25th anniversary of the opening of the Basque Country Delegation to the European Union, and 35th anniversary of Basque institutional presence in Brussels - Commemoration of a pro-European milestone in Basque foreign affairs

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2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Basque Country Delegation to the European Union, as well as the 35th anniversary of the Basque Country’s institutional presence in European institutions in Brussels. 1996 was a milestone in Basque foreign affairs with the opening of the Delegation in Brussels, reinforcing the active presence of Basque institutions and agents at the epicentre of European decision-making. The Delegation has become the flagship for the defence of Basque interests in the EU, as well as a working tool in favour of Basque interests and influence on the European agenda.

Different initiatives and activities will be held to mark the anniversary that will accompany the European agenda priorities and the Basque positioning. These include a series of events alongside Eurobask to include the opinions of the Basque Country public to be heard in the debate on the Future of Europe different events will also be promoted to bring visibility to the Basque Country to address the climate-energy and digital transition in an inclusive way. Economic recovery, adaptation to climate change, culture and creation aligned with innovation and sustainability under the New European Bauhaus, the circular economy, smart specialisation and the response to future challenges, will be some of the items represented in the activities and initiatives taking place with Basque agents and European partners.

Given the increasing complexity of European policies, the Delegation has become a structure that provides enormous added value to the different agents in their relations with the European institutions. It also functions as a sounding board for good economic, educational, political, social and cultural practices developed in the Basque Country, and many other areas. One crucial aspect is the joint work carried out in association with European partners and networks, and the loyalty of collaboration with European institutions

The Delegation has hosted work meetings, meetings of public authorities and associations related to European projects and initiatives, conferences, press appearances, etc. over the last 25 years and it has also served as a meeting point between the different Basque Government delegations that have travelled to Brussels over the years, most of them headed by the President of the Basque Country, and the Basque community settled in Belgium.

There has been outstanding support of the European Union together with European partners received by the Basque Country over the last 25 years across the board, promoting wealth creation, sustainable development, job creation, innovation, cultural promotion and increased competitiveness in the economic environment.

Delegation of the Basque Country for the European Union, a pro-European vocation

The Basque Government institutional structure, which is part of the network of Delegations abroad, and reporting to the General Secretariat for External Affairs of the Presidency of the Basque Government, has reaffirmed the Pro-European vocation and the desire to be partners and co-responsible in the construction of a strong, supportive, innovative, sustainable, inclusive, plural and cohesive European Union. Its headquarters, located in the heart of Brussels, was opened in February 1996 by President of the Basque Country Ardanza. Much progress has been made since 1996 in the defence and consolidation of socio-economic, professional and sectoral interests, improving the well-being of all Basque citizens by expanding the benefits offered by the EU, building bridges, collaboration and joint work with the institutions and European partners as well as participating in the European construction and bringing Europe closer to the Basque Country.

The Delegation has multiple roles including representing the interests of the Basque Country among the institutions of the European Union and the different multilateral organisations and bodies based in Brussels. The monitoring of community legislative initiatives that affect the powers of the Autonomous Community; the establishment of relations between the Basque authorities and agents with community institutions and technical consultation, as a support logistics hub, of public and private entities willing to participate on a community basis.