#COVID19-How local and regional authorities respond to the crisis: the case of Catalonia

Catalonia has a population of 7,727,029 citizens and, since the end of February, around 65,000 cases of coronavirus have been detected. Among all these, 4,015 have been hospitalised and, still today, 210 remain in hospitals. 11,835 people have died of coronavirus in Catalonia since then.

When the pandemic broke out, the Government of Catalonia launched measures to respond to the health, social and economic emergency. At this moment, like other European regions, we are implementing numerous actions to deal with the impact of the crisis on people's daily lives, to address the recovery from COVID-19 and to strengthen the healthcare system to become more resilient in case of new outbreaks.

I invite you to read this document, which gathers the main measures adopted by the Catalan Government, all of them from a wide range of fields of action. I highlight some examples: the translation of health recommendations into 35 languages ​​spoken in Catalonia, actions against gender-based violence and support for victims, actions to guarantee a safe fruit-picking campaign, adaptation of inmates' communications with their families or the support for SMEs and those sectors most affected such as tourism, culture, among many others.

The Catalan Government and society are well aware that we are facing a global crisis that must be addressed at the regional level. Therefore, we want to share our practices and experiences to contribute to building common strategies to gain effectiveness at the European level. Furthermore, we are convinced that it is necessary to reinforce the joint responsibility of all institutions at all levels of governance to overcome this crisis, so all European territories can come out of it on an equal footing. On this matter, we will support all the initiatives and steps to reinforce a European integration and to reach federal solutions that bolster the alignment of the internal market with European values. 

Cross-border cooperation

In this coronavirus crisis, Catalonia aims to keep on strengthening the instruments and networks of territorial cooperation. The Working Community of the Pyrenees, under the Presidency of the Government of Catalonia together with Aragón, Navarra, Euskadi, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie and Andorra, has created a COVID-19 working group to boost cross-border cooperation through its main programs. Another example is the Euroregion Pyrenees Mediterranean network, in which the Catalan Government participates with Occitanie and under the presidency of the Balearic Islands, and which has agreed to modify its 2020 work plan and its annual budget to jointly overcome the consequences of COVID-19.

We are fully convinced that cross-border and interregional cooperation is essential to maintain the core of the European project: freedom of mobility and the objective of erasing borders and considering all citizens Europeans with the same rights and well-being throughout the union. By looking at the future that awaits us, we are confident that sharing our efforts will also contribute to a common recovery from the crisis that helps strengthen the European Union.


More information

ESPON is collecting evidence on how national and local actors are reacting to the COVID-19 crisis. ESPON is open to host any other authors covering the ESPON countries