The fourth deputy mayor of Barcelona City Council Jordi Valls stakes a claim for Barcelona as a driving force in Europe

The fourth deputy mayor of Economy, Finance, Economic Promotion and Tourism of the Barcelona City Council, Jordi Valls, gave the conference entitled "Barcelona in Europe: responsibilities and opportunities" on Barcelona's role in an uncertain global environment at the Cercle d'Economia, analyzing its assets and opportunities, but also the threats and challenges that the city faces.

Jordi Valls stated that "today Barcelona is at the stage of defining its strategy in the face of a changing world and must choose the path it wants to take in order to address the challenges that we as a society face". He also highlighted that "Barcelona is a global, connected, export-driven city that has very important assets to help build a Europe that must reassert itself in an environment of technological and climatic disruption and societal polarization".

Jordi Valls pointed out some challenges that Barcelona still must tackle, such as improving its structure and making it more attractive to venture capital, translating scientific and knowledge-generating capacity into economic growth, attracting, generating and taking advantage of local talent, promoting the Ibero-American character of Barcelona and Catalonia by bringing it closer to Latin America, as well as looking further east, positioning itself as a bridge with Asia, from Japan to India, with the expansion of the airport. "Highlighting these sectors does not mean giving up on other assets, such as tourism, but we can't just be an outdoor museum", he added. "In this area we need to make progress in managing tourism because we love tourists but we do not want to live solely from tourism. I sincerely believe that we have enough assets to aspire to more", said Valls.

The fourth deputy mayor of the Barcelona City Council assured that "Barcelona and Catalonia are not just a market, they are above all an open, entrepreneurial, scientific, committed, Catalan society, which wants to collaborate together with the business world to face the challenges of the European Union". "Now we have to stop thinking about the help that Europe can give us in order to aspire to lead in areas where we have assets. To achieve this we need public leadership, excellence in science and academia, and mobilization and joint responsibility from the private sector", he proposed.

In reference to the Barcelona City Council's budget for 2024, Jordi Valls explained that "the city council has a proven track record of solvency that allows it to present an ambitious budget with professionals, who represent the city's 'Public Management', with a level of professionalism that is not often sufficiently recognized or valued". "The draft budget has intangibles that are important and that have to do with the need to build trust in and among us", he maintained.

Asked about the possibilities of a political pact in the city council, Jordi Valls stated that "in order to achieve a governance agreement everyone has to be clear that they have to give up something in their program". Regarding an agreement with Xavier Trias, he stated that "we must see how their political formation evolves in the future".