Juan Gónzalez-Barba travels to Region of Valencia to step up dialogue on European affairs with regional institutions

The State Secretary for the European Union, Juan González-Barba, has concluded his work visit to the Region of Valencia today with the aim of addressing with the Regional Government of Valencia and other bodies and civil society current affairs at an EU level that impact the region and to see first-hand the concerns of the people of Valencia regarding European affairs.

On Tuesday, 17 November, the State secretary met with the President of the Regional Government, Ximo Puig, and with the Secretary-General for External Action, Joan Calabuig. The meeting served to address European Union affairs with importance for the Region of Valencia, such as the EU Recovery Plan, the proposal by the European Commission regarding the future Pact on Migration and the Health Union, the participation of the region in the Mediterranean basis, the situation of negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom on future relations and the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe. The State secretary and the regional president agreed on both the economic and political importance of boosting the European project in the context of the crisis, as well as on the essential nature of the values shared by Member States on which the EU is founded.

Subsequently, Juan González-Barba gave an informal appearance at the Regional Parliament of Valencia before regional MPs, the Board of Spokespersons and the European Affairs Committee. The State secretary addressed, together with the regional MPs, the socio-economic and health response by the EU to the crisis stemming from the pandemic and the implications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Juan González-Barba highlighted that Europe is key for exiting the crisis and highlighted Spain’s role in the definition and contribution to the EU’s efforts at economic recovery, recalling that, when the EU acts, it is also Spain that acts in Europe.

On Wednesday, 18 November, Juan González-Barba held a meeting with the Mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó. The meeting served to address the urban agenda of the EU and the role of cities in the European Green Deal and in the Recovery Plan. The State secretary highlighted that local entities will play a fundamental role in channelling the recovery funds by undertaking transforming projects at a municipal level. Juan González-Barba also addressed with Mayor Ribó the participation of local authorities in the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe and Valencia’s role in the geographic context of the Mediterranean and its social, cultural and economic interrelations.

State secretary Juan González-Barba also held a personal and online meeting with the Business Conference of the Region of Valencia (Spanish acronym; CEV) at which he exchanged perspectives and expectations with business leaders in Valencia on the European Recovery Fund and the National Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, the impact of the EU’s trade policy on the region, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the negotiations on the agreement regarding future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union and its implications for the different economic sectors in the region.

The State secretary also took part in an event organised by the University of Valencia, where he gave a lecture and held a Q&A session on the European Union with lecturers and teachers from the faculties of law and economics and from related research centres. The State Secretary for the European Union highlighted the pro-European vocation of the Region of Valencia and said that “Freedom, democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law are the cornerstones on which the whole EU building is based. There can be no European project without these requirements. They are the very soul of the EU”.

The State Secretary for the European Union invited the University of Valencia and its students to contribute ideas on the European construction within the framework of the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe.





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