Madrid / Barcelona (EFE) seeks to maximize bilateral cooperation.
Sánchez has brought an event to the Catalan capital that aims to demonstrate the excellent relationship that both Moncloa and the Elysée state currently exist, although it is intended to improve even more with this treaty.
This meeting will take place in the midst of mobilizations both in Barcelona and in France.
Next to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, a short distance from the National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC), where the summit will take place, the independence movement has called a unitary protest mobilization starting at 9:00 a.m. under the slogan “Not here! Nothing is over!”, to claim that the “procés” is still alive.
The unitary photography of the concentration – promoted by the ANC, Òmnium Cultural and the Council of the Republic, a space led by former president Carles Puigdemont from Belgium – can be seen cut short once again by internal tensions within the independence movement.
The ANC has already reproached the ERC for falling into the “contradiction” of having the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, in the initial greeting to the summit participants and, in parallel, sending the party president, Oriol Junqueras, to the demonstration of protest.
The most recent precedents of internal tensions are the independence demonstration of the last Diada of September 11, in which slogans against the Government of Aragonès were heard, and the act of celebration of the fifth anniversary of 1-O, where the leaders of ERC they were booed.
Around 11:30 a.m., the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) plan to start a second protest demonstration, which will go to the French consulate in Barcelona.
protests in France
But there will also be protests in France called by unions against their government’s plans to raise the retirement age.
This has caused that, finally, several ministers are going to return to Paris ahead of schedule and that the head of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, does not travel.
On the Spanish side, Sánchez will be accompanied by his three vice presidents and the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Interior, Transport, Education, Agriculture and Culture, who will hold separate meetings with each of their respective counterparts.
Reception of Aragonés and Colau
Aragonès will receive, together with the mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, Sánchez and Macron, with the question of whether he will be present or absent when, immediately after, the national anthems of the two countries are interpreted.
The regional presidents have no role in this type of summit beyond the initial greeting to the delegations.
Moncloa sources say that Sánchez is not expected to take advantage of his presence in Barcelona to hold a meeting with the Catalan president.
Aragonés sent him a letter last week in which he asked him to discuss a list of eleven points at the summit that includes infrastructures or the official status of Catalan in EU bodies.
In this regard, from the central Executive it is stated that there are a large number of issues that will be present, and as regards Catalan they refer to the contacts with France by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation
The Barcelona summit will be number 27, and we had to wait until then to sign a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which will provide a permanent legal framework for the bilateral relationship and will create, for example, a Bilateral Defense and Security Council and a Interior working group on migration issues.
France conditions the reopening of the nine border crossings with Spain that have remained closed since January 2021 to the progress of that working group and, in particular, to the creation of mixed brigades.
This is one of the points on which Spain and France do disagree, since the Spanish Government affirms that it will request the immediate reopening of those steps.
Other agreements will be signed at the summit and issues on the European agenda will be discussed, including the future H2Med green energy corridor.
At the end of the meeting, Sánchez will accompany Macron on a visit to an exhibition at the Picasso Museum, and afterwards the French president will meet with compatriots residing in Barcelona.