The Foreign and EU Affairs Secretary, Roger Albinyana attended the 8th Québec-Catalonia Joint Committee as part of a series of meetings which began in 1996 to enhance and coordinate cooperation between the two governments. The Catalan delegation, composed of Andrew Davis, the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to the United States and Secretary Albinyana, met with Jean-Stéphane Bernard, Deputy Minister for International Relations and Michel Lafleur, Associate Deputy Minister for Bilateral Affairs to forge closer ties and sustain cooperative relations between the two territories in various areas of collaboration.
The Québec-Catalonia Joint Committee is a multisectoral meeting which takes place every two years and covers both political and technical grounds. The biennial meeting assesses the cooperation initiatives between the two territories and devises a joint program for the next two-year period.
This year, the Joint Committee focused on four main areas of collaboration: culture; research and innovation; education and formation; and the economy. Furthermore, the Secretariat of Foreign and EU Affairs and the Québec Government Office in Barcelona will be responsible for coordinating the Committee’s projects in their respective administrations throughout the 2015-2017 period.
During the meeting, both parties reaffirmed their interest in maintaining cooperation in the mentioned areas as they considered them to be matters of priority and remain as key challenges for the Catalan and Québécois societies. In terms of institutional cooperation, both governments agreed to promote the exchange of expertise and experiences with special attention to the consolidation organizations and public institutions.
Additionally, the heads of both delegations also recognized the importance of cultural and educational exchange, as well as the exchange in research and innovation, for the continued advancement of both territories. For this reason, an agreement was made to prioritize these areas of collaboration and bolster economic development in the upcoming biennial.
The Catalan delegation and Québécois representatives held the conference at the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie and signed the meeting’s minutes in the Cercle de la Garnison building where they then proceeded to have lunch at the bestowal of the Deputy Minister for International Relations. Finally, the next
Secretary Albinyana will remain in the United States and travel to Washington, D.C. where he will participate in the conference “The Political Future of Catalonia and the Role of Public Diplomacy” which is co-organized by Diplocat and the George Washington University Institute for Public Diplomacy & Global Communication.
Francesc Vendrell, Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University and former EU Special Representative for Afghanistan, Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to the U.S., Albert Royo, Diplocat secretary general and Sean Aday, director of the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication will also attend the event which will take place at the Elliott School of International Affairs on Monday.