The Europe Plan was launched a year ago with two main aims: to assert the presence and influence of Catalonia in Europe, and to engage citizens more in the European project. Following a participatory process designed to encourage contributions from civil society, a white paper has now been approved and will be presented at the Palau de la Generalitat this Thursday. The White Paper on the Europe Plan reaffirms Catalonia’s commitment to Europe.

It is based on a vision that is pro-European, open to the world, and engaged with citizens – a vision that defines Europe as the natural space for Catalonia for reasons of proximity, geography and culture. The Plan starts with a recognition that all EU decisions and policies have direct and indirect consequences for the citizens of Catalonia.

The central idea is that decisions in Europe should not be taken only by governments; Europe is its people, and it is citizens who should be empowered to decide.

The White Paper is the result of contributions from the Government of Catalonia and civil society actors, which makes the Europe Plan a national plan. The key pillars are a more democratic Europe, a Europe of people, a firm commitment to the Mediterranean neighbourhood and to solidarity, and a focus on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

To make Europe more democratic, the Plan proposes that steps be taken to strengthen political, economic and monetary union, democratic checks, and multilevel governance in the construction of Europe, and that the EU be provided with more instruments to tackle crises.

To work towards a Europe of people, the Plan advocates strengthening the social dimension of the European Union by increasing the budget for the social pillar and introducing binding legislation in this area.

The government’s main objectives in this area are to renew the neighbourhood policy, reaffirming the central value of the Mediterranean and adopting a solidarity-based model, in accordance with the Mediterranean Strategy and the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Safe Harbours.

Within the framework of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, the Plan aims to orient EU policies and actions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in line with the National Plan for the 2030 Agenda in Catalonia approved by the Catalan government.

With the approval of the White Paper on the Europe Plan, the Catalan government affirms its commitment to a Europe that prioritises the welfare of citizens and encourages their participation in political decisions – a more balanced and decentralised Europe, where the principle of subsidiarity is more effectively applied.