Catalonia, the Basque Country, the Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands ask to participate in the design of the European recovery fund | Spain

Pere Aragonès and Ximo Puig, at the meeting they held on December 1 in Barcelona.
Pere Aragonès and Ximo Puig, at the meeting they held on December 1 in Barcelona.EFE

The presidents of Catalonia, the Basque Country, the Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands have asked the European institutions to participate in “the design and implementation” of the Recovery and Resilience Fund, the community financial plan to deal with the ravages caused by the covid -19. The regional leaders have signed a letter together with representatives of 20 other regions of Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Croatia and Finland in which they request, in line with the principle of subsidiarity, “to be involved in discussions on the recovery of the European Union at the highest level ”. The letter, to which EL PAÍS has had access, has been sent this Thursday to Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli.

From the perspective of the signatories, the role of the regions is “fundamental to ensure a fair and sustainable recovery from covid-19, and that leaves no one behind.” At the last conference of presidents, held at the end of October, Pedro Sánchez informed the autonomous communities that they would execute more than 50% of the funds from the recovery plan. “We have a long experience managing and implementing a good number of European funds and programs (…) We are crucial players in the framework of multi-level European governance. Europe can only emerge from this crisis stronger if its territories, acting in line with its competences, have the necessary means to implement dynamic policies ”, say the leaders of the 24 territories. The deployment of the 750,000 million euros of the fund, of which Spain will receive an injection of 140,000 million, is blocked after the veto of Hungary and Poland, for the moment without solution.

Pere Aragonès, Iñigo Urkullu, Ximo Puig and Francina Armengol and the rest of the territorial authorities urge Brussels in the document to “recognize the added value” of their regions and their experience in management. “We are committed to joining our efforts to reinforce the role of the territories in the European decision-making process related to the recovery of covid-19. And to contribute proactively and constructively to these discussions, among others, through the exchange of information regarding regional recovery strategies, as well as good practices related to the management of funds, ”they state in the letter. “We call on the political leaders of the European institutions and member states to speak directly to the sub-state governments.

The territories are ready, willing and able to contribute to a recovery strategy of the European Union that responds to the challenges that we jointly face ”, they add. Florian Hermann, responsible for land from Bavaria, and Theresa Schopper, from Baden-Württemberg, are among the signatories along with the French Alain Rousset (president of New Aquitaine) and Carole Delga (Occitania / Pyrenees), the Italians Stefano Bonaccini (Emilia-Romagna) and Nicola Zingaretti (Lazio) or the Austrian Günther Platter, governor of Tyrol.

The territories, from nine different EU member states, underscore their “joint commitment to actively contribute to the success of the recovery plan” by the EU. “In line with our different competencies, we have adopted rapid and effective measures to face the health emergency and the consequent social and economic consequences. We have developed and implemented – through our own means regional recovery strategies, and we have reallocated European resources in line with the measures and instruments proposed by the European Commission for a more resilient Europe based on green and digital transitions “.

The four autonomous barons and their European counterparts point out that the multiple crisis caused by the coronavirus “does not understand national borders” and that the different territories “face different challenges.” His reasoning is that “sub-state measures are crucial to avoid a one-size-fits-all recovery strategy in member states, as well as to strengthen cross-border cooperation.”