The Observatory for Decentralised Cooperation, integrated by the Barcelona Provincial Council and the municipality of Montevideo, was created in March 2005 in response to the need to collect, systematize, investigate, propose and announce conceptions and practices of public decentralised cooperation between the European Union and Latin America. This need, supported in the Conference on the Local Partnership between the European Union and Latin America (Valparaíso, March 2004), led the European Commission conceive, within the framework of the URB–AL program, the creation of an Observatory for Decentralised Cooperation between both regions. Almost 20 years later, the Observatory has become an outstanding hub in the analysis of the decentralised cooperation and the international action of local governments, contributing to develop a framework of interpretation, identify trends about those phenomena and valorise it.
In these years, the Observatory has focused its activity in the study of the European and Latin American experience in decentralised cooperation. However, the new context of international agreements and the evolution of the decentralised cooperation, had led the Observatory to adapt the traditional contents to the new challenges that suppose the international scene and the new global agendas, and expand their influence area to other regions.