As of today, the Catalan Government’s delegation in Austria is in full operation after it officially opened its doors on Vienna’s Stadiongasse. This morning’s official opening was attended by the Director-General of External Relations, Francesca Guardiola, who visited the bureau, greeted new staff and together with Adam Casals analysed the main challenges the new delegation will face in the near future. The opening of the delegation in Vienna is the latest addition to the Government’s institutional representations, succeeding the Government’s delegation in Rome which opened its doors on June 15, and will be followed by the delegations in Portugal, Morocco and the Holy See.
Through the new delegation in Vienna, the Government aims to strengthen its foreign action and assert its political and commercial projection in the region. The new office will establish a direct channel of communication with the Austrian government and other regional and local entities to serve Catalonia’s interests without intermediaries. Furthermore, the Government’s delegation will promote and coordinate the Generalitat’s collaboration with international bodies based in Vienna which are of particular relevance to Catalan interests. The new delegation will also assume a prospective role before the Slovenian, Croatian, Hungarian, Czech and Slovakian governments. With the support of Catalan Communities Abroad, the Government’s delegate in Austria, Adam Casals, will also be responsible for the internationalisation of Catalonia’s economy, the projection of the Catalan culture and language throughout the region as well as the promotion of tourism in Catalonia.
The establishment of the new delegations reflects the fulfilment of the 2013-2016 Government Plan and the 2015-2018 Strategic Foreign Action Plan, which are part of the Government’s strategy to strengthen and extend governmental structures and services outside of Catalonia. The strategy also aims to defend and promote the country’s foreign interests and strengthen bilateral relations between Catalonia and other actors, networks and international organizations. Currently, a total of 10 delegations comprise the Government’s network abroad: France, United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, Italy, Austria, the Holy See, Morocco, Portugal and the Government’s delegation to the European Union in Brussels. The delegations are assigned to the Ministry of the Presidency and its Secretariat for Foreign and European Union Affairs, under the direction of Secretary Roger Albinyana.
The Government’s delegate in Austria
The Government’s delegate in Austria, Adam Casals, was appointed in February 2015. Casals in an expert in strategic consulting and communication services in international relations and specializes in Germanic and Central European countries. He has collaborated with various think-tanks and European foundations, such as the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik - SWP) and Barcelona’s CIDOB. He has also collaborated with various media outlets, such as the daily newspaper Ara and Catalan International Review. He is co-author of the book “Llibre Blanc de Barcelona, capital d’un nou Estat”.