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This week, the Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union organised a new meeting of government delegates abroad in Barcelona with the aim of further coordinating the foreign action that the executive branch undertakes through the delegations. This is a regular, twice-yearly initiative to coordinate the delegations. This is the first face-to-face meeting since the government reached its highest number of delegates ever in the world – 20, and soon to be 21, with the creation of the Delegation in Colombia. It is an opportunity to share a working space and exchange knowledge and experiences in the different countries where the delegations work. The aim is for the delegates to gain first-hand knowledge of the Government’s priority areas of action and to have all the tools they need to be the voice of the Government of Catalonia in the world.

The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, welcomed the delegates this Wednesday at the Palau de la Generalitat, in a meeting that should serve to “share the main lines of Government action, which should help us to improve the work of the network of delegations to carry out more and better foreign action as a country”. Serret stressed that “it is time to give added value to our work, which is a task for government and country”. According to the minister, “it is essential that the delegations can contribute and provide content and contacts in everything that cannot be done from Barcelona”. The delegates will meet tomorrow with the President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès i Garcia.

The welcome session was also attended by the Secretary-General, Bernat Costas, the Secretary for the Government’s Foreign Action, Miquel Royo, and the ministry directors-general.

Government policy advocacy in the world

From this Wednesday until Friday, the delegates will hold meetings with government ministries with the aim of finding out about the actions they are promoting in the international arena, which can position Catalonia in the world as a useful and responsible actor and improve its image and influence on the international scene. This is, in fact, one of the main functions of the delegations: to internationalise Catalonia and its full potential abroad, and contribute to a coordinated response to global challenges.

In this regard, they will meet with the director of the Catalan Water Agency, Samuel Reyes, with whom they will discuss one of the Government’s current priority policies: the response to the persistent drought in the country and the measures being taken to address it. These are actions that can serve as a mirror for other Mediterranean regions and the world.

Tomorrow they will be at the Ministry of Health, where minister Manel Balcells will explain the latest developments in various leading Catalan policies in this field. They will also visit Biocat and the Catalan life and health sciences ecosystem project, the so-called BioRegion of Catalonia. On Thursday the delegates will meet at the Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda to discuss Catalan initiatives to generate resilience as a country in the face of climate change, and to learn about the Government’s rural policies.

During the week, they will also learn about the work of the Cybersecurity Agency of Catalonia and meet with the Association of Rural Initiatives of Catalonia (ARCA). The face-to-face meeting in Barcelona gives delegates a space to debate and share challenges common to all the Government’s delegations abroad.