Spain and Italy step up their cooperation and development priorities

Spain and Italy have agreed to step up their agenda of common interests on international development cooperation at the meeting by video-conference held today between the State Secretary for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau, and the Italian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Marina Sereni. At the meeting, as part of the round of interviews between the representative of Spanish Cooperation and her European counterparts, they agreed that their teams would hold regular consultations.

This meeting takes place in the context of the current European Budget programme allocated to development cooperation in the period 2021-2027 and following the Bilateral Italy-Spain Summit in November 2020, at which an understanding was observed on such key issues as cooperation in the field of migration and development in the Maghreb, West Africa and the Sahel.

In this regard, Ángeles Moreno Bau discussed with Marina Sereni the “Team Europe” initiative presented by Spain to the European Commission, which seeks to further develop the external dimension of the future Pact on Migration and Asylum of the European Union, including comprehensive migratory policies that promote safe, orderly and legal migration, prevent people trafficking and contain measures that foster the human and economic development of the countries of origin and transit.

They analysed the opportunity offered by the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument of the European Union (NDICI) to allocate 10% of the European cooperation funds to migratory issues, which would lend decisive support to boost actions in the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood and the Sahel, priority geographic areas for Spanish and Italian Cooperation.

Both Spain and Italy form part of the Sahel Alliance, currently chaired by the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya. Spain currently has 94 bilateral projects underway in the Sahel for the sum of 105 million euros, including such actions as the “GAR-SI Sahel” (Rapid Action Groups for Surveillance and Intervention in the Sahel), involving the participation of the Guardia Civil and the Italian Carabiniero.

The representatives of Spanish and Italian cooperation also discussed other shared priorities, such as the need to boost digitalisation in developing countries and particularly support partner countries to facilitate the incorporation of information technologies in their education systems.

To end, Ángeles Moreno Bau and Marina Sereni monitored the universal and fair vaccination plan against COVID-19 through the multilateral initiative COVAX.






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