During an academic conference on the political situation in Catalonia, Minister of Presidency and Government spokesman Francesc Homs announced that the Government of Catalonia will strengthen its presence in Europe and Brussels by establishing two new delegations in Rome and in Vienna. The mentioned event took place this morning at the Roma Tre University and was organized by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) and the CRISPEL Research Centre of the Università degli Studi Roma Tre to further the debate on the political events in Catalonia.
The Minister of the Presidency emphasized the “necessity” of establishing these delegations and viewed it as “an obligation” of the Government in order to “defend our interests around the world and particularly in Europe, which we are clearly part of”. Francesc Homs also stressed that “it is fundamental to have a presence in Europe’s important capital cities where there is also a strong presence of multilateral organizations”. “We should be able to make a qualitative step forward, not only to make the situation in Catalonia known to the world, but also to establish relations with other countries for the recognition of a Catalan State, if the Catalan population were to decide on this outcome” added the Minister.
The intention, explained Homs, is to have the “necessary infrastructures” to focus on the Catalan political process with the “all the possible guarantees that available to us”.
This attempt to strengthen the external structure of the Catalan government is, according to Homs, part Catalonia’s “strong pro-European vocation” and its “permanent” disposition to stay within the European institutions. Along with the Bill on External Action and EU Relations, approved by a wide majority in Parliament, this reinforcement of the Government’s commitment regarding foreign affairs is “testimony of the Catalan people’s European disposition”. “We firmly believe our country’s viable future is only possible in a politically strong federal Europe that secures and gives the necessary guarantees that come with the challenges of globalization”.
‘We demand the same right as any other nation would’
“This is not a demand made by a government or an individual political party but, instead, is a widely shared prerogative made by the citizenry of Catalonia” who, Homs insisted, have expressed themselves in a civil manner on the street and in the ballot boxes, with an 80% of an approval on behalf of the Catalan Parliament in favour for the right to decide and four wide social mobilizations which took place on September 11th for the last four years. The Minister explained that what happened on November 9th was “not an isolated event, but the culmination of the majority’s desire to start anew and to be able to vote and decide”. “We demand the same right as any other nation would”, just as was seen in the case of Quebec and Scotland, added Minister Homs.
In this regard, Homs explained to the Catalan and Italian constitutional experts, who participated in the day’s event, that the current situation came as a result when the “continued efforts to develop a sound Catalan government within the framework of the Spanish State” met the constant hindrances of the central government to reach this self-governance. From the “harsh” sentence by the Constitutional Court that “distorted” and made the Catalan Statute of Autonomy “practically unfeasible”, to the Spanish Government’s negative approach to a fiscal pact and its “hostile and belligerent” attitude towards the aspirations of the Catalan people to decide on their political future by appealing to the Constitutional Court so it would impede the 9N participative process.
The conference, entitled “The Catalan case: Transformation of the shape of the state, self-determination, and the process of federalization in Europe”, took place this morning in the form of a round table debate and was organized by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) and the Centro di ricerca Interdipartimentale per gli Studi politico-costituzionali e di Legislazione comparata “Giorgio Recchia” (CRISPEL). The event was presided by journalist and Deputy Director of La Vanguardia newspaper Enric Juliana.
The conference also counted with participation of Catalan and Italian constitutional experts, such as Carles Viver Pi Sunyer, President of the Advisory Council on the National Transition and Professor of Constitutional Law at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona); Enoch Albertí, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Barcelona and member of the Advisory Council for the National Transition; Antoni Abat Ninet, Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Copenhagen; Beniamino Caravita di Toritto, Professor of Institutions of Public Law at the Università “La Sapienza” di Roma; Vincenzo Cocozza, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II; Pietro Grilli di Cortona, President of the Società italiana di Scienza politica and Professor of Political Science at the Università “Roma Tre”; Giovanni Serges, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Università “Roma Tre”; and Sandro Staiano, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II.