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02-01-2014 18.26

President Artur Mas explains the process under way to decide the future of Catalonia

  • The President of the Government of Catalonia has written to the leaders of the Member States of the European Union to make them aware of the broad political and popular support in Catalonia for the celebration of a referendum on the country’s future
  • The Catalan Government has also sent a memorandum to the Foreign Ministers of 45 countries, informing them of the date of the referendum and the political arguments supporting its celebration
President Mas at the Meeting of European Liberal Democrats in government in Amsterdam last February President Mas at the Meeting of European Liberal Democrats in government in Amsterdam last February
The President of the Government of Catalonia, Artur Mas, has written to the heads of government of the Member States of the European Union to explain to them, personally, the "important developments" that are taking place in Catalonia. The President has informed the European leaders that, on the 12 December 2013, "65% of the Parliament" agreed to "hold a referendum on the future of Catalonia". The letter explains that the referendum is "the demand of the Catalan people, expressed in the mandate given at the last elections on 25 November 2012 and demonstrated repeatedly by popular action".
 
In the letter, the President has made clear that the celebration of the referendum is a question of political will and that, contrary to some reports, there are no legal impediments to it. He has pointed out that "there are a number of legal and constitutional options that allow this referendum to take place in Catalonia". The Catalan Government has suggested "at least five" such mechanisms to Madrid, in order to "seek dialogue and agreement with the government of Spain on the future of our country"
 
President Mas has also expressed his confidence that the recipients of the letter will "encourage the peaceful, democratic, transparent, and European process to which I, and a vast majority of the Catalan people, are fully committed"
 
The letter, sent on 20 December, has been delivered to the heads of government of the Member States of the European Union, as well as to the President of France and the President of the European Commission.
 
 
Memorandum sent to 45 countries
 
In parallel to the letters, the Catalan Government has sent a memorandum to the Foreign Ministers of 45 countries, explaining the referendum that will be held on 9 November this year.
 
The document, drawn up by the Secretariat for Foreign and European Union Affairs, starts by explaining the popular and political support for the celebration of the referendum in Catalonia, including the express support of Parliament and represented by grassroots movements, such as the Catalan Way. 
 
The memorandum makes clear that the referendum is ‘a matter of politics, rather than of legality’, as neither Spanish nor Catalan law forbids it. ‘All that is necessary is political will’, it argues. 
 
The text reveals the differences in attitude between the Catalan and Spanish governments on this issue. It contrasts the willingness of the Catalan Government to negotiate with political leaders in Madrid who, up to now, "have not engaged with the reality of the situation in Catalonia", as well as with "attempts by Spanish officials to undermine the political authority of the Catalan President".
 
The Government has decried suggestions of the possibility of Catalonia’s exit from the European Union if independence is achieved as "designed to scare Catalan voters away from supporting independence". The document points out that the independence of part of a Member State is unprecedented and that, therefore, it is "untrue to declare that Catalonia would cease to be an EU member". It argues that "even Spain has a strong interest in Catalonia being part of the EU".
 
The memorandum adds that "our people wish to remain part of the EU, and to stay within the Euro zone", and that "the continuity of Catalonia's EU membership would be a political decision in the hands of the governments of all EU member states".
 
The memorandum has been sent to the Foreign Ministers of 45 countries, as well as to officials responsible for relations with Spain and Southern Europe, Ambassadors to Madrid, and Consuls General.   
 
 
Note: Photo of the Meeting of European Liberal Democrats in government held last February, in which President Mas Participated. In the photo appear, among others, the UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg; the Deputy Minister of Economy of Germany, Philipp Rösler; the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia, Vesna Pusic; Deputy Prime Minister and Pensions Minister of Belgium, Alexander Croo; Minister of Economic Affairs of Denmark, Margrethe Vestager; the Environment and European Affairs Ministers of the Government of Sweden, Lena Ek and Birgitta Ohlsson, respectively; the Estonian Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Roivas; the Deputy Ministers of Finance and of Education, Culture and Science, Frans Weekers and Sander Dekker; and the Ministers of Security and Justice, Defence and Territorial Policy and Public Administration Ivo Opstelten, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and Stef Blok, respectively. Also in attendence were the European Commission Vice Presidents Olli Rehn and Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for Trade, Karel de Gucht, the President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer, and the President of the Senate of Romania, Crin Antonescu.
Fotografies
Meeting of European Liberal Democrats in Amsterdam last February

Meeting of European Liberal Democrats in Amsterdam last February JPG 867KB

Fitxers adjunts
Document

Letter PDF 47KB

Document

Memorandum PDF 203KB

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