Policy and cross-border action to debate

The Foundation Catalunya Europa has presented the seminar "The Politics and the cross-border Catalan action to debate" with the participation of academics and representatives of various public institutions and unions with the aim of putting the state of the cross-border cooperation on the table at different scales.

The director of the Department of Geography of the University of Girona, Joan Vicente, and the President of the Executive Committee of the FCE, Francesc Colomé, welcomed the attendees and both coincided with the need to reflect and bring thought to the present moments. Francesc Colomé also mentioned the report published this year by FCE "Europe on the horizon: Barcelona and Catalonia in the articulation and construction of Europe" by Javi Martin, who speaks of the thought and action of Pasqual Maragall in cross-border relations and highlights the news of their ideas about the need to cooperate between territories beyond borders, just in the moments that we are living in Europe.

Mita Castañer, director of the Geography Chair at the UdG, was in charge of moderating the speakers at the first round table: "The construction of a cross-border space at different scales", with the aim of reflecting and thinking about how They must be cross-border relationships in an intermediate scale and what synergies and collaborations are needed in this European framework.

Xavier Bernard-Sans, director of the Euroregion Pirineus Mediterrani (EPM), spoke on this table, which spoke about the strategic change that this institution has carried out, not only through the change of its physics in Perpignan, but also with The development of a new roadmap for euroregional identity and closer proximity to citizens as well as the elaboration of a more ambitious proposal extending the areas of interest to health and biotechnology, tourism, water and agri-food

Bernard-Sans has presented the EPM as a specific euroregion with a special weight compared to other Euroregions and therefore believes that it is the ideal tool because politically from Catalonia you can look beyond and be able to present in Europe with more force, both by number of inhabitants and GDP.

Immediately afterwards, Rafel Giménez Capdevila, responsible for international projects of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Generalitat, has briefly presented the developments in neighborhood policies at different scales that are currently working from abroad. He has also reviewed the legal instruments created for cross-border cooperation, starting in 1995 with the Treaty of Bayonne and in 2006 with the EGTC (European grouping of territorial cooperation) which is the legal figure that allows to build specific projects, such as what the Hospital de la Cerdanya has made possible. Giménez Capdevila has also presented a comparison in the institutional and administrative structure between Spain and France to show the different weight of the administrative bodies of one state and the other and the asymmetries that subsequently hinder cooperation.

Javi Martin, geographer of the department. of Geography of the UdG and author of the report published by the FCE, highlighted some points exposed to the study that help to understand why some of these ideas defended by Pasqual Maragall are still in force. In a second part Martin has presented some ideas and reflections on the future of the cooperation worked from an academic point of view, from graphs that show the asymmetry in the cross-border cooperation with regard to the participation of projects Europeans. As proposals for the future, it is planned to rethink the role of large cities within the framework of the Euroregion and in this sense believes that Barcelona can play a leading role and voice in matters of cross-border cooperation. Also at the Eurodistrict level, it should be considered whether there is a regulation that will give him recognition and define how to articulate and solve daily problems in which cross-border municipalities such as transport or security are found.

Working at the same level as the Eurodistrict has given rise to the following debate table "From the boulevard of the Pyrenees to the Eurodistrict: present and future of cross-border cooperation in the counties of Girona" with Joan Armangué, delegate of the FCE in the Empordà as a moderator. The debate has opened Josep Puigbert, director of the Casa de la Generalitat in Perpignan, who spoke about the usual complexity of functioning of the organisms that are created, as in the case of the Eurodistrict, and the need to rethink in a more management Effective as well as a political will to move forward this cooperation. He also mentioned some of the problems that are encountered daily by the municipalities and inhabitants of cross-border territory, one of the most paradigmatic cases of firefighters on both sides of the border, who have great difficulties in cooperating with the extinction of frontier fires


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