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Minister Serret, in Alicante: "This is a step towards the Mediterranean macroregion becoming a priority of the Belgian presidency"

event_note Press Release

Minister Serret, in Alicante: "This is a step towards the Mediterranean macroregion becoming a priority of the Belgian presidency"

  1. The Government explained at Casa Mediterráneo in Alicante the strategy of the Mediterranean macroregion that the Government is promoting together with other political actors
  2. The Government underscored the resumption of political contacts at the highest level, such as the meeting between President Aragonès and the Secretary-General of the UfM or the meeting with Commissioner Ferreira

This morning, the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, participated in the opening of the “Som Mediterranis” (We are Mediterranean) forum at Casa Mediterráneo in Alicante. She presented the initiative of the Mediterranean macroregion, promoted by the Government and other actors from the Mediterranean region, which aims to bring together various stakeholders from both shores of the Mediterranean to address shared challenges such as the climate emergency.

Serret welcomed the fact that the Mediterranean macroregion is among the priorities of the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union, following the initial steps taken in this regard during the Spanish presidency. “It encourages us to continue working to gather more voices and to bring to fruition this project, which already has the support of most of the governments on all sides of the Mediterranean.It is important to form a united front in the face of the major challenge posed by climate change,” Serret said.

Today, the strategy has the explicit support of countries such as Italy and Spain. The Government, together with Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur, is taking the lead in contacting most of the other political actors involved. It is doing so closely with the Intermediterranean Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (IMC-CRPM), which is the driving force behind the initiative, as well as with other networks and collaborative alliances such as the “Friends of the Macroregion” platform or MedCities.

Furthermore, continuing with political contacts regarding the Mediterranean, on Monday, Minister Serret and the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, met with the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UpM), Nasser Kamel. They agreed on the collaboration of this international organisation in the macroregion.

Serret also took the opportunity during her participation in the forum to mention the drought affecting Catalonia, the worst in the last century. She explained the Government’s efforts regarding the management of internal basins to increase water production and ensure supply throughout the territory. “Today, 55% of the water reaching homes comes from desalination plants and regeneration facilities,” she said.

The minister referred to the need to improve multi-level governance and involve different actors from the Mediterranean at the national, regional, and municipal levels across the entire basin. “We aim to align strategies and be more efficient, also by availing ourselves of various European funds and programmes to promote collaboration initiatives in the European Mediterranean region. Additionally, we aim to expand cooperation with other countries in the Mediterranean.”

What is the Mediterranean macroregion?

A macroregion is a political framework recognised by the European Commission that allows countries located in the same region to jointly address and find solutions to the challenges they face.

The Mediterranean macroregion is a project by the Intermediterranean Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (IMC-CPMR). Catalonia, together with the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, leads the macroregional working group, from which this initiative is promoted.

Last November, the Government organised the Summit for the Mediterranean Macroregion, a high-level meeting attended by some sixty participants, including representatives from 12 governments of six states, international organisations, entities, and representatives from European institutions. A political declaration was promoted among all participants to urge the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU to initiate the necessary procedures for the European Commission to activate the proposal for the creation of the Mediterranean macroregion.

Catalonia has played a historical role in Euro-Mediterranean relations, which is why the Government is committed to this macroregional strategy, which has been one of the major priorities of foreign action for months.