Mayor of Bilbao is working in favour of circular economy and sustainability

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Juan Mari Aburto has been serving as mayor of Bilbao since 2015. 

Born in 1961 in Bilbao, young Juan Mari Aburto showed great interest in local policies and law. He later pursued his passion and enrolled in University of Deusto, Department of Law. Juan Mari Aburto graduated and soon after started his political career.

His climbing the political ladder was continuous and led to many successes in the last 20 years. He held different public offices, however all of these focused primarily on social justice and promotion of employment. 

His first crucial position was in the Social Action Department of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia. His work was acknowledged and soon after he was named as head of the Employment and Social Affairs Department of Basque Government.

These positions provided him a reputation and basis for his candidacy as mayor of Bilbao. He won the elections in 2015.

During his speech after inauguration, mayor Mari Aburto stated: “Improving the quality of life for the men and women of Bilbao is my first and last goal”. His three most important strategies are all focused on improvements of economy and quality of life for the citizens of Bilbao.

Bilbao Charter of Values is the first major project presented by Mayor Mari Aburto. This innovative project aims at the development of the city through implementation of shared values. This was implemented through introduction of dialogue, collaboration of public sector and social organizations. It also included promotional campaigns through both the media and educational system.

With the successes of this first phase of the plan, the City Council approved a strategy called “Bilbao Aurera”. This plan was primarily aimed at improvements of employment and economic reactivation after Covid-19 pandemic. Allocated funds reached 15 million euro, with 500 thousand euro specially reserved for culture, especially local culture trade.

The end goal of this strategy is to support all those heavily impacted by Covid-19. This plan was further supported by Basque Government through implementation of a special Non-Periodic Municipal Aid programme. The programme allocated further 625,000 euro to the city of Bilbao, with the purpose of assisting those without income or with low income.

Second major project introduced by Mayor Mari Aburto was the Pact of Social Policies. This agreement was established in 2018, where the general plan for social cohesion and equality among citizens was continued. Strategy was modeled after the European Pillar for Social Rights, with all regulations in lime with this EU declaration. 

The third and latest strategy is Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals. This one is especially important, since it provides a general framework of actions for the next decade. The Bilbao Strategic Government Plan will be aligned with the European Green Act, which will further supplement Mayor Mari Aburto’s desire to achieve an inclusive and circular economy for the city.

All of these strategies started during Juan Mari Aburto’s first term as mayor of Bilbao, which were further approved with his reelection in 2019. His innovative policies and plans will hopefully achieve desired goals and will enable Bilbao to follow the path of all major European cities. (photo credit: wikimedia)