DIPLOCAT Plenary Session signs off the 2021 Work Plan

The goal is to combine online and face-to-face activities whenever circumstances allow

DIPLOCAT's Plenary Session chaired by Bernat Solé, Minister of Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency, was held online this afternoon. At the meeting, the 2021 Work Plan was signed off after it had been presented by Laura Foraster, DIPLOCAT's secretary general.

Laura Foraster said that next year's Work Plan has been shaped by two issues. Firstly, and obviously, "because of the COVID-19 pandemic which has meant that some activities scheduled for 2020 have been pushed back to 2021 in the hope that the situation will improve, while others have been reworked to tailor them to a digital format." Secondly, the 2021 Work Plan no longer includes the expression 'public diplomacy' to refer to DIPLOCAT's operations "in compliance with a recent ruling by Spain's Constitutional Court".

The planned activities announced by DIPLOCAT's secretary general include the following: monitoring the presence of Catalonia in the international media and on social networks; conducting a survey about the perception of Catalonia in 15 countries in Europe and the Americas; visits to Portugal and Switzerland to learn about best practice models in social policies and the struggle against territorial imbalance respectively; jointly organising the Euro-Mediterranean Documentary Market (MEDIMED); promoting Saint George's Day activities through the Books & Roses platform; and maintaining the international relations scholarship programme.

In 2021, promoting the international reach of local entities will continue with a dedicated plan and the year will begin with a series of talks set to kick off on 11 January. More digital panel discussions and face-to-face conversations whenever possible will also be hosted, including one about sport as a tool for social inclusion planned with FC Barcelona. DIPLOCAT's intention is to work together with the consortium's members and also with other organisations in holding these events.

Meanwhile, Minister Solé commented that "DIPLOCAT's 2021 Work Plan shows that we are still firmly pledged to raising our profile abroad." He further mentioned "the need to share good practices with other countries, especially in these challenging times of pandemic management which entail constant global interconnection." Solé called for the greatest effort and responsibility in addressing this "multiple and systemic crisis, which we will ride out as a result of the commitment shared with civil society and the consortium's member organisations".

DIPLOCAT was founded in 2012 as a public-private consortium. It connects Catalonia to the world and fosters activities that promote the image of the country abroad, creating links and relationships of trust with the citizens and institutions of other countries. In addition, DIPLOCAT encourages civil society and Catalan entities to become involved and contribute to the main global challenges and debates. It fosters their ability to be major players on the international stage in order to establish durable bridges of dialogue over time with the aim of listening and being heard.

DIPLOCAT is the successor to the Patronat Catalunya Món and the earlier Patronat Català Pro Europa, an entity created in 1982 that was a pioneer in Catalan relations with the EU. The consortial and pluralistic nature of the entity has been maintained over the years and under its different names.

The consortium is made up of 38 members, including public institutions, businesses, entities in the social, trade union and sports sectors, universities, business schools and educational institutions.