**Emmanuel Macron and Pedro Sanchez Unite in Barcelona to Strengthen European Union Response to US**
French President Emmanuel Macron and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met in Barcelona on Thursday to sign a ‘friendship and cooperation’ treaty and discuss a joint response to the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act. Macron’s visit comes at the same time as protests break out against his pension reform project in France.
The newly signed treaty will strengthen the bilateral relationship between France and Spain on matters such as migration, defense, energy, and youth issues. It also serves to highlight the importance of the France-Germany axis of the European Union (EU), which has recently been weakened.
Both leaders are hoping to form a strong response towards US President Joe Biden’s investment plan, which seeks to reduce climate change. In a statement, the Élysée noted multiple “convergences on fundamental issues for the European agenda in the coming months.”
The friendship and cooperation treaty will act as a third document between the two nations, preceded by the Elysée agreement with Germany in 1963 and Quirinal agreement with Italy in November 2021.
Macron will then head to Paris to join German government head Olaf Scholz in celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty. France and Spain recently found a common ground in the “H2Med” project, which is an initiative for a “green” hydrogen pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille. According to the French president, this project is necessary to send a strong message against US subsidies.
However, numerous demonstrations are being held against this summit due to the 2017 attempted secession of Catalonia by separatists. Eight Franco-Spanish border posts have also been closed due to the fight against terrorism and illegal immigration.