Jaume Collboni becomes the new Mayor of Barcelona

Jaume Collboni is the new Mayor of Barcelona. The number one from the electoral list for the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya was chosen by majority, with 23 votes: 10 from his own party, 9 from Barcelona en Comú and 4 from the Partit Popular. Xavier Trias, the candidate for Trias per Barcelona, received 16 votes (11 from his own party and 5 from Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya), while Gonzalo de Oro-Pulido Plaza received the 2 votes of VOX.

17/06/2023 20:15 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

In his appointment speech, Jaume Collboni declared that it was the highest honour to address the public as the new Mayor of Barcelona “humbly, to tackle the biggest challenge of my life, and boldly and with conviction, to work in the interests of the city and its citizens”.

The Mayor affirmed that today Barcelona has gained much more than a mayor, gaining “trust in democracy and politics, as we’ve been able to put collective interests first, along with city interests, individual interests and party interests. We’ve shown that good politics is possible: political understanding, with arguments and reason above dogmatism”.

In this respect, the Mayor stated that when we put Barcelona first, we’re capable of moving forward and overcoming differences, affirming “I will exercise my responsibility from the first moment with all my determination, energy and conviction, fully aware of the will expressed by the people of Barcelona and of the support that has made this possible, and with an honest and irrefutable desire: I want to be everybody’s Mayor.

The Mayor spoke up for democracy and the role of citizens as the authentic owners of the collective path that society must take in these turbulent times. He also addressed the municipal corporation: “Our fellow citizens have charged you and I with the most beautiful task in the world for the next four years, to represent their interests, wishes, challenges and concerns. And to trust you fully to defend their interests and make each other keep our word”.

The new Mayor also expressed two initial pledges: to recover and strengthen the bond between the people of Barcelona and the City Council, and to give the city a diverse, cross-cutting and parity municipal government, in keeping with what the people of Barcelona expressed at the ballot boxes.

Collboni highlighted the role of cities in the 21st century as the scene for complex global challenges such as the climate crisis and the tech revolution, and basic needs such as housing, jobs and security: “The problems of the world are to be found in city, and it’s us cities who have to solve them, we can and we must”. The Mayor also remembered the former Mayor Pasqual Maragall, when he said to his councillors: “Understand that when you improve a neighbourhood, you’re helping to improve the world”.

On the matter of new challenges, the new Mayor set out his wish for Barcelona to become a leading city in the fight against climate change, for health reasons, but also for the economy, asserting that the city needs to “urgently” advance towards the decarbonisation of our economy while guaranteeing nobody gets left behind. “With no new inequalities” he noted, “no new exclusions, no agenda of impositions, a green transition and a red heart”.

Economic and social progress will underpin this term of office, a Barcelona to live and work in, with affordable housing and decent wages, a city of opportunities, in the words of the Mayor. Collboni insisted on the issue of housing as a central element in ensuring a decent present for working families and young people in the city, announcing that Barcelona will be the first city to roll out the Housing Act by the Spanish government.

In economic terms Collboni asserted that Barcelona must be the economic capital of Catalonia, Spain and southern Europe, as “there’s no fighting inequalities if there’s no wealth to share out”. The Mayor highlighted the role of culture in the city, which must generate opportunities for everyone who makes the act of culture possible, from audiences to creators, promotors and workers, saying: “In short, without culture there’s no city”.

In the final part of his appointment speech, the Mayor remembered the mayors of Hereu, Clos, Maragall and Serra, who he referred to as maestros he had been lucky enough to learn from, as well as his more recent predecessors, Mayor Trias and Mayor Colau.

Finally, the Mayor declared that today he embarks on a precious, demanding and passionate task: “We offer the people of Barcelona future, trust, hope, generosity, solutions and understanding, I want to be everybody’s mayor, of all neighbourhoods and districts. I’m convinced the best years for Barcelona are yet to come, and they start here and now. It’s down to us to make it possible”.

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