today the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel', signed two Joint Declarations between the European Commission and the Government of Mexico on education and culture in the presence of the Mexican Ambassador to the EU, H.E. Sandra Fuentes-Berain. With these Declarations the European Commission and the Government of Mexico aim to reinforce their co-operation in the form of a policy dialogue on key issues in education and culture.

During the signing ceremony Commissioner Figel' underlined the importance of furthering co-operation on education and culture between the EU and Mexico: " It is a very positive signal for EU-Mexico relations that we can build on our very recent strategic partnership through reinforced dialogue and exchanges in fields which are so important for people-to-people contact and intercultural dialogue. We face many common challenges in the increasingly competitive, globalising world economy, and our Joint Declarations will help stimulate policy formulation in education and culture in both sides."

H.E. Ambassador Fuentes-Berain recalled that “the strategic partnership must give a renewed impetus to the cooperation in the different fields of the bilateral agenda and jointly promote the common values and interests of Mexico and the EU at the multilateral arena. The signature of these declarations in education and culture, she said, will allow Mexico and the EU to promote the dialogue on cultural diversity, cultural industries and creativity, as well as the exchange of information, knowledge and best practices on efficiency and equity of educational systems, modernization of higher education and quality of education and training, among others.”

The Joint Declarations signed today in the fields of culture and education formally mark the launch of a policy dialogue between the European Commission and the United Mexican States. The European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, welcomed the signature of these agreements: " The VI Joint Council EU-Mexico, held in Prague last May, confirmed education and culture as two priority areas for cooperation. Less than one month later, these Joint Declarations prove that the EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership can deliver concrete results that make a difference in citizens' lives. Educational and cultural exchange will enrich our societies and will equip citizens from both sides with useful tools to develop their professional lives".

This initiative partnership builds on rich and diversified co-operation in education already developed through EU-funded programmes, such as Erasmus Mundus. The objective of the policy dialogue is to create a mechanism for the exchange of information and experiences that is beneficial for both sides.

304 Mexican students and scholars have to date benefited from the Erasmus Mundus programme for study and research in Europe . Over 450 Mexican students applied to participate in the programme for the academic year 2009-2010. The success rate of Mexican students applying to the programme this year is 17%, which is well above the world average of 7% .

In the area of culture, a first pilot phase (2008-10) of a bilateral cultural cooperation instrument, the 'Cultural Fund EU-Mexico', with a budget of 1.0 million EUR, began in December 2007, in the framework of the Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 for Mexico. It was the first time that the focus on cultural cooperation was so visibly placed in our bilateral relations with Mexico, prior to the establishment of the sectoral dialogue on cultural policy. This pilot phase opens a new space of beneficial cultural exchanges for organisations based in the European Union, as well as for Mexican cultural organisations. A second phase of this programme (2009-2013) is expected to be signed in 2009, with a total budget of EUR 6.8 million, to which the EU and the Government of Mexico will contribute equally. It is expected that in 2010, this Fund will support some of the activities commemorating the bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence as well as the centennial of the Mexican Revolution.

To find out more:

Joint Declaration in education:

Joint Declaration in culture:

European Commission: External Relations: The EU's relations with Mexico:

European Commission: External co-operation in education and training:

The European Commission’s Delegation to Mexico:

Mission of Mexico to the European Union:

Study in Europe portal:

European Commission: The Erasmus Mundus programme:

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