The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, opened the Summit for the Mediterranean Macroregion at 12 noon this afternoon at the Palau de la Generalitat, which approved a political declaration urging Member States, and especially the current Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, to initiate the procedures for the European Commission to activate the proposal for the creation of the macroregion and the definition of the action plan.
The declaration was signed by some 60 participants, including representatives of 12 governments from 6 states (Albania, Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Morocco), as well as international organisations and European institutions such as the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee.
He pointed out that the main objective of this macroregion will be to share strategies and find joint solutions to address the fight against climate change. “It is the main shared challenge we face and the immediate future of our territories is at stake”, and he emphasised that the Mediterranean is one of the regions in the world most affected by global warming and that many of the territories at today’s Summit have suffered the consequences of climate change, such as the drought that Catalonia is experiencing.
In addition, President Aragonès called for peace along the entire Mediterranean shore and elsewhere, as one of the main underlying principles of the macroregion. “A peace that we want to see return soon, that we demand, because the Mediterranean is and must be a sea driven by peace and respect for human rights”.
The Mediterranean macroregion is a political framework for cooperation among actors and governments in the Mediterranean that will better address shared demographic, technological, economic, and social challenges, with the climate emergency as the priority.
In a media briefing following the Summit, Minister Serret added that the macroregion is a project that today takes a significant step forward: “We have promoted it with the conviction that the Mediterranean region is a priority for foreign action and that Catalonia’s future lies in Europe and the Mediterranean”. Serret also explained that the goal is to respond to the climate emergency. “We need to unite efforts, expertise, and promote specific projects that provide a vision of the future and prosperity to our fellow citizens along the shores of the Mediterranean”, said the Minister for Foreign Action.
Today’s Summit culminates the advocacy strategy carried out by the Government of Catalonia in recent months to gather allies and support for the project.
The interest of the Government of Catalonia in the Mediterranean Macro-region
The Mediterranean macroregion is an initiative led by Catalonia, together with the Government of the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, initially promoted within the framework of the Intermediterranean Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CIM-CPMR).
The purpose of the macroregion is to bring together governments and other actors from both sides of the Mediterranean under a territorial cooperation instrument recognised by European institutions. This instrument should allow the pooling of forces and joint defence of interests to respond to shared challenges, with a special focus on tackling the climate emergency with evident consequences in the region, such as drought.
A macroregion is a political framework that allows countries located in the same region to address and find solutions to joint problems or better exploit the potential they have in common.
Catalonia has played a historical role in Euro-Mediterranean relations, and that is why the Catalan Government is committed to this macroregional strategy, which has been one of the major priorities of foreign action for months.