From borders to horizons

The VIII Luso-Spanish Parliamentary Forum was very conclusive and extremely important for the strengthening of relations between Portugal and Spain, in which I had the opportunity to participate on behalf of the CDS-PP and which took place last weekend

The VIII Portuguese-Spanish Parliamentary Forum was very conclusive and extremely important for the strengthening of relations between Portugal and Spain, in which I had the opportunity to participate on behalf of the CDS-PP and which took place last weekend. The Forum brought to Lisbon a delegation of Spanish deputies of great political importance and of the first line, such as Ana Pastor Júlian or Adolfo Suárez Illana. Led by the President of the Congress of Deputies, Meritxell Batet Lamaña, the delegation included three vice-presidents of the Spanish parliament.
These meetings started in 2009 and aim to contribute to the substantive content of Government Summits, while establishing an annual assessment of bilateral relations between neighboring countries. In this edition, the main theme of the talks was that of cross-border cooperation - which will also be the subject of the next Portugal-Spain Government Summit - including the development of economic growth opportunities, the creation of jobs and the improvement of living conditions in these territories. .
Particularly important for the debate was the question of European Union funds for the implementation of measures targeted at cross-border territories, in particular the Fund for a Just Transition, especially designed to support the regions most affected by digital and climate transitions. And, of course, also the urgency of implementing the Recovery Plan agreed in July at the European Council.
What parliamentarians defend and which was expressed in the summary document of the conclusions agreed between the two countries, is that a Common Strategy for Cross-Border Development must be implemented, which should “allow transforming the border not into a limit of peripheries, but into an axis of centrality, and, as such, take care to guarantee equal opportunities and the free exercise of citizens' rights on both sides of the border; the adequate provision of basic services adapted to the territory and the reality of the communities residing there; or the intelligent use of resources on both sides of the border ”.
Strengthen and modernize roads and infrastructures as well as proximity transport, advance the joint management of basic services in the areas of education, health, social services or civil protection, promote the teaching of Portuguese in the Spanish education system and the Spanish in Portuguese education, fostering synergies in the field of medical emergency response in border areas and facilitating the establishment of economic activities in border territories for job creation in disadvantaged territories. These were some of the decisions taken by the deputies at this Iberian meeting.
Let us now hope that the governments of both parties will continue to make the suggestions of their parliaments a reality and that borders will soon be transformed into horizons.

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