EU-LAC Foundation and Panama

Panama and the EU-LAC Foundation commemorate the Bicentennial of the Independence of Hispanic America

The EU-LAC Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama organized a seminar entitled “Past and Future: Panama in the historical reference of multilateralism”, which took place virtually on 26 November 2021 in the framework of the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Independence of Hispanic America.

The event was opened with remarks by the Executive Director of the EU-LAC International Foundation, Dr. Adrián Bonilla, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama, Ms. Erika Mouynes.

Dr. Adrián Bonilla introduced the event by thanking the participants and pointing out that the current moment presents an opportunity to reposition multilateralism as the viable architecture at the center of bi-regional relations between the European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), from a perspective of shared values, problems and solutions. In this respect, he stressed that the Amphictyonic Congress held in Panama in 1826 showed that the independence of LAC and the formation of the American republics had been accompanied by a multilateralist concept of Latin Americanism and the construction of joint historical projects.

For her part, Minister Erika Mouynes highlighted the strong and close link between Europe and Latin America, two regions that share a vocation for integration and partnership often amended in response to the liberating intention of preserving the peace that has been achieved. She underlined that the reference to the past is an important tool to inspire debate and frank exchange in search of concerted proposals on which to build a better and more balanced international order.

The three renowned speakers – Ms. Natalia Sobrevilla, Professor of Latin American History at the University of Kent, Peru; Mr. Salvador Sánchez, Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Studies of the Electoral Tribunal of Panama; and Mr. Joshua Simon, Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, United States of America – then joined in a long-running debate on the constitutionalist initiatives of the 19th century, their influence on the formation of American nations and Panama’s historical role in the development of multilateralism in Latin America.

The event was closed by the Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the Kingdom of Belgium, Ms. Yavel Francis Lanuza, who thanked the speakers for the opportunity to reflect on the pending development and the transformations that the LAC region still requires. 200 years after its independence, Panama once again advocates for the strengthening of multilateral, regional, and bilateral relations, assuming the responsibility of positioning the Latin American and Caribbean region as a relevant actor in the post-pandemic period.

The joint efforts of the EU-LAC Foundation and the Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to achieve greater integration of the countries of the two regions will continue in the coming year, through the organization of a series of bi-regional dialogues between Central America and Europe on issues such as green recovery, digital transition and social cohesion in the framework of advanced cooperation between the two regions in Panama City.

Watch the event on YouTube!