The President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, met this morning with the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, at the Palau de la Generalitat, in what is interpreted as the beginning of the normalization of institutional relations between the Generalitat and Brussels, which before process They had been very narrow. In fact, the Generalitat has defined the meeting as “very cordial” and as “another step forward to further intensify relations between Catalonia and the European institutions”.
After the meeting there was no press conference, but Aragonès on his Twitter account described the meeting as “positive”. “From Catalonia we remain determined to intensify relations with the EU,” said the president, who stressed that there are “challenges on the table such as the Catalan projects with Next Generation funds, which will contribute to European strategic autonomy.”
Schinas highlights the effort of Catalonia in the reception of Ukrainian refugees
In the meeting, which lasted an hour, the two leaders discussed the Catalan projects that are being carried out with community funds – among which the European chip, green hydrogen, or others related to the health industry and the hub audiovisual- and Schinas has highlighted the effort of Catalonia in the reception of Ukrainian refugees, according to sources from the Presidency.
Schinas, who is also the holder of the portfolio for the Promotion of our European Way of Life, has been the first member of the executive chaired by Ursula Von der Leyen to make an institutional visit to the Generalitat since her inauguration in December 2021, although Aragonès already accompanied this when he visited Barcelona in May to receive the II Cercle d’Economia Prize for European Construction.
In January, the Minister for Foreign Action, Victòria Alsina, already held a meeting with the Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, although representatives from the Balearic Islands and the French region of Occitania also participated.
The previous bilateral meeting between members of the Generalitat and the Commission dated back to 2015, when then President Artur Mas met with the Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc. The last time a Vice President of the European Commission visited the Palau de la Generalitat was in 2011.
In 2015 relations were already tense but from then on, coinciding with the rise of the independence process, the fluidity that had historically characterized relations between Barcelona and Brussels, above the weight that generally corresponds to a European region, they went from tenseness to indifference and absolute silence.
Schinas, from the family of the European People’s Party (EPP) and former spokesperson for the European Commission chaired by Jean-Claude Juncker, was one of the members of the European Executive who publicly defended the constitutional order in Spain during 1-O and took a stand against the independence movement