The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, demanded that the commitment to make Catalan an official language in European institutions be fulfilled, coinciding with the first day of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU. "Catalan in Europe must be defended and it only depends on political will", Serret stated, and for this reason, "we must continue to demand that the Spanish government fulfil the commitments it made in writing and give the necessary political momentum to the recognition of the use of Catalan in Europe".
With regard to this demand, according to Serret, “the PSC and the PSOE are currently not trustworthy when it comes to fulfilling this commitment they made", especially after it was made public today that the Spanish Prime Minister has never asked for Catalan to be given official status. Following an initiative coordinated by Plataforma per la Lengua and the Irish MEP Chris MacManus, the Council of the European Union contradicted the Spanish Prime Minister in writing, claiming that Spain has never requested that Catalan be an official language, nor is it necessary to reform any treaty to make it so.
Lack of transparency from the new presidency
Speaking to the media in Calonge, Serret also lamented the Spanish government's "lack of transparency" in explaining its plans for the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union, which begins today and will last until the end of the year. "This presidency is starting late and badly, because at the moment we have not yet officially been informed of its priorities at a time when there are some major challenges that require the utmost coordination", explained Serret.
Despite everything, the Catalan Government is approaching this new European semester “like every other presidency": "with the desire and ambition to convey and defend the proposals, needs and interests of Catalan society, the great consensuses of the country, wherever possible". Meritxell Serret stated that the Catalan executive “will never miss an opportunity to express ourselves in our own voice". In this regard, with her sights set on the general elections of 23 July, the minister defended the fact that "it is necessary to demonstrate a strong government and a democratic front to defend the institutions and the great consensus of the country, with the Catalan Government at the forefront".
Europa en Blau 2023 conference
The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union took part today in Calonge in the Europa en Blau 2023 conference, an annual forum that aims to promote reflection and debate on the EU's major political challenges. Serret closed the event accompanied by the director of EUROLOCAL and member of Europa Blau, Joaquim Millán, and the mayor of Calonge, Jordi Soler. This year's edition was entitled "The EU in the New World Order".
During her speech, Serret pointed out the crises that the European project is going through, among which she highlighted "the reactionary wave that we are also seeing in our country". "In the face of this, a broad progressive front on a European scale is more necessary than ever", the minister stressed, claiming that "the way forward is always more Europe". "In the face of democratic regression, the advance of the far right, populism and disinformation, we understand that the values and principles on which Europe was built are as valid today as they were 70 years ago," she said.
The conference, held at Calonge Castle, reflected on the main challenges facing European institutions, from the impact of the war in Ukraine to the consequences of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic on the project. The event featured two round tables that analysed the EU as a geopolitical actor on the one hand, and the EU's strategic autonomy on the other. Europa en Blau is a group of pro-Europeans who have been organising this conference every year since 2021 to promote reflection and generate proposals to address the many challenges facing the European Union.