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European Law Monitor News EU-Chile Association Council and signing of the 2007-2013 cooperation programme

The third EU-Chile Association Council is to be held in Brussels on 24 July 2007 with the participation of the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and the Chilean Foreign Affairs Minister, Alejandro Foxley. The meeting will provide an opportunity to develop a fruitful exchange on the process of implementation of the Chile-EU Association Agreement and the three areas it covers: political dialogue, cooperation and free trade. At the Association Council meeting, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner and Minister Foxley are to sign the EU-Chile cooperation programme for the period 2007-2013 for an amount of EUR 41 million. The programme will focus on three key sectors: social cohesion, higher education and innovation and competitiveness.

Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said "Chile is an important partner for the EU in Latin America, both at regional and international level. The Association Agreement is boosting trade and investment between both parties and it has considerably reinforced our relations. Our objective is to improve and deepen even more this association and, as a first step, we are focusing on the social aspects. We believe that the dialogue that we hold with Chile on employment and social policies is a good example of an area in which both parties have great interest and can work together."

The programme to be signed tomorrow will govern cooperation between the two parties over the next five years.

The objective in the social cohesion sector is to contribute to the Government's policy and strategy to promote social cohesion via relevant public policies designed to achieve: (i) fairer social and fiscal redistribution, (ii) improved access to employment, health care, education, social protection and justice, and (iii) a reduction in inequalities based on gender, ethnic origin and region.

In the area of higher education, the aim is to include Chile in the Erasmus Mundus programme so that scholarships can be awarded to Chilean postgraduate students.

In the innovation and competitiveness sector, the programme is aimed at supporting Chile's efforts in the fields of science and technology, environment and trade promotion.

The EU contribution (EUR 41 million) will be supplemented by a similar contribution from Chile.

More information on EU-Chile relations is available from:

Reproduced with the permission of the European Commission IP/07/1158