Council of Ministers

Government will increase medium- and higher-level education offer by creating 148 new qualifications

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 29 November 2019

The Council of Ministers approved three new medium-level Sports Techniques qualifications (in pot-holing, rock climbing and medium-sized mountain climbing) and two new Higher Sport Techniques qualifications (in rock climbing and high mountain climbing), under special regime teaching and a sixth qualification in higher-level Thermalism and Well-Being Techniques under Vocational Training.

The Acting Minister for Education and Vocational Training and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Celaá, highlighted that the high-level qualification in thermalism was in great demand by sector companies and that, by approving the new qualification, "there are now a total of 183 Vocational Training qualifications".

One of the goals of the 1st Strategic Vocational Training Plan adopted last week was precisely to promote the gradual extension of the number of qualifications to provide a response to the skill needs of each productive sector.

The government also approved 22 new official university Degree qualifications, 119 official Master's Degree qualifications and one new Doctorate programme.

Isabel Celaá explained that these new qualifications have previously been positively vetted by the Universities Council and received authorisation from the corresponding regional governments, as the case may be, which will be official qualifications that are valid throughout the country, with full academic effects.

Climate Conference in Madrid

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe Acting Government Spokesperson declared that the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25), which will be held in Madrid from 2 to 13 December, will help activate all economic and social sectors. "Companies, workers and social stakeholders have shown their pride and confidence in the results of this conference".

Isabel Celaá recalled the speed with which this event has been organised, which has turned into "a formidable catalyst of positive adrenalin and enthusiasm over climate ambition" in Spain. She also predicted that this will be a "milestone of unquestionable international importance", because all the countries in the word will be represented here over the next two weeks, with some 50 represented by their Heads of State or Government.

The acting minister confirmed that the Acting President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, will preside over the opening day's events, which will also be attended by the heads of all the European institutions.

On Thursday, the European Parliament approved a climate emergency declaration by the European Union, in which MEPs called for the European Commission to be much more ambitious in its draft resolutions on carbon dioxide emissions. According to Isabel Celaá, this decision is "a necessary step to attaining the climate neutrality of our continent by 2050 and a more sustainable, equal, ecological and feminist world".

Voluntary contribution to Climate Change Fund

The Council of Ministers authorised a voluntary contribution of 880,000 euros to the Adaptation Fund of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This fund, set up in 2007, allocates its resources to specific projects and programmes for developing countries to adapt to climate change, particularly those more vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Wastewater treatment plants

The government authorised the works to extend the wastewater treatment plants in the cities of Albacete, with a budget of more than 35 million euros; Llodio (Álava), for a sum in excess of 15 million euros, and West Gijon (Asturias), for a sum in excess of 15 million euros. The seawater desalination plant in Melilla will also be extended, with a budget of 21.5 million euros.

Territorial balance: Canary Islands and Teruel

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe Council of Ministers granted an 18-million euro subsidy to the Canary Islands for the Programme to Fight Poverty and Social Exclusion, given that this region has an at risk of poverty rate of 36.4%, 10 points higher than the national average stated in the 2018 Living Conditions Survey.

Isabel Celaá considered that "grounds of public, social and humanitarian interest" have been duly substantiated to support this programme and reaffirmed the government's commitment to measures that seek to balance the difference between different regions of the country.

With the same goal in mind, the government will allocate 30 million euros to foster the economic development of Teruel and alleviate its demographic limitations - low density, ageing population - its structural conditions and connectivity difficulties with the main communication axes.

The Teruel Investment Fund (Spanish acronym: FITE) was also renewed, involving Central Government and the Regional Government of Aragon which will now be of a bi-annual nature to guarantee the continuity of projects.

Margarita Robles takes on foreign affairs portfolio

The government appointed the Acting Minister for Defence, Margarita Robles, to take on the ordinary affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.

Isabel Celaá explained that this is due to the current acting minister, Josep Borrell, taking on the post of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and European Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission on Sunday.

Guardia Civil

Pool Moncloa/JM CuadradoThe government authorised the lease of 1,000 new vehicles for the Guardia Civil for a sum of 18.8 million euros. The new fleet will be allocated to undercover services, operations and police escort units, investigations, intelligence and support services.

The government also promoted in rank, on an honorary and posthumous basis, two members of the Guardia Civil who were killed in the line of duty in 2018 in Granada and in Badajoz.

Isabel Celaá spoke in memory of the two of them and praised the "extraordinary" work of the State law enforcement agencies.

Other agreements

  • Subsidies granted for the sum of 1.28 million euros to six Third Sector Social Action entities to develop plans and programmes for persons with disability.
  • Approval of aid for the regular transport of passengers in Madrid (126.9 million), Barcelona (109.3 million), the Canary Islands (47 million) and Valencia (10 million).

Non official translation