Marco Aguiriano represents Spain at the Friends of Cohesion summit in Prague

​The State Secretary for the European Union (SEUE), Marco Aguiriano, travelled to Prague to participate in the meeting of the countries composing the “Friends of Cohesion” group. This meeting, hosted by the Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, was attended by the Prime Ministers of Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia, as well as Ministers and other government representatives from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the European Commission, represented by Commissioner Günther Oettinger.
This summit addressed the importance of cohesion policy in the negotiations relating to the new 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). In this regard, State Secretary Aguiriano recalled, on the one hand, that cohesion has contributed decisively to the development of the Union, becoming the main instrument of intra-European cooperation. On the other hand, he pointed out that the financial framework is a privileged means to meet the environment protection goals, drive grow, enhance competitiveness and guarantee the creation of sustainable employment. Likewise, he defended "a cohesion policy as a cornerstone in European integration, which is essential to promote convergence and competitiveness in all regions” and pointed out that "an efficient policy requires not only sufficient resources, but also guarantees that these can be used where investment is needed for the development of the different regions, without any of them being left behind".

Spain, from its constructive and European-oriented approach, attends this summit with the aim of advancing positions in the MFF negotiations. In this regard, Marco Aguiriano has highlighted the need to preserve within the budgetary framework those policies that have brought good results to the Union, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) or the aforementioned cohesion policy, while opting for new policies that allow to address challenges such as the climate emergency, migratory flows or the digital agenda securely. The State Secretary declared that this will require an ambitious budget that must be approved as soon as possible.

In addition to his participation in the summit, the SEUE had a full bilateral agenda yesterday, when he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, T. Petricek; the State Secretary for European Affairs of the Government Office, Mrs M. Hrdinková; the State Secretary for Europe, A. Chmelar; the Director of International Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic, R. Jindrak; and the Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Group of Friendship with Spain and of the EU Affairs Commission of the Congress, O. Benesik. In these meetings, the excellent Spanish-Czech relationship has been highlighted and issues of special relevance for both countries have been addressed, such as the migration crisis, the management of Brexit, the strategic priorities of the new European Commission or the defence of the State of Law.





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