Roger Albinyana, the Catalan Government’s Secretary for Foreign and EU Affairs, and Albert Royo, the Council of Public Diplomacy of Catalonia’s Secretary General, appeared today before the Chamber of Deputies (Cámara de Representantes) of Uruguay’s International Affairs Commission. The aim of this appearance, requested by the Uruguayan legislative chamber, was to attain a first-hand account of the Catalan political process, including its motivations and the steps that will ensue the upcoming elections on September 27.
During the Foreign Secretary’s appearance which was assisted by Members of Parliament from all the political parties represented in Uruguay’s assembly, Roger Albinyana stressed the plebiscitary and exceptional nature of the next elections, warranted by the Spanish Government’s refusal to allow any other type of referendum or consultation on Catalonia’s political future. On his part, Royo made reference to some of the most important events that have occurred in recent years which have led to the current situation. In this respect, Royo also alluded to the democratic, peaceful and integrationist aspect of the Catalan sovereignty movement. To illustrate this spirit of civility, Diplocat’s Secretary General cited the next Catalan National Day (September 11) where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to demonstrate in Barcelona in favour of Catalonia’s independence.
After the Catalan representatives’ initial intervention, the members of the Parliament’s International Affairs Commission asked a series of questions regarding the different aspects of the process and exchanged opinions on the right to self-determination, which the Catalan Government gaged as very satisfactory and positive. Shortly after, both Albinyana and Royo met in private with Alejandro Sánchez, president of the Chamber of Deputies (Cámara de Representates), who also showed an interest in the Catalan political process.
This is the third time in the last months the Catalan sovereignty debate has been analysed in the legislative chamber of a sovereign country. On March 19, the Danish Parliament (Folketing) voted a resolution to support dialogue between Spain and Catalonia and solve the conflict democratically. The motion was passed with 64 votes in favour, none against and 41 abstentions. Later, on July 7, the sovereignty process was discussed once again in the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas) during a session held behind closed doors. The Government’s Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Diplocat’s Secretary General also took part in this session.
On Monday and Tuesday, prior their appearance before the Uruguayan chamber, Albinyana and Royo visited Argentina. There, the Secretary for Foreign and EU Affairs gave a conference at the Buenos Aires Casal de Catalunya where both representatives also met with political leaders, social entities and members of the press.