A High Croatian government Representative visits Euskadi to learn from the Basque experience

The main objective of the visit, promoted and coordinated by Agirre Lehendakaria Center, was to gain in-depth knowledge of the Basque model of competitiveness and to explore new opportunities for strategic collaboration between the two countries.

The Croatian government side, led by the Secretary of State, Šime Erlić, was received by the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, the Deputy General of Gipuzkoa, Markel Olano, the Provincial Deputy for Economic Development of Bizkaia, Ainara Basurko and a wide variety of public and private actors of the territory.

The visit explored new areas of collaboration at a time of great importance for Croatia. Their incorporation to the European Union has meant a great transfer of resources and strategic decisions will be taken on the priority areas that will mark the future of the country. In this context, Euskadi has the opportunity to become a strategic partner for Croatia due to its experience in the successful development of a great process of socio-economic transformation in a context of great difficulties. 

Although gastronomy is an area in which both parties have been collaborating for years, the relationship is likely to expand its lines of action to other sectors, such as industry and regional development policies. In this sense, the Croatian government considers that learning from the Basque experience and how clusters have influenced its modernization is a great opportunity for its country. Both Croatia and the Basque Country have a powerful industrial sector that must activate a new environmental transition: reduce energy consumption, reduce the raw materials used and become self-sufficient in the supply of energy and raw materials. Thus, the electrification of the energy system, based on renewable generation, has been considered an area of collaboration of common interest. 

The official delegation was accompanied by a representation from the World Bank. The public policy expert, Pedro Arizti, values this type of collaboration as an important knowledge transfer in both directions. He has also drawn attention to the learning provided by the Basque agents in terms of organization, coordination and cooperation of the actors involved at all levels.