The Government begins a round through the autonomous communities to address the “challenge and opportunities” that open up in Spain in the post-covid era. Pedro Sánchez has involved European commissioners in the tour in which he will participate, as well as the vice-presidents and several ministers, to rethink the future and in which the Executive will be present in the 17 communities. For now, three European commissioners and three vice-presidents of the Commission have confirmed their presence, according to government sources.
Sánchez proposes a “great national dialogue” to decide “Spain 30 years from now”
Under the name ‘Dialogues about the future’, Moncloa’s National Prospective and Strategy Office has organized 40 conferences, the conclusions of which will be incorporated into the Spain 2050 strategy. When Sánchez presented this project, he announced his intention to launch a “great national dialogue to socialize the conversation and that not only the academy but also the citizens participate “, explains to elDiario.es the director of the Office, Diego Rubio. The other leg that converges and for which the European institutions have been involved in the initiative is the order of the European Commission to the member states to launch dialogues on the future of Europe. “It asked each country to organize activities to gather the opinion of the public on issues,” says Rubio. The intention of the Government and The EU is taking advantage of these days to add reflections on these matters to the platform on which these ideas are being collected so that they can be used for the new strategic plan for Europe.
For the president, it is also important to attract the EU at a time of tension in Spain. The support of the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Layen, is a bottle of oxygen in the face of the “furious opposition” who reproaches Pablo Casado, who is from his political family. “It is a joint initiative of the Government, the European Commission and the European Parliament and other 60 public institutions, mainly foundations, town councils, regional governments and universities,” explains Rubio, who emphasizes that the initiative is a “country effort” and that it has worked side by side regardless of ideology. “It is very transversal. There are no closed questions that are always open. We want it to be an open conversation from scratch without apriorisms,” he adds.
“The objective is to mitigate the short-termism so typical of our time, broaden the horizons of public debate, enrich the strategic thinking of our institutions and offer citizens an open platform to participate in the conversation about the country that we can and want to be in the coming decades, “Moncloa points out in a press release.
In the nearly one hundred debates that the Government wants to promote, which will address issues such as energy, depopulation, education, health or water, among others, more than 500 speakers will participate, including several European vice-presidents and commissioners ; regional presidents and councilors; ministers; secretaries of state; experts from the European Commission and the European Parliament; analysts from international organizations such as the United Nations or the OECD; mayors; but also representatives of companies, academics, journalists and leaders of the third sector and civil society, according to that note. The idea is also to hold 37 citizen workshops in which they can raise “proposals and talk with senior public officials, academic experts and influencers“.
Rubio affirms that a quarter of the time will be devoted to an open shift with the citizens at the discussion tables. There will be an expert who will “play the role of facilitator” asking a series of questions. From the conversation, the European Commission will keep the ideas that are interesting to it and the Government will do the same with regard to the Spain 2050 Strategy.
The first dialogue will be on companies and will be held in Seville next week. The first vice president of the Government, Nadia Calviño; the European Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn; and the mayor, Juan Espadas. Subsequently, several round tables will be held. In the first, under the title “What productive fabric does Spain need?” The CEOE president, Antonio Garamendi, will participate, along with Calviño.
The next topic will be energy. It will be addressed in Cáceres at a time when the increase in the price of electricity has led the Government to take extraordinary measures to alleviate its effect on the final bill of consumers for which it has the endorsement of Brussels. In this case, the Government will intervene the Vice President of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, and representatives of second levels of the European Commission.
The work will be addressed at the following appointment in Santander. The leading voice in that case will be led by Vice President Yolanda Díaz and will include, among others, the presence of the CCOO leader, Unai Sordo.
From there, fourteen other Spanish cities will host conferences on the future: on cities, on the Circular Economy, on digitization, on science and technology, on poverty and inequality, on aging, on water, on gender equality, the health system, education, depopulated Spain, Mobility and Transport, and higher education.