November 2015

Barcelona re-elected member of the executive committee of Eurocities

Barcelona was re-elected member of the executive committee of Eurocities for the next 3 years in the conference and general assembly of the network, which took place in Copenhagen from 4th to 6th November 2015.  The priorities of the candidature of Barcelona for the next 3 years are: to work on, and go in depth with, fields such as cohesion, social and solidarity economy, and policies for asylum and refugees, among others.

The Mayor Ada Colau participated in the two sessions of the political debate: one about the issue of the refugees in the European cities, and the other about environmental policies, as preparation for the next meeting of the COP21. The Mayor was accompanied by the First Deputy Mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, the person politically responsible for International relations of the City Council. 

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor took advantage of their trip to Copenhagen to hold an interview with the city's Mayor, Franck Jensen, as well as with the Mayor of Nantes and the President of Eurocities, Johanna Rolland and the Secretary General of Eurocities, Anna Lisa Boni.

  November 2015

Barcelona hosts the 15th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates about the refugees' crisis

 »      The First Deputy Mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, has highlighted the effort of Barcelona to become a world reference for peace, and has made a self-criticism regarding the "non-ideal" context within which this summit is being carried out, with open conflicts and the crisis of the refugees as a notable element on the world political agenda.     

 »      The city has hosted the 15th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which was held between the 13th and 15th November, under the heading "Advocating for Refugees. Achieving the World Peace".

Barcelona hosted between the 13th and 15th November the 15th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, under the heading "Advocating for Refugees. Achieving the World Peace".  Gerardo Pisarello, opened the Press Conference for the presentation of the Summit, and together with the Nobel Peace Laureates Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Phil Lord Clerk, and Ekaterina Zagladina, President of the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit, presented 15th edition of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

Gerardo Pisarello stated the fact that "Barcelona was hosting the 15th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in a non-ideal context" and highlighted the conflicts in Syria and Libya as an example that appeals to the responsibility of the whole world, not only in terms of working towards the construction of peace and the absence of war, but also to achieve the conditions for being able to count on the structural elements so that the human rights are preserved". The Deputy Mayor was very critical regarding the situation in Spain: "I would like to remind everyone that it is the second country in the world in terms of the number of missing persons, due to the dictatorship of Franco and the Civil War, and in this point we should be self-critical as a country for this reason”, he said. Pisarello recalled the effort of Barcelona to be a reference in terms of Human Rights and the reception of refugees, and pointed out that this year alone 48 women have died from domestic sexist violence, and that there are still people threatened with the loss of their homes, in extreme conditions of unemployment, and without access to basic needs such as heating or water supply".

Barcelona was the meeting point for the main personalities in matters related to human rights and construction of peace. 

The 15th edition of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates focused this year on the humanitarian crisis of the refugees, especially dramatic in the Mediterranean, but which affects all of Europe and the world as a whole. So as to tackle this issue and to debate how to deal with this world crisis, the result of the current wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or other countries and regions of the world,  personalities and Nobel Peace Laureates gathered together in Barcelona from the world of social, political and economic activism, and defenders of peace.  Among the Nobel Peace Laureates present in the summit were Oscar Arias Sánchez, Frederik Willem De Klerk, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Tawakkul Karman, Lord David Trimble, Lech Walesa, Betty Williams, Phil Lord, Carlos Martin-Novella, Ingeborg Breines, the Inter-Governmental Group about Climate Change, members of the International Peace Bureau, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and members of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, amongst other personalities. 

The sessions of debate opened on Friday 13th November, with an inaugural ceremony in the presence of the authorities, Nobel Peace Laureates and members of the international community and local guests and was open to the press.  The sessions of debate tackled issues such as "No more walls, bridges for freedom", “Climate change, nature's warning”, “Women in leadership for a more democratic society”, or “Invest in peace, end up in war”.

To bring the event to a close, the winner was announced of the Summit's Peace Prize, which in other years has recognised Sharon Stone, Sean Penn, Roberto Baggio, Annie Lennox, Bono, George Clooney or Bernardo Bertolucci, amongst other personalities.  It also recognised the task of a local entity or person, who had been notable an outstanding contribution in this field.

The summit ended with the awards ceremony and a press conference that included the main conclusions of the sessions.

  October 2015

Barcelona renews its vice-presidency of the Eurocities Social Affairs Forum

Laia Ortiz highlights the commitment of the new government to prioritise the fight against social inequalities


The Deputy Mayor for Social Rights, Laia Ortiz, has been elected vice-president of the Social Forum of Eurocities renewing Barcelona’s active commitment for the second year running, and highlighting the city’s lead in the design and implementation local government social policies.

Within the framework of the Eurocities meeting on Inclusive Labour Markets, Laia Ortiz presented Barcelona's candidacy for re-election, stressing the commitment of the new municipal government to prioritize the fight against social inequalities and to develop policies guaranteeing basic rights, such as housing, food or provisions, "with special emphasis on combatting child poverty" she said.

"We are convinced that to achieve these objectives is essential to promote cooperation and exchange in best practices among European cities", said Laia Ortiz, who also referred to the "importance of cities and their networks to provide a better response to the refugee crisis in Europe".

Leipzig has also renewed its presidency of the Eurocities Social Affairs Forum. The meeting brought together representatives of several European cities to discuss objectives and policies on youth unemployment, social inclusion through green jobs, and long-term unemployment, among others.