French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with Spain’s Pedro Sánchez for a joint summit in Barcelona on Thursday, while Paris seeks Spain’s support for its uncompromising stance on the dispute over US protectionism.
The summit has hatched for a “hellish” day of protests against plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 as France prepares for a devastating nationwide strike over pushing for controversial pension reforms. It is held when you are breaking.
After the meeting at the National Museum of Catalonia, the two leaders will sign a treaty of friendship and cooperation to strengthen bilateral ties on issues such as immigration, defense and energy.
With the treaty, Paris seeks to strengthen ties with its non-German neighbors, particularly those in southern Europe, and the Paris-Berlin alliance that underpins EU unity is showing signs of strain.
But President Macron’s main objective is to “join Madrid and Europe” on Europe’s response to Washington’s landmark Inflation Relief Act (IRA), a massive investment plan to accelerate the US’ transition to green energy. It is to explore the position of
Europe fears the plan to pour billions into climate-friendly technologies will distort trans-Atlantic trade and give American companies an unfair advantage.
Macron outspokenly denounced subsidies as “extremely aggressive” during a visit to Washington in November, prompting Brussels to quickly follow suit to avoid European firms using US subsidies to relocate. I hope to
So far, however, EU countries have been divided on how to deal with the IRA, and President Macron’s hardline stance has received little support in Spain.
– Europe Division –
Speaking to CNBC earlier this week, Sanchez acknowledged that Europe “has homework to do”, and in particular “sends the message that Europe, and of course Spain, is a good place to invest.” They are reconsidering their own subsidy policy of “sending to industry.”
The French leader also wants Olaf Scholz to join his position.
Scholz will be in Paris on Sunday to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the post-war Treaty of Franco-German Friendship.
The Macron-Sanchez summit comes just three months after Paris, Madrid and Lisbon agreed to build a massive underwater hydrogen pipeline to connect Barcelona and Marseille. This is the key to EU energy independence.
Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez of H2Med Pipeline (a.k.a. BarMar) said Barcelona was chosen to host the summit because “it will be central to this strategic project”.
Madrid also wants to show that the situation in the northeast Catalonia region has normalized after the separatists’ unsuccessful bid for independence in 2017.
But pro-independence groups have promised to take to the streets in droves to protest the summit that will be held there.
https://www.expatica.com/fr/general/macron-sanchez-to-ink-franco-spanish-friendship-treaty-864602/ Macron, Sanchez sign treaty of friendship between France and Spain