The document is the result of the VIII Portuguese-Spanish Parliamentary Forum, which brought together dozens of parliamentarians from Portugal and Spain in the Assembly of the Republic, and which is intended to make a “contribution” to the work of the next summit of Portuguese-Spanish governments, to be held in Guarda on 2 October.
The Portuguese and Spanish parliamentarians promise to deepen the relationship between their parliamentary institutions, “through the creation of more flexible structures”, and advocate giving priority to cooperation between border territories, based on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021/2027 and the Plan for Recovery and Resilience.
In her brief speech at the closing session, the President of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Catalan Socialist Meritxell Batet, argued that institutional cooperation between the two countries should not be limited to their respective governments and stressed the importance of parliaments as “pluralist” bodies of sovereignty.
In the same vein, the President of the Portuguese Parliament, Ferro Rodrigues, noted that even in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, dialogue between the parliaments of Portugal and Spain had been “consolidated”.
In the speech that opened the VIII Portuguese-Spanish Parliamentary Forum - which preceded that of the President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain, Meritxell Batet ,- Ferro Rodrigues argued that “friendship, coexistence and even complicity between Portugal and Spain, are not limited to government-to-government relations: They are the expression of the reciprocal affection that unites us all”.
“In the parliamentary dimension of this relationship, the forum has always been a space of dialogue, of understanding and also of willingness to act,” he said.
From the point of view of Ferro Rodrigues, Portugal and Spain are faced with a common problem, the desertification of the interior, with both countries experiencing “an aging population, erosion of economic activity, emptying of public and social services” all factors that “create imbalances that weaken the affected regions and collective welfare.
“The implementation of the common strategy for territorial development between Portugal and Spain is of the utmost importance. Mobility, transport, energy or the environment are all areas that clearly benefit greatly from our joint action. Undoubtedly, this needs the impetus of the central powers of both states,” he said.
Ferro Rodrigues also advocated that Portugal and Spain should fight forest fires, defend biodiversity, fight climate change and defend environmental quality”.