The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, spoke this morning at the breakfast event "Catalonia as a global actor in Mediterranean policy", organised by the think tank Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), where she declared the willingness of Barcelona and Catalonia to host an international summit for peace between Israel and Palestine.
The Minister underlined the suitability of Barcelona to host this forum given its capital status in the Mediterranean and Catalonia's role as an internationally recognised actor in the culture of peace and the commitment to human rights.
"Appealing to the spirit of peace, progress, cooperation, stability and dialogue that has always been the hallmarks of Barcelona and Catalonia, we are ready and willing to host an international peace forum or summit that will allow us to address the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," remarked Minister Serret. The minister referred to the central role that Catalonia and Barcelona have played in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation since the Barcelona Process, which culminated in the creation of the Union for the Mediterranean, the headquarters of which is in the Catalan capital.
Summit for the Mediterranean macroregion in Barcelona on 24 November
During the session, Serret also explained the Catalan Government's commitment to promoting the Mediterranean macroregion, an initiative led jointly with the Southern Region of France. It is a political framework for enhanced cooperation recognised by European institutions that will enable a joint response to shared challenges in the Mediterranean region.
"The macroregion will make it possible to maximise the impact and potential of Mediterranean policies," said the Minister. In this regard, on 24 November the Generalitat will hold a summit for the Mediterranean macroregion in Barcelona, an event with various representatives from the Mediterranean that will define a road map with the objectives, structure, composition and resources of the future macro-region.
A bigger and better Catalonia in the world with a more integrated Mediterranean
Speaking at the CIDOB breakfast event, Minister Serret stressed Catalonia's role as a global actor, with a clear priority towards Europe and the Mediterranean.
In this regard, Serret pointed out that the 21 delegations of the Government of Catalonia abroad already provide institutional coverage in 72 countries, including all the countries of the European Union. This year, moreover, the emphasis has been on institutional deployment in the Mediterranean. As a result, the mandate of the Delegation to North Africa has been extended to Libya and Egypt and that of the Delegation to Southeastern Europe to Greece, the only EU country not covered so far.
The resumption of the Government of Catalonia's relations with European institutions was also one of the aspects highlighted by Minister Serret at the CIDOB breakfast event. "We have recovered direct dialogue at the highest level between Catalonia and European institutions," said Serret, who concluded that this was "a priority that we have achieved".
In the course of this term of office, the Government of Catalonia has held 10 meetings with representatives of the European Commission, including meetings with 7 different commissioners and also with President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice-President Schinas, with whom Serret shared her vision of the Mediterranean and Europe.
The CIDOB breakfast event was opened by Antoni Segura i Mas, president of the think tank, and was moderated by CIDOB director, Pol Morillas.