The Catalan Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, and the Catalan Minister of Economy and Finance, Natàlia Mas Guix, received the consular corps accredited in Barcelona at the Administrative District building of the Government of Catalonia to explain both the Government’s new programme for relations with the diplomatic corps and its budget for 2023.
“We want to make the consular corps in Barcelona count”, said Minister Serret, who recalled that “Barcelona is the fourth city in the world that is not a state capital to host the most consular representatives”, after New York, Hamburg and Hong Kong. There are around 100 accredited consuls in the Catalan capital.
The Catalan Government prioritises relations with diplomatic representatives, as Serret pointed out, and for this reason, she said,“our vocation is to facilitate their work” and “to offer them tools and the structure to accompany them, both in their consular tasks and in getting to know Catalonia and the areas of work not only of the Catalan Government but also of the country’s social, economic and cultural agents as a whole”. The aim is to establish trusting, diligent working relations with foreign governments through their representatives in Barcelona, to forge alliances and promote collaboration that will have a positive impact on citizens and on the country’s development.
With this in mind, in the coming weeks the Catalan Government will approve a programme for the next two years to structure and strengthen relations with the consular corps accredited in Catalonia, in order to“provide more resources and to professionalise and firmly ground this accompaniment and the services we offer them”, Serret explained.
Through the Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union, the Catalan Government maintains fluid and constant relations with consuls“to enhance the impact of our work to our mutual benefit”. Serret stressed that “the consular corps knows that we are here to facilitate all relations, whether with the Government or to open new doors of collaboration with other institutions, organisations and relevant stakeholders in Catalan society”.
To drive the point home, Minister Mas Guix presented the Government of Catalonia’s budget for 2023 to the consuls attending the event. Mas Guix highlighted that“foreign action is one of the main pillars of Catalan Government activity” in 2023, as is demonstrated by the fact that the accounts for this year foresee “an 11% increase” in the budget of the Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union. “We are a country open to the world”, she added, emphasising the Catalan Government’s will to “reinforce and consolidate” this policy. During her speech, Mas Guix explained to the consuls attending the meeting the five pillars on which the 2023 budget is based: economy for life, sustainable mobility, industry, housing and renewable energies.
The next consular outing organised by the Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union will be to the port of Tarragona on 14 April to present Catalonia’s Hydrogen Valley. The proposal of activities organised by the Catalan Government for the consuls included visits to the main Catalan Government facilities, such as the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the National Art Museum of Catalonia(MNAC), the Biomedical Research Park, the Alba Synchrotron, the Alícia Foundation, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunyaand the Palau de la Música Catalana.