Macron, Sánchez set to bolster Franco-Spanish ties at Barcelona summit

®Thibault Camus/Pool via Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron will meet Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in Barcelona on Thursday, for a bilateral summit aimed at strengthening cooperation in the wake of a recent spat over a gas pipeline project that has since been shelved.

France and Spain, who have just "buried the hatchet" following a rare disagreement over an energy project, will celebrate the closeness of their relations in Barcelona.

Macron is set to sign a friendship treaty with Prime Minister Sánchez aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation in multiple sectors.

This treaty is only the third of its kind signed by France with a European nation, following the 1963 Franco-German Elysée Treaty – since fully completed by the Aachen Treaty in 2019 – and the Quirinal Treaty, signed with Italy in 2021.

Thursday's meeting comes against the backdrop of massive industrial action expected across France in protest against the government's controversial pension reforms.

'Midcat' pipeline project scrapped

The summit comes three months after France, Spain and Portugal agreed to shelve the contentious "Midcat" gas pipeline project – which Paris opposed – and replace it with a "green" hydrogen pipeline linking Barcelona to Marseille.

Yet, despite the energy crisis, Spain's left-wing government failed to change Paris' mind

"No colonising state will be the tomb of our nation," the pro-independence ANC association said on Twitter.

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