The Government of Catalonia, through its Secretariat for Foreign and EU Affairs, has appointed Ramon Font Bové as the new delegate to Portugal. Before being assigned, Font served as director of the Government’s Coordination Programme for Catalonia’s International Promotion in Portugal and Brazil. With this new appointment, the Government intends to solidify the Generalitat’s institutional status in Portugal and make Catalonia’s presence in the country official.
The Government’s Delegation in Portugal, based in Lisbon, intends to facilitate bilateral relations and establish direct communication channels with the Portuguese authorities without intermediaries. Furthermore, the new delegation will help to promote and coordinate collaborative relations between the Generalitat, including its ascribed entities, with international organisations headquartered in Portugal.
The Delegation will also facilitate the Government’s prospective functions with regards to its relation with other member states associated with the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. This new delegation stems from the Government’s Coordination Programme for International Promotion in Portugal and Brazil, established in 2012, which was initially set up to prioritize the internationalisation of Catalan businesses. The Coordination Programme will therefore expire after the new Delegation becomes fully functioning and assumes the aforementioned task.
International delegations network
The delegate’s appointment comes only days after the establishment of the delegations in Italy and Austria. In addition to the existing eight international delegations (UK and Ireland; France and Switzerland; Germany; Austria; Italy; Portugal; USA, Canada and Mexico; and the delegation to the EU in Brussels), the Catalan Government plans to set up one in Morocco and another in the Holy See, as was approved by the Executive in June.
The establishment of the new delegations reflects the fulfilment of the 2013-2016 Government Plan as well as the 2015-2018 Foreign Action Strategic Plan, put in place to reinforce and extend governmental structures and services outside of Catalonia in order to defend and promote the country’s interests abroad. Additionally, the strategies implemented by the Catalan Executive also aim to build and strengthen bilateral relations between Catalonia and other international actors, networks or organisations.
The Government’s Delegate to Portugal
As a former journalist, Ramon Font Bové (born in Cervera, 1952) has a vast experience in mass media and institutional communications, both in Catalonia and Portugal. He has been responsible for various editorial teams in Catalonia’s leading news agencies, including the Catalan division of SER and Televisión Española (TVE) for television and Radio Nacional de España (RNE) in terms of radio. During six years, Font served as a consultant for Lisbon94 ‘European Capital of Culture’ and the ‘Expo '98’, Lisbon’s 1998 World Exposition.
His long career as a correspondent in Portugal for various news agencies and media outlets, including Catalunya Radio, RNE, TVE and ACN (Catalan News Agency), led him to become one of the first Catalans to preside the Associação da Imprensa Estrangeira em Portugal (Portugal’s Foreign Press Association) and to be awarded with the Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique (Order of Prince Henry the Navigator) as well as the 2005 Ordem do Mérito (Order of Merit).
In 2006 he was appointed as the Government’s Communications Secretary and from 2009 until 2012 he served as president for Catalonia’s Audio-visual Council (CAC). Font later served as an advisor to Portugal’s Porto Canal TV and, since 2012, he has been responsible for the Government’s Coordination Programme for Catalonia’s International Promotion in Portugal and Brazil.