Under the Agreement for Barcelona, over 300 initiatives have been launched to promote the city's social and economic recovery, with the maximum possible consensusThe Agreement for Barcelona, promoted by the City Council’s seven Municipal Groups, brings together nearly 200 participants who are working consensually towards harnessing all the city’s potential in order to overcome the crisis and create a new impetus for the city
The Agreement for Barcelona’s first follow-up meeting has just been held. The Agreement was created at the start of the Covid-19 crisis and it is a City Council tool for harnessing all the city’s potential to overcome the economic crisis and create a new impetus for the city, in consensus with the city’s stakeholders from the economic, social, educational, cultural, sport and scientific sectors, and with a Metropolitan perspective. Today, Mayor Ada Colau and Jaume Collboni, the First Deputy Mayor for Economy, Employment, Competitiveness and Taxation, chaired a meeting to monitor the evolution of the Agreement for Barcelona, which was attended by representatives from the City Council’s political groups and bodies and organisations from Barcelona’s economic, social, educational, cultural, sports and scientific sectors.
During the meeting, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, stressed that “Barcelona is a city that has always grown and overcome adversities thanks to its ability to look forwards, to listen, to reach agreements and find innovative solutions to its challenges and needs, boldly and ambitiously. That also includes this meeting, undertaken with bravery and innovation”. Colau also praised the “involvement and participation of everyone involved in this Agreement for Barcelona, which I see as a starting point for tackling a historic moment full of uncertainty and global challenges, which requires a long-term vision and the utmost coordination”. “We have the opportunity and responsibility to come out of this crisis stronger as a city and with a model for economic growth that is more socially equitable and more environmentally sustainable” she concluded.
In the opinion of Jaume Collboni, the Deputy Mayor for Economy, Employment, Competitiveness and Taxation, the monitoring document presented today shows that “we are seeing the fruits of our collective efforts to establish common lines of work and action, which we established in order to constitute and put into practice the Agreement for Barcelona for the city’s economic recovery. Collboni stressed that “the content and road map contained in this agreement, which we are implementing and fulfilling, cover all aspects of our society, and they take on special relevance since we are undertaking them with the maximum social and political consensus”. He continued, “a willingness for consensus and agreement is the natural way of doing things in Barcelona, especially for big projects and challenges, and I would like to thank everyone for their participation and especially the political groups, who have shown they are equal to this unique, historic moment, contributing ideas and projects, but also making the city governable at a time when instability has become the norm. Here, together, we have made it possible to govern Barcelona”.
Halfway through the implementation period for the initiatives in the Agreement
For the 2020-2021 period, the Agreement for Barcelona establishes ten goals as priorities for action by the City Council and all the economic, social, educational, sports and scientific stakeholders in Barcelona. These goals give rise to 73 lines of action, with over 300 specific initiatives, organised according to their strategic nature for the recovery of the city’s economic activity. Now, halfway through the implementation period for the Agreement’s measures, 71 of the 73 lines of action are under way or already implemented, while the remaining two are being studied, all grouped under these ten goals:
Over 300 actions, with special attention given to their strategic nature
A total of over 300 specific actions have been initiated, some of a markedly strategic nature, others that are new actions and others which reinforce or expand services or programmes that already exist or are being maintained during the Covid-19 crisis.
Some of the implemented actions include the expansion of space for bar terraces, subsidies and grants for self-employed people, the Digitalisation Marketplace Preparation Plan for municipal markets, the creation of the Sustainable Energy Mechanism (MES Barcelona) to increase the generation of renewable energy in the city by 66%, the Christmas campaign, the roll out of the Loneliness Strategy and the new La Llavor Inclusive Residential Centre to prevent homelessness in women, the agreement in favour of social organisations for the provision of social rental housing, the approval of the protocol for expanding Hospital Clínic, with the institutions involved and the agreement for the sites of four new Primary Care Centres (CAPs), the expansion of the Bicing service to all city districts, the consolidation of the Protecting Schools Programme (with 53 schools now having had the public space in their surrounding areas expanded and improved), the 100% Summer Campaign to ensure that the highest possible number of children have access to educational leisure activities, a new line of subsidies for scientific projects, maintaining the city’s cultural programme (El Grec, La Mercè, Districte Cultural, literary festivals, etc.), adapted to the new circumstances; the Plan for Safeguarding and Regenerating the City’s Sports System, the allocation of over €9 million of the tourism tax to promoting the post Covid-19 visitor economy and the creation of a municipal office for attracting European funds, among others.
The Agreement for Barcelona, involving everyone
Many of the actions that have been implemented over the last six months have been based on cooperation between Barcelona City Council and the city’s economic, social and non-profit stakeholders, such as professional associations, social organisations, guilds, etc. as well as official cooperation with other administrations, such as the Metropolitan Area (Urban Economic Promotion Areas Agreement), Barcelona Provincial Council (Saló Biz and the Employment Fair), the Spanish Government and the Zona Franca Consortium (Central Post Office), the Ministry of Employment (International Forum on Future Employment to be held in Barcelona);and more especially, cooperation with the Government of Catalonia in areas where the two administrations work as a consortium (such as Education) and others (the agreement on freezing public transport fares and the agreements with the Catalan Institute of Finance to favour lines of credit).
All in all, nearly 200 stakeholders take part in the Agreement for Barcelona, 60 of which form part of the General Board and have met today.