Study visits to Barcelona

By KFrenken

This May, EIPA Barcelona organised a ten-day ‘internship’ within the ‘Town Twinning between Turkey and the EU’ programme in which ten senior public officials from Turkish institutions: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both the Union of Municipalities and the Union of Provinces, and the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation had the opportunity to acquire a solid combination of practical and theoretic knowledge on topical issues such as city-to-city cooperation schemes, city-to-EU participatory channels and relevant institutions, networks and partnerships for complying with EU policies and practices.

The specific goals of the ‘internship’ were:

  • to improve the administrative capacity of the participants (and, by extension, their public institutions) for town twinning and to get involved in other forms of city networks and cooperation programmes;
  • to enable the transfer of know-how/best practices in the fields of city partnerships, multilevel governance, innovation practices, cooperation-related EU policies etc.;
  • to foster understanding of the institutional and organisational setting required in order to make a success of the abovementioned actions as well as to promote future collaboration opportunities.

The City of Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is home to more than 1.6 million inhabitants and is at the heart of a metropolitan area covering 2 500 km² and with a population of close to five million, representing 63.4% and 10.2% of the Catalan and Spanish populations respectively. As one of Europe’s most innovative, vibrant and interconnected cities, the diverse, intercultural and cosmopolitan spirit of Barcelona can also be seen in the fact that almost 20% of the city’s residents are from outside Spain.

It has a well-known and well-established ‘ecosystem’ combining academia, businesses and entrepreneurs, and public organisations. In 2014, Barcelona was the European Capital of …read more

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