Talent management in the field of foreign action and relations with the European Union

The Government of Catalonia’s proposed law on the Foreign Action and European Union Corps enjoys broad support and consensus

Yesterday afternoon, a conference entitled "Talent Management in the Field of Foreign Action and Relations with the European Union" took place in Barcelona, organised by the Catalan Government's Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union, the Public Administration School of Catalonia (EAPC) and DIPLOCAT. The objective was to understand different models for recruiting and providing continuous training for specialised public sector personnel working in the area of foreign action and relations with the European Union.

The event began with the talk "A paradigm shift: from civil service to public service, putting talent at the core" from the director of the EAPC, Ismael Peña. This was followed by two debates led by DIPLOCAT's Secretary General, Laura Foraster y Lloret. The first included participation from Louis Loureiro de Amorim, Head of the International Relations Unit of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO), and Alicia Corral Suela, Secretary for Public Administration and Civil Service of the Government of Catalonia. The second featured contributions from Koen Jongbloet, Director of the Flemish Government´s Diplomatic Academy, and Alicia Uceira de Pablo, Director of Services for the Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union. They all reflected on public talent management and shared experiences and best practices for selecting civil servants specialised in international relations.

The Catalan Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, brought the day's session to a close. Serret argued in favour of the Government's initiative to create a corps of civil servants specialising in foreign action and the European Union, describing it as "an opportunity to retain existing talent and at the same time attract talent from outside the administration". "It is a national necessity," she said. The minister stressed that foreign action is an unwavering priority for the Government and that the country needs specialised personnel to be able to put it into practice thoroughly and ambitiously. "We must strengthen Catalonia's projection and influence abroad and facilitate the promotion of the Generalitat's interests and policies," she stated. Serret also insisted that the commitment to bring the law on the foreign action corps to fruition remains intact despite the fact that its processing has been halted due to the calling of elections to the Catalan Parliament. Furthermore, she pointed out that the proposed law has broad support both within the sector and from the stakeholders involved, based upon the consensus and collaboration of trade union representatives, professional associations, and parliamentary groups.

Last October, the Government took the first step with the approval of the draft bill for the creation of the Foreign Action and EU Corps, in implementation of Law 16/2014, of 4 December, on foreign action and relations with the European Union. The objective of the corps is to further professionalise the Generalitat's foreign action and reinforce its cross-cutting and cohesive vision, as it's expected that corps personnel will play a role in all Government departments. This, in turn, should secure a better return on the Government's public policies for the country and its citizens by extending Catalonia's global reach.