Barcelona is equipped with a Euro-Mediterranean Strategy

3 April 2023 | Corporate news

The Barcelona City Council has presented its Euro-Mediterranean Strategy, a roadmap with contributions from IEMed and MedCities with which it wants to promote the city’s relevance in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres of the Mediterranean region.

The presentation of the guidemap was attended by the City Promotion Commissioner of the Barcelona City Council, Pau Solanilla, the executive president of IEMed, Senén Florensa and the director of MedCities, Oriol Barba.

At the event, it was highlighted that Barcelona wants to continue to strengthen the central role in Euro-Mediterranean relations that has been playing for the last 30 years. In 1995, it hosted the first Conference between the European Union and all the countries on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean from which the so-called “Barcelona Process” emerged, which originated with the aim of working for peace, shared prosperity and dialogue between peoples in the region. Since 2010, it has also been the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean, the international body that derived from the Barcelona Process.

Now, with this Euro-Mediterranean Strategy that is presented shortly before the start of the Spanish presidency of the EU, we want to contribute to continuing to include the Euro-Mediterranean dimension in the European debate, from a local perspective.

As explained by Pau Solanilla, “it is time to refocus on the Mediterranean, and take into consideration how the Euro-Mediterranean agenda has traditionally progressed under the Spanish presidencies of the EU”.

Senén Florensa explained that as a result of the economic growth of Asia, the Mediterranean is once again at the center of the economic world as a nexus of global commercial traffic, and that Barcelona can act as a capital of the region and the South of Europe, especially at a time when “a certain fatigue can be felt in Brussels in relation to the south and east of the Mediterranean”.

Oriol Barba emphasized the “Mediterranean vocation of the city” and the fact that there are already very important local strategies, the reason for which he explained that above all “we looked to ‘Mediterraneanise’ them with the desire to give them a boost extra from the City Council”.

In this sense, the document wants to contribute to “Mediterranean coloring” of the main existing strategies and respond to persistent challenges since the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona in 1995 and to emerging challenges such as the fight against climate change or digitalisation.

The document prepared by the Barcelona City Council and the IEMed details three strategic objectives accompanied by up to 19 specific actions to achieve these objectives.