Friday, April 1, 2011

EU and Brazil to strengthen cooperation in Higher Education and Culture

BRUSSELS, Apr 1. The European Union and Brazil are expected to launch bilateral consultations next week during a trip to the Commissioner of Education and Culture, Androulla Vassiliou, to Brasilia, in order to strengthen their cooperation in Higher Education and Culture, and increase the exchange of students.

More than 1,700 students and trainees in Brazil since 2004 have enjoyed a period of study or work in the European Union through the Erasmus Mundus exchange program, which coordinates and manages the Masters and Doctorates sets. Brussels also has helped to fund 1.6 million euros to research projects involving over 40 academics and 32 research centers in Brazil and has allocated another 1.3 million since 2008 for various cultural projects, including € 200,000 to help preservation of historic Salvador, declared a UNESCO heritage site since 1985, a project also involving Spain, Italy, Germany and the Catholic University of Salvador de Bahia.

"The European Union is committed to strengthening the strategic partnership with Brazil and I believe that closer cooperation in Higher Education and Culture can contribute to this objective," said the Commissioner in a statement. In his first official visit to Brazil, Vassiliou is scheduled to meet Monday in Brasilia with Brazilian Minister of Education, Fernando Haddad, and the Minister of Culture, Ana Buarque de Hollanda on Tuesday to launch the political dialogue and the creation of groups high-level work to identify agreed priorities.

It also plans to visit between 6 and 7 April the National Institutes of Culture in the EU (EUNIC) in Brasilia and the National Art Foundation (FUNARTE) and the National Cinema Agency (ANCINE) in Rio de Janeiro, where also take the opportunity to visit a cooperation project to promote sports among the most disadvantaged young people run by the Real Madrid Foundation.

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