The President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, defended this afternoon in Paris the Europeanism of the Catalan independence movement and assured that "our model, our project of an independent Catalonia, above all makes sense within the framework of a European Union in which states must cooperate more and more, a United States of Europe" and added that "we want Catalonia to be one of these deeply European states".
Along the same lines, he explained that "we define ourselves as Catalan separatists and European federalists, because we believe that in a world like the one we have now – with threats and challenges in the climate, economic, energy, security fields – cooperation between states is fundamental and between European states is basic". "And the Catalan people want to have their voice in a direct manner and the way is to do it as an independent member state of the EU," he said.
The head of the executive travelled to Paris today to participate in the discussion table on Autonome ou indépendant. Mais Européens avant tout! (Self-employed or independent, but European first of all!), which has been held within the framework of the Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France, the annual meeting organized by the MEDEF employers' federation, the largest in France. Pere Aragonès participated in this debate table together with the former French Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, the President of Corsica, Gilles Simeoni, and the Vice President of the Guadalupe Region, Marie-Luce Penchard.
President Aragonès took advantage of his speech to send a message to Europe: "Catalonia can make a contribution to European challenges and which President Macron largely defined as the challenges of European strategic autonomy" and gave as examples the development of the European chip, the commitment of the production of green hydrogen or interconnections such as Midcat.
Pere Aragonès also referred to the political conflict between Catalonia and the Spanish state. He explained that "we have a negotiation process with the state" in which "we defend a referendum on independence and an amnesty law to end the repressive consequences of the 2017 referendum".
In this sense, the president recalled that since the elections of 2012 there has been an majority of independent deputies in the Parliament of Catalonia and pointed out that "our goal is that a society that considers itself mature, with the will to self-govern, must be able to freely decide its future". For this reason, he stated that "our proposal is the exercise of self-determination, with a referendum on the independence of Catalonia, which we want to do in an agreed and negotiated way".
The Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France is the great economic and political event at the beginning of the French academic year and brings together more than 8,000 people from the business, academic, social and political spheres. This year's theme is the role that Europe can play in the world in a turbulent context such as the current one and compared to other models such as the North American, Russian or Chinese. Among the participants there are also other prominent members of the French government, such as the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, the Minister of Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, regional presidents, diplomats, academics, journalists or businessmen such as the CEOs of Carrefour, L'Óreal, Orange, EDF or Siemens France.