City networks

Again with my iPhone I’m writing this post. I’m on the AVE the fast train connecting Barcelona and Madrid in two and a half hours. From city center to city center.
The airshuttle between Bcn and Mad has been for years the most crowded in Europe and now the AVE train is getting the same way.
These two cities are competitors and allies at the same time. They produce together more than the 50% of the Spanish GDP and host approximately the 60% of the research and innovation.
Madrid has become a principal financial city bridging Europe and South America. Barcelona, traditionally industrial and commercial capital of Spain is shifting to services and knowledge economy. Bcn wad recently nominated as the seat of the General Secretary of the Euromediterranean Union starting in 2009.
This is a great challenge for Bcn to become also a bridge between Europe and the Eastern countries of the Mediterranean Region.
We may ask ourselves what makes Spain so attractive to interregional relations? Probably the fact that Spain has been one of the First countries in Europe to have to live with a permanent negotiation inside its State limits. Bascs, Catalans, Galicians and Andalusians but later the rest of the regions have been a permanent negotiation scenario and all this after 40 years of dictatorship and centuries of authoritarian monarchy.
The case of the federal lands in Germany is similar but with less greave because in Spain discussions go beyond practical politics and are dealing with national sentíment and identify.
Knowlwdge creation requires permanent negotiation. As long as this happens links are working and knowledge flows.
Today I’m travelling to meet colleagues from different parts of Spain to work in a report for the Spanish Government on the publc support to R+D.
I wish we can do a good job.

About Oriol

Professor dels Estudis d'Economia i Empresa de la UOC Lecturer of the Department of Economics and Business Administration Universitat Oberta de Catalunya - Barcelona- Spain
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