A Catalan Government delegation arrived in California on Monday to exchange best practices with the State Government in areas such as emergencies and sustainable mobility. The trip's goal is to strengthen the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the governments of Catalonia and California in 2015, and to re-establish cooperation with the United States' most populous and richest state. The mission should also serve to strengthen institutional ties with California and advance the bilateral relationship.

During the week-long mission, representatives from the Catalan Government will visit the California State Senate in Sacramento on Wednesday, where they will hold working meetings with senators from the Health and Transportation committees. The group includes approximately fifteen representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Action and European Union, Territory, Home Affairs, and Health, as well as the Delegation of the Government to the United States and Canada.

Sectoral meetings

In recent years, Catalonia and California have identified a mutual interest in collaborating, particularly in the field of emergencies, including medical or natural disasters and forest fires, and in the field of health, among other areas. In this regard, one of the mission's most important meetings will be with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, in which representatives from the Catalan Government and their Californian counterparts will participate.

Furthermore, throughout the trip, the various departments will hold sectoral meetings with state actors to explore opportunities for collaboration. For instance, the agenda of the Catalan Law Enforcement (Mossos d'Esquadra) includes meetings with the California Police Chiefs Association, where the impact of marijuana legalization on violence rates will be discussed. Similarly, Mossos representatives will meet with the City of Sacramento Office of Violence Prevention to discuss juvenile delinquency and organized gangs. Representatives from Civil Protection will also meet with the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services.

Regarding territory, the Catalan General Director of Urban Agenda and Renewal, Nel-la Saborit, and representatives of the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia, will have an agenda related to energy transition and sustainable mobility, seismology, and coastal strip protection, in which California has extensive experience. In this regard, they will meet with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), prestigious Californian seismology entities, and the California Coastal Commission, among others.

In the field of health, Josep A. Pujante, the head of the Ministry of Health's International Relations and Cooperation Area, the medical director of the Emergency Medical Service (EMS), and the director of Science Policy and Internationalization of Biocat will hold meetings on biotechnology, advanced medicine, and research. They will also share experiences in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will meet with their California counterparts from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine.

Through the week, the Catalan Government representatives will be accompanied by the General Director of the Ministry of Foreign Action and European Union, Anna Dotor, and the Head of the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the United States and Canada, Isidre Sala. The California State Senate will welcome them with an institutional reception on Thursday.