News Presidency

The Basque Government and the New York Mayor’s Office agree to hold a Learning Tour in the Basque Country next year

2019 July 16

The Basque Government delegation led by the Lehendakari met with the New York Mayor’s Office, represented by the Deputy Mayor of New York, Phil Thompson, and the Senator of the State of New York, James Sanders. After the meeting, the Lehendakari, the Deputy Mayor and the Senator answered the journalists’ questions.

The Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu, the Basque Premier, when asked about how the meeting had gone, stressed that they had had the opportunity to share reflections on the social-economic model of the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC). In that regard, according to the Lehendakari, many points of common interest had been found during the meeting. Furthermore, the Lehendakari explained that the Basque Government had offered to organise a Learning Tour in the Basque Country at the start of next year for the city and also the State of New York.  That would be an opportunity to study those areas to do with both the social economy and smart specialisation, artificial intelligence, education, the third age in the sphere of socio-health care and with different sectors of the productive economy.  “It has been a very fruitful meeting and we hope it will lead to a relationship between companies and also between the authorities and companies of New York and the Basque Country,” he added.

In turn, New York’s Deputy Mayor, Phill Thompson, noted that they had learnt a great deal about economic and social innovation and the work being carried out in the Basque Country during the meeting. “We are looking forward to starting to work together to build a robust social economy in our city,” he added.

The Senator of the State of New York, James Sanders, when asked whether any Basque initiative could be applied in the State of New York, pointed out that they were looking forward to the Basque Country Delegation, as has been the case in other areas of the country, working with the State of New York. In that regard, Sanders highlighted that the Basque Country is well known for many reasons, and acknowledged that there was much to learn from cooperative work and other areas such as the financing of the social economy of the Basque Country. “There are many areas from which we can learn,” he said. Furthermore, the Senator expounded the desire to be able to “return” the visit to the Basque Country to, in particular, learn about the cooperative work and other areas of common work that may be beneficial to both parties.

The Deputy Mayor explained that New York City was aiming to implement a dynamic cooperation partnership to work and create things together. “New York is a fantastic city to begin to implement innovation,” he stressed. Furthermore, he noted that they are, above all, excited about the Basque Government’s commitment to people, as that is also the top priority of the Mayor’s Office. “All our work should be focused on helping our people,” he went on to explain.

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Politicians attending the event