Barcelona City Council began its work in international cooperation and solidarity nearly twenty years ago, in a context marked by popular demand for 0.7% of GDP in aid for the war in the Balkans (especially because of the impact of what was happening in Sarajevo) and by the citizen solidarity movement that the war and other international wrongs stirred into action.

This year that citizen demand has come true in Barcelona.  Since 2015 the City Council has allocated 0.7% of its own income to cooperation for global justice. This economic effort is first of all channelled towards financing projects presented by various city bodies specialising in global justice (organisations, universities, secondary schools, unions, etc.)  The more than one hundred interventions that are annually funded through public competitions and calls for grant and subsidy applications are split into different categories.

But a second part of the effort is allocated to city-to city cooperation, with Barcelona City Council professionals providing and administering technical assistance to other city councils. Support is currently being given to cities such as Maputo (Mozambique), Havana (Cuba), Tetuan (Morocco), Sidon (Lebanon), Amman (Jordan), Tunis (Tunisia), Mitrovica (Kosovo) and Medellín (Colombia) in such areas as urban planning, libraries, accessibility policies, museum studies, archives, urban resilience, public health, urban ecology, water-cycle management etc.

Barcelona is a global city with an increasingly internationalised economy. That means that it has an increasingly important footprint that has to be managed and this is done through other policies (on such issues as public procurement, energy, commerce, reception and migrations, education, business promotion and the tourist model, culture).  That is why broad-ranging and coherent cooperation initiatives are being rolled out in collaboration with the other departments, notably the project for applying human-rights criteria to municipal procurement.

Barcelona City Council cooperation is a city policy where a key role is played by the Municipal Council for International Development Cooperation, which has various working groups and is the main co-production space.  Cooperation is also guided by the four-year Master Plan for Global Justice. The unit that manages the 0.7% is the Department for Global Justice and International Cooperation, currently made up by a team of thirteen people.

 Peaceful demonstration at Plaça Catalunya