A delegation of Andorran liberals, led by Ferran Costa, leader of the Liberal group in the Andorran parliament, visited the Renew Europe group in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) to explore opportunities for partnership with EU regions and cities within the context of the future Association Agreement EU-Andorra.
In the heart of the Pyrenees, Andorra is a micro-state with a full-member seat at the United Nations, surrounded by two EU member states without itself being an EU member, although its currency is the euro. This unique status means that its interlocutors for official purposes are the governments of Spain and France, in Madrid and Paris, and the European Commission in Brussels, but the reality of the day-to-day life of its citizens and businesses means that direct relations with the regions and municipalities of the Pyrenees are a strategic priority for Andorra.
During their visit to the CoR, the Andorran delegation met with the Renew Europe Secretary General, Sean O’Curneen, and Political Advisor Vanesa Knezevic, and discussed the opportunities for Andorra in the area of climate change, education and employment, but also to look into the future, how to develop relations with the European Committee of the Regions and its members and exploring the potential for a Pyrenean Macro-regional Strategy.
Ferran Costa said:
We have had a very fruitful visit which has revealed to us a number of opportunities to bring Andorra closer to the EU and to integrate the people of Andorra more closely into the European family, with new ideas for our Association Agreement, hoping to have an agreed text by the end of 2022, or early 2023 and an expected entry into force at early 2024. Learning that the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy is already potentially open to us, without having to wait for the Association Agreement was a pleasant discovery
Sean O’Curneen said:
The situation of Andorra is truly unique, with two EU member states surrounding it, and Andorrans therefore experiencing life through the prism of the European Union in so many ways, yet not being a part of the Union itself. The European Committee of the Regions is a unique body within the EU institutional structure, as the home at European level of the regions and municipalities which are immediate or close neighbours of Andorra. It can thus serve as a useful facilitator of contacts once the Association Agreement enters into force between Andorra and those regions for the development of smooth cross-border collaboration
Map credit: DG Regio