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The Committee on General Affairs of the Council of the European Union has included on the agenda of the next meeting the proposal for the constitution of the new Atlantic macro-region

2023 December 5
  • The Basque Government considers the news very positive, since it endorses the efforts made so far

The spokesperson for the Basque Government and Minister of Culture and Linguistic Policy, Bingen Zupiria, appeared at the usual press conference after the Governing Council meeting.

Firstly, the spokesperson reported the information offered by the President in the Governing Council meeting, regarding the developments that are taking place around the demand that is being led from the Basque Country for the constitution of an Atlantic Macro-region. As explained by the President at the meeting, the Committee on General Affairs of the Council of the European Union has already included in the agenda of its next meeting on December 12 the proposal for the consideration of this new body, a fact that the Government considers very positive and endorses the efforts we have made so far.

Zupiria reported that Europe today has four macro-regions: Baltic, Adriatic-Ionian, Alpine, Danube and the Basque Country, “together with the countries and regions that make up the Atlantic Arc, we want to be the fifth region, as the President has stressed on numerous occasions,” the spokesman added. “And the main reason, is that we aspire to continue playing a relevant role in Europe. The countries and regions that make up the Atlantic Arc observe with concern how the centre of gravity of Europe is shifting eastwards, to the detriment of the face of the Atlantic region. We therefore consider it important that there is a multilevel effort that, through institutions, economic and social fabric, as well as the entities and associations of all the Atlantic countries and territories, drives the need to create a macro-region. Such a region will overcome borders and contribute to boosting corridors, improving connections and contributing to the demographic challenge and opportunities to improve the lives of the citizens of this part,” he concluded.

INSTITUTIONAL DECLARATION ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HUMAN RIGHTS

The Governing Council today approved the institutional declaration on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On this 75th anniversary, the Basque Government wanted to revalidate its commitment to a culture of all human rights for all people. “We denounce the enormous inequalities that prevent hundreds of millions of people from accessing their most basic rights, such as food, water, housing and education. We also denounce the situation of people living under regimes that do not respect the principles of equality and non-discrimination, as well as the most fundamental conditions of freedom. Armed conflicts pose one of the greatest obstacles to the enjoyment of human rights, especially when civilian targets are attacked, as is the case in places such as Ukraine and Palestine, to give two current examples. The challenge of climate change also presents new challenges of an unprecedented dimension. Mitigation and adaptation commitments are key to avoiding massive suffering that violates human rights. We recall that the General Assembly has recognised the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a human right. In our country, human rights and the promise of equality and justice that they entail are an unfinished business that requires permanent attention and action to deepen labour rights, equality, the end of gender violence and universal access to housing and decent work, to name just a few of those rights. In our society, there are particularly vulnerable groups to which we must pay additional attention, such as people with disabilities, migrants and people at risk of exclusion. The Basque Country also poses specific challenges, such as those associated with the memory of political violence or the specific needs for the protection and promotion of linguistic diversity.”

“Human rights challenge us and also imply citizen commitment, civic responsibility and interpersonal solidarity. Every person has duties with respect to the community, since only in it can they freely and fully develop their personality. That is why we join and invite society to join the UN’s I commit campaign: I will make the principles of the Universal Declaration a reality in my daily life ,” concluded Zupiria.

AGREEMENTS OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL

As usual, the spokesperson, Bingen Zupiria, provided information on other issues discussed and approved in the Governing Council meeting.

The Governing Council has today authorised the Basque Institute of Finance to contribute 5 million Euros to the Talde Deuda Alternativa FILPE (European Long-Term Investment Funds) fund with the aim of continuing to support the Basque productive fabric, which will allow the Basque Institute of Finance to hold a 6.63% stake in this fund, whose main purpose is to raise funds to manage them and invest them in medium-sized companies. As Zupiria explained, for several years the European Union has been trying to promote and favour the creation of new financial and investment tools, especially aimed at SMEs, which are alternatives to the current channels and which allow diversification of funding sources. “And this is what will be carried out with this decision - in this case designed for Basque SMEs - through this contribution to the Talde Alternative Debt Fund, so that these companies can reduce their dependence on bank financing,” he added.

Finally, the Government has approved the signing of the second Addendum to the collaboration agreement for the development of the urban trade promotion programme in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Donostia and Bilbao for the year 2024. This agreement, which seeks to continue promoting local commerce, will be carried out in collaboration with the urban commerce platforms Gasteiz On, San Sebastian Shop and Bilbao Dendak, into which merchants' associations from the three capitals are integrated.

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