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Major bilateral progress on the Pyrenean border

On 8 March 2022, the MOT took part in Franco-Spanish working seminar that took place in Paris with Paco Boya, the Spanish State Secretary for the Demographic Challenge, and Joël Giraud, the French Minister for Territorial Cohesion.

In the presence of the Director-General of the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion (ANCT), Yves le Breton, and the Ambassador for Intergovernmental Commissions, Cooperation and Cross-Border Issues, Philippe Voiry, the meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the formulation of a bilateral Franco-Spanish strategy, and to review the key issues for the Pyrenean border.

Drawing on feedback from the MOT’s network and its latest territorial meetings, the association, in the person of its Director-General, Jean Peyrony, outlined several major themes intended to inform the strategy (multilingualism, transport, healthcare, functional areas and adapting to climate change).

The ANCT set out to the Spanish State Secretary its instruments to support the attractiveness of rural and mountain areas (the Rural Agenda, Mountains Programme, Small Towns of Tomorrow, France Services, New Places New Links, Industrial Territories, etc.).

Lastly, the seminar contributed to a joint reflection aimed at improving the account taken of the issues of declining and ageing populations and the attractiveness of territories, which Spain is strongly impacted by.

The link with European cohesion policy, in line with the European Commission’s communication of 30 June 2021 on a long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas, was highlighted.

In anticipation of further meetings desired by both sides, the MOT wishes them every success with this work, in coordination with and for the benefit of the Pyrenees territories.

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Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas rural areas Mountainous areas Pyrenees Adaptation to climate change functional areas Spain France health transport Multilingualism green deal