Title of project: The European Union – Guest of Honor at the Guadalajara International Book Fair

Country or Region: Guadalajara – Mexico

Sector: Cultural diplomacy

Client: EC/EEAS/EU Delegation to Mexico

Date: July 2022 to March 2023

Background and context: The European Union has accepted the invitation to participate as the Guest of Honour (GoH) at the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) during its November/December 2023 edition. FIL is the largest book fair in the Spanish-speaking world and the second largest globally after the Frankfurt book fair. With over 2,400 publishers, 20,000 book professionals, and 800,000 visitors, it is a highly interactive event.
The prestigious GoH role provides a unique opportunity for the European Union to enhance its visibility in the region beyond the book fair. It serves as a platform to strengthen cultural and business relationships between the European and Latin American creative and cultural sectors, with the book industry as a starting point. As several EU Member States have already held the GoH position, it is now the EU’s turn to showcase its rich linguistic and cultural diversity through its 27 Member States. This presents an excellent opportunity to exchange and connect on common values, including democracy, human rights, the green deal, and sustainability, which are highly relevant in the Latin American and Caribbean region (LAC)

Project objectives:  The main objective of this project is to contribute to broadening cultural relations and encourage cooperation and co-creation between the European Union, its Member States, and the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region. The project also aims to support the global circulation of European cultural works and artists, while enhancing the EU’s role and relevance for the LAC region and globally.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Foster cooperation among EU Member States in order to develop common actions at book fairs.
  2. Establish links between EU and non-EU book professionals and facilitate business opportunities for European professionals in third countries, with a particular focus on small independent publishers, clusters, and small markets and authors from Member States.
  3. Promote long-term people-to-people exchanges through culture, particularly in the field of literature, and foster co-creation processes while creating space for intercultural dialogue.
  4. Develop ideas, concepts, and lessons learned for a future EU participation framework, in close partnership with Member States, in book fairs in different parts of the world as a public/cultural diplomacy instrument.
  5. Promote European multilingualism and diversity abroad, both geographically and thematically, by raising awareness of key EU-LAC priorities such as a rights-based, equal, and inclusive society, sustainable development, green transition and climate change, and human-centered digital transition.