The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, began a working trip to Brussels on Monday, where she has meetings scheduled with political representatives and European networks. “The European project is a priority for the Government of Catalonia, and therefore the Catalan Government Delegation to the European Union is strategic; it is one of the pillars of our foreign action,”saidSerret. She spoke at the event held to present the new Catalan Government delegate to the European Union,Ignasi Centelles Santana, which took place this afternoon at the Espai Catalunya Europa, presided over by the Minister herself and attended by more than a hundred people.
“Catalonia has a strategic role within the European Union that the Catalan Government intends to strengthen even further by consolidating itself as a credible and useful partner,”saidSerret, who stressed that“the European project has in Catalonia, not only a firm believer, but also an agent willing to contribute and share its own perspective”. The Minister pointed out that,“under the leadership of Ignasi Centelles”, the European Union will find“an ally”in the Government Delegation in Brussels. “We are and want to remain an active and proactive partner in the European project,”she stressed.
Tomorrow morning, MinisterSerretwill attend the hearing on Spain of the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware. “We need to know in depth about CatalanGate, what happened with the illegal wiretapping that took place in the Pegasus case in Catalonia and in Spain”, declared the head of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union,“because we must clarify the facts and create frameworks that allow for greater guarantees for citizens in these cases of espionage, and help to preserve the fundamental rights of all citizens”.
In his inaugural speech,Ignasi Centellesrecalled that“Catalonia has had an institutional presence in Brussels for 40 years,”and that,“today, we are and continue to be a credible, reliable, rigorous partner with a strong Europeanist vision”. “We are committed to continuing to build alliances and work hand in hand with old and new allies to advance democracy, human rights and peace in the European Union,”saidCentelles, stating that“we have ambitious goals in terms of the green transition, digital rights and cultural and linguistic diversity”.
On her first day in the European capital, MinisterSerret, accompanied by RepresentativeCentelles, met withPascal Smet, Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region, with whom she explored ways the two governments could collaborate in the cultural and metropolitan fields, among others.
In the afternoon, Minister Serret met with the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD), a European network created in 2008 that works in the field of language policy on the European continent. With the NPLD chair,Miquel Àngel Sureda, who is also Secretary for University, Research and Linguistic Policy of the Government of the Balearic Islands,Serretspoke of the desire to weave networks in order to make Catalan and its number of speakers in Europe count.
Catalonia, more active in the Committee of the Regions
As head of the Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union, MinisterSerretis Catalonia’s representative on the Committee of the Regions (CoR), the European Union’s consultative body that brings together local and regional authorities in the EU. This afternoon,Serretmet with the President of the European Alliance Group in the CoR,Karl Vanlouwe, and the group’s Secretary-General,Micheál Ó Conchúir.
At the meeting, they expressed a shared willingness to work together in the CoR to strengthen it and to respond to common challenges. Serret conveyed the Government of Catalonia’s desire to be active in the CoR’s actions and explained her Ministry’s main lines of work, such as digital sovereignty, the energy transition, cross-border cooperation and the Regions for EU Recovery initiative, supported by more than thirty regions from ten European Union Member States with the aim of strengthening the regions’ role in the management and distribution of NextGenerationEU funds.
In the field of digital sovereignty, Minister Serret shared with the CoR members theGeneva Declaration, an initiative promoted by the Government of Catalonia and the NGO Access Now to advance towards the international regulation of surveillance technologies.