1. The minister accompanied representatives of the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Romania, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Mexico to learn about the work of the Catalan Water Agency, “a drought management model that is a benchmark for the whole world”
  2. Serret defended the promotion of the Mediterranean macroregion and stressed that European policies must be “much more sensitive to and aware of” the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean area

The Catalan Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, accompanied the consular corps in Catalonia on Thursday to learn more about the work of the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) during the last three years of drought: “Thanks to the Catalan Government’s good management, but especially that of the ACA, we have been able to postpone the most severe restrictions for a year and a half. The management model is a benchmark for the whole world, hence the interest among the consular corps and the countries we have visited,” explained the minister, referring to her latest institutional visits to Tunisia, Stockholm, Marseilles and Alicante.

For some months now, the Catalan Government has detected worldwide interest in how the drought is being managed in Catalonia, given that it is a global problem, which today affects Catalonia, but which is likely to affect other regions, especially in the Mediterranean.

Taking part in the meeting at the ACA, along with minister Serret, was the director of the Agency, Samuel Reyes. Attending the meeting were the consuls-general of Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, the United Kingdom and Uruguay; the vice-consuls from the Argentinian and Chilean consulates; the consul for economic promotion from the Mexican consulate; the supervisor of consular services from the United States consulate; and the consular assistant of the Canadian consulate.

During the visit to the ACA, Serret highlighted the work of the Catalan Government in “anticipating, planning and accompanying the sectors”, and investing, as part of the Special Drought Plan, 560 million euros in aid for local authorities and farmers. And she stressed that, if the 2024 budget was approved, one billion euros could be allocated to reclamation and desalination infrastructure, to improving the water supply network and to collaboration with local authorities.

She also stressed the importance of sharing drought resilience throughout the Mediterranean: “This is why we are working to promote the Mediterranean macroregion and to make European policies much more sensitive and more aware of the reality of the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean area”. The macroregion project, led by the Catalan Government, aims to connect the four shores of the Mediterranean to find solutions to the shared challenge of climate change and its effects.

The visit of the consular corps to the Catalan Water Agency is part of the programme of activities the Catalan Government is organising to raise awareness of Catalonia’s main assets among diplomatic staff accredited in Barcelona.