1. The head of the Executive, accompanied by Minister Serret, opened the conference “EU investments in strategic projects: An outlook from Catalonia”, co-organised by the Catalan Government and the European Commission and coinciding with the start of the new European political cycle

The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, spoke this morning of the country’s commitment to Europe and assured that “Catalonia must do her bit for the great European challenges”, because “Europe’s crucial moment is also ours”. In this regard, Aragonès highlighted Catalonia’s role, through its industrial and innovation ecosystem, in helping to make Europe “a much more competitive economy, one that tackles climate change, fights against inequality and guarantees a truly unique area of security and freedom in the world”.

Aragonès delivered this message at the opening ceremony of the conference “EU investments in strategic projects: An outlook from Catalonia”, which was also attended by the Catalan Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu

The event, which is being jointly organised today by theCatalan Governmentand theEuropean Commission in Barcelona -coinciding with the new European political cycle-, provided an opportunity to present the most emblematic innovation projects developed in Catalonia that are contributing to major European transformations, such as the ALBA Synchrotron, the MareNostrum Supercomputer, the Hydrogen Valley,QuantumCAT, or the Centre for Advanced and Emerging Therapies of Catalonia.

The President stressed that Catalonia has much to contribute to Europe in a variety of strategic areas, from semiconductors to life sciences, energy and decarbonisation, where “we have managed to attract projects, and we will attract many more”. He stressed the need to continue to “commit to improving the competitiveness of the Catalan economy and to contributing to the competitiveness of the European economy”, with the aim of generating “shared prosperity, which improves the living conditions of Europeans as a whole”.

"The European Union has represented for Catalonia and for all the peoples of Europe the hope of facing the challenges of the future together, of doing so united and pooling the assets we have", he said. For this reason, he insisted that it is necessary to reach “major social agreements that reduce inequality and agreements in the area of collective bargaining and the improvement of wage and working conditions in the Union as a whole and, particularly, in Catalonia”.

Throughout his speech, Aragonès also highlighted the large accumulation of research infrastructures, research centres, hospitals, universities and research and advanced technology companies in Catalonia, which he described as a “unique ecosystem in Europe that allows us to enter a virtuous cycle”. "Today, Catalonia, and especially its research and knowledge centres, as well as its productive fabric, stands out when it comes to taking advantage of European Union initiatives and funds and making the most of them", he said.

During the event, the head of the Executive also insisted on the good relations that currently exist with Europe, which has contributed to the fact that the European Commission “has not only reopened its doors in Catalonia, but we are also working together and high-level meetings between ministers and commissioners are now a regular occurrence”.

The opening of the conference was also attended by the Secretary of State for Industry, Rebeca Torró Soler, and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Fundació de Gestió Sanitària del Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Xavier Prats i Monné. Enrico Letta, former Italian prime minister and responsible for the report on the future of the European single market, Much more than a market, then gave the keynote speech.

However, the bulk of the conference was the content of three round tables: on green and industrial transformation, the new digital age at the service of people, and health and life sciences. Each of them presented the different projects that stand out for their cutting-edge and innovative nature and opened a discussion on the challenges to be overcome in the corresponding sectors. A report of conclusions from all the discussions will be drawn up and sent to the European Commission.