1. President Aragonès and the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret, met at the Palau with the Secretary-General of the UfM, Nasser Kamel
  2. The executive had not maintained contact at the highest level with the intergovernmental organisation, headquartered in Barcelona, for almost eight years
  3. In the meeting, they addressed areas of mutual interest such as the Mediterranean macroregion, an initiative promoted by the Government to tackle challenges such as the climate emergency

The President of the Government, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, and the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, received the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), Nasser Kamel, at the Palau de la Generalitat for a meeting that reaffirms the resumption of relations between the Government and this international organisation, based in Barcelona.

Is it eight years since the Government last held a meeting at the highest level with this organisation. In a press conference following the meeting, Minister Serret referred to the UfM as a key component in Barcelona’s Mediterranean capital status and described it as an “anomaly” that the government did not have normal and fluid relations with this organisation. That is why she praised the discreet work that has been done in recent months to re-establish and normalise relations: “The Government is re-establishing high-level dialogue with the Union for the Mediterranean, doing so discreetly and in accordance with the principles that govern Catalan foreign action:to contribute and work as diligently as possible”.

The minister stressed one of the Government’s priorities was to restore relations with the UfM, just as it was to restore dialogue with European institutions, something that has been successfully achieved.

The Minister for Foreign Action also emphasised the willingness to collaborate with the UfM on the project of the Mediterranean macroregion, an initiative led by Catalonia with other Mediterranean actors to address shared global challenges, such as demographic changes, energy, and above all, the climate emergency and its consequences.

Gradual resumption of relations with the UfM

In recent months, Minister Serret has held several meetings with Secretary-General Kamel and his team with the aim of resuming and normalising relations.

The minister and the Secretary General met in Marseilles, in December 2022, on the occasion of the Mediterranean Climate Forum, and formally met again in October 2023.

The UfM also participated last November in the summit for the Mediterranean macroregion organised by the Government at the Palau de la Generalitat.

In parallel, over the past few years, the Government has joined in commemorating Mediterranean Day, promoted by this organisation and celebrated every 28 November.

About the Mediterranean macroregion

The Mediterranean Macroregion is an initiative led by the Catalan government, together with the government of the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Last November, the Government organised the Summit for the Mediterranean Macroregion, a high-level meeting attended by some sixty participants, including 12 governments from 6 states, international organisations, entities and representatives of European institutions with the aim of calling on European institutions to initiate procedures to activate the proposal for the creation of the macroregion and the definition of the action plan.

During the summit, a political declaration was approved, endorsed by all participants, including the UfM, in support of initiating the Mediterranean macroregion.