The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, announced that the Government will reinforce and expand its network of delegations abroad. “We will never bow down to reactionary forces that target foreign action”, asserted Serret, who defended this public policy “with the utmost conviction”. According to the minister, “the Government’s vocation is to continue consolidating and reinforcing foreign action with a greater presence and by setting up more delegations where we are not yet present”. To this end, the executive has been working on a specific plan for the next three years to define the deployment strategy for its network of delegations, which will continue to grow “to be of use to Catalan society, to our partners and to promote a greater and better presence of Catalonia in the world”.

In this regard, Serret expressed her belief that “it is in our interest to strengthen and expand the network of delegations in the coming years because for Catalan society, which has a clear global outlook, it is important to continue strengthening commercial relations and to always be seen as a reliable player on the international scene at all levels”. “This is the government’s will in terms of foreign action, which we will continue to carry out in an ambitious and uninhibited manner,” she emphasised. The Minister for Foreign Action and EU recalled that, since the attack on foreign action after the application of Article 155 and the closure of delegations, “we have even managed to double our presence around the world”.

Visit to Rome to forge alliances against the far right

Minister Meritxell Serret made these statements in an interview with the media conference, where she is on a working visit today aimed at “forging international alliances” against the far right, “because today it is more necessary than ever to present a common front against the reactionary wave that is threatening rights and freedoms in Europe and across the globe”. During her visit to Italy, Serret will today meet with prominent left-wing members of the Italian parliament, to whom she will convey the government’s desire to turn Catalonia into a bastion against the far right.

These meetings take place as part of a series that the minister has been holding in recent weeks on all her trips, including to the United States, France and Slovenia, with leaders of left-wing parties. Meetings that, according to the minister, “are especially meaningful in Italy because the far right is already present in the highest institutions”. “We need to share experiences, strategies and establish a common front against the far right,” she said.

Upon her arrival in Rome, Minister Meritxell Serret made her first ever visit to the Delegation of the Government in Italy, led by the delegate Luca Bellizzi, and held a working meeting with the office team.

A network of institutional representation unlike any other in a similar territory

The Government of Catalonia currently has 21 delegations abroad, covering a total of 72 countries. At present, no territory with similar characteristics has a comparable network of institutional representation. In the last five years, the number of delegations in the network has doubled, helping to reinforce the Catalan Government’s presence in Europe so that it now covers every member state of the European Union, expanding it in America to cover almost 100% of the continent, and launching for the first time institutional representation in Africa and Asia. Following this expansion phase, the priority of the Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union is to strengthen and consolidate the network by providing it with the necessary resources and tools to maximise its capacities.

At the same time, as Minister Serret announced, the Catalan Government has been working on a specific plan for the next three years to define the deployment strategy for the network of delegations, which will continue to grow in line with the criteria, interests and objectives identified in the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan for Foreign Action and European Union Relations. The 2023-2026 deployment plan for delegations envisages three main objectives: the consolidation of the network, to make it fully operational; the reinforcement of the structure of the delegations; and the expansion of the network, in order to cover more territories and more areas of action, by creating new figures, such as envoys and offices, extending the mandate of existing delegations and creating new delegations.

Planned deployments

The Government’s plan for the deployment of the network of delegations abroad envisages various expansions and reinforcements. In particular, the plan foresees the deployment of an envoy to Ireland, where a new delegation will be opened when it is deemed necessary. Also envisaged is an increase in the Government’s institutional presence in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Africa with new delegations. Meanwhile, another envoy will be deployed in Quebec.

In addition, the newly created Delegation to the Andean States, based in Colombia, will soon become fully operational, and progress will be made in strengthening existing strategic delegations. Also part of this plan is the approval yesterday by the Government for expanding its institutional presence in three new countries: Greece, Libya and Egypt, reinforcing the delegations in Southeastern Europe and North Africa.