The Minister for Digital Policy and Public Administration delivered a message focusing on the future and stressed the importance of unity and confidence following the cancellation of MWC Barcelona 2020 by the GSMA.
Photograph: Agència Catalana de Notícies

The Minister for Digital Policy and Public Administration, Jordi Puigneró, said this morning that the Catalan government was “committed to doing whatever it takes to create the best MWC ever in 2021 and other editions in the coming years”. The minister delivered this future-oriented message at a joint press conference on the cancellation of this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The other participants were the CEO of the GSMA, John Hoffman; the director general of the GSMA, Mats Granryd; the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau; the mayor of Hospitalet, Núria Marín; the Spanish government representative in Catalonia, Teresa Cunillera; and the chairman of the Fira de Barcelona board of directors, Pau Relat.

After stressing the Catalan government’s respect for “the difficult decision taken by the GSMA”, Puigneró said he was grateful for the “effective coordination and good rapport between all the administrations involved with respect to the MWC” during this challenging time. “When it comes to the MWC, we’re all pulling together, and that should continue. The Catalan government will continue to work with absolute loyalty to make sure the congress remains the best in the world.”

The minister noted: “The MWC is the most important technology event in the world right now and has been a boon to Catalonia. It’s a very important part of the productive ecosystem that we’ve worked together to build, which has positioned Catalonia as one of the leading digital hubs in Europe and the world. For many years we’ve been the factory of Spain, and now we aspire to be the digital laboratory of Europe and the world.”

Puigneró also sought to convey “a message of calm and absolute confidence in the Catalan health system. The suspension of this year’s edition isn’t due to an unsafe health environment in Barcelona or Catalonia; it’s the result of a global issue and a global fear.”