During this morning’s opening of the International Seminar Human Rights Challenges Now: The Ombudsman Facing Threats, the President of the Catalan Government called on Europe to “raise its voice for human rights and, just as previous generations did, make a valuable contribution to humanity” through the values of “peace and solidarity”.
The Catalan president made these declarations from Barcelona’s Saló del Tinell in reference to the European Union’s management of the on-going refugee crisis. Denouncing the “bad practices that embarrass Europe and attack the essence of the European construct”, Carles Puigdemont stressed that the Union is going through “grave moments with the largest displacement of persons it has seen since the World War II”.
The workshop was organised by Catalonia’s watchdog, the Síndic de Greuges de Catalunya, and was attended by over one hundred ombudsmen from different countries, who, during the next few days, will be discussing the current threats and challenges faced by ombudsmen in the current European context.
“The threat to human rights is a global threat, but it is also a threat to the European identity”, affirmed President Puigdemont, “governments, organised societies and institutions must be the first to ensure that excuses like terrorism, war or global inequities will not make us go back on what previous generations have conferred on us”. “We must have the courage to uphold and strengthen these rights”, he added.
The Catalan president also expressed his contentment that Barcelona would be hosting such a gathering where Europe’s regulators could reach “conclusions that can be used on a global and international level”. In this regard, Puigdemont described Catalonia “as a country of peace and agreements” and “we hope it continues to be so in the future”, he concluded.