The transfer of the rotating presidency of the European cooperative political project has been celebrated in the framework of the General Assembly of the Euroregion Pyrenees-Mediterranean (EPM). The President of the Government of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, has transferred the presidency of the EPM to Carole Delga, President of the region of Occitania.
The Minister for Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency of the Catalan Government, Bernat Solé, spoke at the event to congratulate the Balearic presidency and wish every success to the Occitan presidency: “In Catalonia, we are fully committed to the future presidency, which needs to consolidate the vision of the Euroregion as a useful tool in the framework of the European territorial cooperation and in the Mediterranean area”.
Solé has claimed the importance of joining forces and working together: “Now more than ever, we will succeed if we join efforts; if we reinforce each other by projecting the whole territory; and if we lead projects at the Euroregional level to promote social and economic recovery. In short, if we put people at the centre of our decisions”. He stated that "the Catalan Government is firmly committed to the Euroregion, because it is convinced that the present and, above all, the future inexcusably leads to strengthen the work done together".
The Minister wanted to acknowledge "the work the three governments have done to carry out coordinated actions". "We have consolidated a way of working that has produced results and it needs to continue so, especially if we want the actions we promote to have a direct impact on citizens", he stressed.
"Cooperation between European territories is essential, especially now in the context of a pandemic", stressed the Minister, who insisted that "joint responses to COVID-19 are necessary, and networks such as the Euroregion are more important than ever”. Solé highlighted that “we will succeed if we provide collective answers, and the Balearic Islands, Occitania and Catalonia have just proved it all this time in innovation and research, higher education, environment, culture or tourism”.
Solé celebrated EPM's ability to respond to the impact of health, economy and social crisis, with the creation of the Euroregional aid fund: "we need to take more decisive steps in this direction, because we build the future by working together”.
"The Government of Catalonia has long been committed to actively contribute to the European and regional construction with an open view of the Mediterranean and aware of the specificity of cross-border space", said the Minister. "We want to be present in all the decision-making spaces based on networking and multilevel collaboration to provide better answers to the challenges of our society", he added.
The event was useful to evaluate the last twenty months, in which the EPM has established itself as a key player in cooperation at the European level. The programme of the new presidency for the next two years has also been presented. In 2020, the EPM has had to manage COVID-19 and has presented a specific aid fund to mitigate the effects of the health crisis and boost the economy of its territories.