Agirre Lehendakaria Center and UPV-EHU sign a collaboration agreement with the Ministry of Economy in Croatia
- The main goal is to identify positive experiences in the Basque economic transformation that could be replicated in the Mediterranean country.
- This agreement is the result of the intervention and paradiplomacy work Agirre Center has been doing in Croatia since 2013.
- Both parties will meet at least twice a year and present brief reports, as well as organize workshops and conferences.
Last July 6, 7 and 8 a delegation of the Ministry of Economy in Croatia, led by Ivan Vrdoljak, will visit the Basque Country. The main goal was to sign a collaboration agreement with Agirre Lehendakaria Center and the University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU, in order to advice the Mediterranean country in regards to the Basque model of successful Economic transformation, especially in the re-industrialization and cluster policies fields, as well as the Basque Sustainable Human Development model.
PHOTO: Signing of the agreement: Juan Jose Ibarretxe (ALC Director and former Lehendakari), Iñaki Goirizelaia (UPV-EHU Chancellor) and Ivan Vrdoljak (Minister of Economy in Croatia)
During the visit, the Croatian delegation visited the facilities of Tekniker, Mondragon Corporation and Basque Culinary Center and took a hands-on approach to the work of several Basque institutions and technology centres, such as Innobasque and Tecnalia.
This agreement is the result of the intervention work Agirre Lehendakaria Center has done with the Ministry of Economy Croatia since 2013, after the country showed interest in the Basque economic transformation in the last few decades, particularly in how this experience could serve as a model for them.
- October 2013: visit to the Basque Country
A delegation from Croatia, chaired by the Minister of Tourism Darko Lorencin visits the Basque Country. They meet the Basque President Iñigo Urkullu, as well as the former President and ALC Director Juan Jose Ibarretxe. This visit is focused in tourism and gastronomy and the Croatian delegation visits several companies and institutions related to this field, such as IXO Group and Basquetour.
- 2014: we make progress on the project
Agirre Lehendakaria Center continues to connect Basque companies and institutions with organizations in Croatia that are interested on the series of values and practices that led the Basque Country to reach high places in international rankings in healthcare, education and income per capita (2008), and forge an image linked to modernity, having in mind that just three decades ago the country was undergoing a serious economic crisis, with high unemployment rates and an international image that related directly to terrorist violence.
- April 2015: visit to Croatia
A delegation from Agirre Lehendakaria Center, chaired by its Director Juan Jose Ibarretxe visits Zagreb in order to make progress on the joint projects. This visit includes a meeting at the Ministry of Economy with the Vice Minister Alan Leverić and several members of his team, as well as representatives of the Economy Chamber of Croatia and the Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation. During the meeting the Basque experience on innovation connected to economic progress is presented, particularly in the re-industrialization and smart specialization areas and also the Industrial Strategy of the Republic of Croatia for the 2014-2020 period. Additionally, the potential collaboration areas between Croatia and the Basque Country are analysed.
Zagreb, April 2015: Juan Jose Ibarretxe (Director of Agirre Lehendakaria Center), Marija Rajakovic (Ministry of Economy in Croatia) and Iñaki Elicegui (Mondragon Corporation)
- July 2015: signing of the agreement
Agirre Lehendakaria Center and the University of the Basque Country sign a collaboration agreement with the Ministry of Economy in Croatia, in order to advice the Mediterranean country in regards to the Basque model of successful Economic transformation, especially in the re-industrialization and cluster policies fields.
GOALS AND COLLABORATION TOPICS
1. MEC requests the expertise and advice from ALC and UPV-EHU in regards to Basque model of Economic transformation of successful re-industrialization and cluster policies.
2. ALC and UPV-EHU will provide the expertise and advice through the protagonists and experts of the Basque model of Economic transformation, including the former President of the Basque Government and other senior figures.
3. Positive experiences and actions applied through Basque model of Economic transformation that could be efficiently implemented in Croatian Economic model will be identified.
4. This exchange can take the form of brief reports, organization of workshops and public conferences.
It is important to emphasize that ALC understands this exchange of expertise as a collaboration program and not a contract for services, in which the centre will provide the expertise on the economic transformation process that the Basque Country has undergone in the last few decades, also known as the Basque Case. This experience has been the subject of study of several prestigious universities around the world, such as Columbia University in New York, and institutions like NESTA UK, becoming increasingly important in the international context in the last few years.
Agirre Lehendakaria Center is currently developing similar projects in countries and regions that have shown interest in this model, such as Wales, South Africa, Mexico, Peru, Japan and Ireland. The main goal is to favour the creation of collaboration projects and cooperation networks between the Basque Country and other countries.