Minister signals intention for closer resarch and space ties with Latin American and Mediterranean countries
Spain’s science minister has declared her intention to strengthen research ties between the EU and Latin America during her country’s presidency of the Council of the EU member state governments.
On 1 July, Spain is taking over the presidency of the Council from Sweden until the end of the year. Presidencies organise the EU-related work of the bloc’s governments in six-month stints. They coordinate in groups of three, but each has some scope to set priorities for the Council to work on.
At a meeting of EU research ministers in Brussels on 23 May, Diana Morant told her counterparts that, during its Council presidency, Spain will “act as a bridge between the EU and the countries of the Mediterranean and Latin America in research and space”, according to the Spanish science and innovation ministry.
Morant (pictured left with Sweden’s research minister Mats Persson) was participating in the Competitiveness Council, which brings together ministers from EU members states across four areas: the EU internal market, industry, research and innovation, and space.
“The government of Spain is making a historic investment in science and space, which is a sector of opportunities,” Morant said in a statement. The country has recently opened a domestic space agency as part of a multibillion-euro boost to its R&D spending.
The ministry said that, at the Competitiveness Council, Morant signaled plans for collaboration with Latin American authorities around space, as well as the relaunch of Prima, a research scheme focused on sustainability in the Mediterranean region that was funded through the EU’s 2014-20 research and innovation programme.
The meeting addressed research security, among other topics, and the ministry said that Morant “stressed the importance of developing specific tools that provide support to universities and research organisations in raising awareness, development and implementation of associated risk management strategies”.