Gotland, Sweden | The European Institutions in Sweden organise a debate on the Catalan Case
Catalonia has participated in Almedalen Week in Visby for the first time, at the Europe House. The debate focused on the challenges that the Catalan process to independence, entirely peaceful and democratic, pose to the EU.
The European Institutions represented at the Europahuset in Sweden have invited the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) and the Government of Catalonia to participate in a debate on the Catalan process towards independence (“The Catalan Case within the European Union”) at the Europe House in Visby.
Albert Royo (Secretary General of DIPLOCAT) underlined the incapacity of the Spanish government and parliament to respond to the constant demands of the Catalan society to vote on independence. Maria Badia (Director General of Foreign Affairs of the Catalan Government) reminded that pragmatism is inherent to the European Union, which “will welcome Catalonia in case it becomes independent”. Law postgraduate researcher Núria González Campañá (University of Oxford) expressed her doubts on the suitability of a referendum as a means to decide on independence and stated that “outside the law, democracy becomes the tyranny of majority”. For MEP Bodil Valero (Miljöpartiet), who made an outright defence of self-determination right, if Catalans decide in favour independence, “the EU should accompany them in the process”. The debate was introduced by expert in multilingualism Johan Häggman, who described the Catalan society and culture as creative, innovative, and multilingual, and it was moderated by the renowned journalist Herman Melzer.
During the discussion, the possibilities to hold a referendum inside the Spanish legal framework were analysed, and it was emphasised that it is rather a matter of political will. The eventual consequences of the Brexit vote for the Catalan case were also taken into account. One of the central questions was what the position of the European Union will be in case the Spanish state keeps closing the door to dialogue and negotiation, in a context of increasing demands for a more democratic and transparent EU, closer to its citizens.
Last updated: 9 September 2016