On the occasion of a three-day trip from Baden-Württemberg to Spain, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann and the Catalan President Pere Aragonès met in Barcelona on October 6, 2023. Among other things, the political agenda included the successful cooperation between Catalonia and Baden-Württemberg in the network of the Four Motors for Europe as well as the bilateral cooperation in the field of green hydrogen. Minister-President Kretschmann also visited the research center for hydrogen at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia as well as the port of Barcelona, which is to be developed into a green energy hub in Europe.
Minister-President Kretschmann sees Catalonia as a strong partner alongside Baden-Württemberg. “Both regions are at the center of a profound transformation, especially in the automotive industry. Alternative drives, electric mobility, hydrogen and regenerative fuels are key topics for us. As innovation regions, however, we are also particularly well positioned to successfully master this transformation and can also be a role model for others," said Kretschmann during his visit. The Catalan President Aragonès also emphasized the positive nature of the bilateral cooperation: “It is an alliance that reinforces the central role of Catalonia in Europe's energy transition and, therefore, we will continue to work together based on cooperation and the sum of efforts to promote green hydrogen as one of the energies of the future of Europe”.
Regarding the recently established cooperation between Baden-Württemberg and Catalonia in the field of green hydrogen, the two delegations agreed on three joint steps for the future. Initially, the two regions will conduct a “mapping”, a joint assessment of the state of play in terms of existing technologies, expertise and infrastructure in both regions in order to match the specific needs for cooperation of the two regions. Similarly, they will launch joint missions, bringing companies and research institutions together physically and in a very practical way. Finally, a joint mobility and training program for PhD researchers on the topic of green hydrogen and renewable energies is also planned as part of the European Union's Horizon Europe program.