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Catalan International View

Special Issue • 17 • Spring 2014 • € 5

A European Review of the World

Visions from a newly-emerging state The democratic tradition of a thousand-year-old nation

by Jordi Pujol

Catalonia’s march toward self-determination

by Carles Boix and J.C. Major

An unprecedented social and political process

by Salvador Cardús

Barcelona’s contribution to Catalonia’s National Transition

by Jordi Martí


Muriel Casals by Francesc de Dalmases

Contributors: Martí Anglada, Salvador Esteve, Jaume Bertranpetit,

Mireia Canals, Antoni Ma. Grau, Guillem López-Casasnovas, Isidor Marí, Fèlix Martí, Albert Royo, Víctor Terradellas, Santi Vila and Vicenç Villatoro

Cover Artist:

Mayte Vieta

Contents Editor

Víctor Terradellas

vterradellas@catmon.cat Director

Positive & Negative

Francesc de Dalmases

4......... Artists support the Right to Decide ...........The Spanish Parliament vs. the Catalan Parliament

Quim Milla

To Our Readers

Editorial Board

director@international-view.cat Art Director


Martí Anglada Enric Canela Salvador Cardús August Gil-Matamala Montserrat Guibernau Guillem López-Casasnovas Manuel Manonelles Fèlix Martí Eva Piquer Ricard Planas Clara Ponsatí Arnau Queralt Vicent Sanchis Mònica Terribas Montserrat Vendrell Carles Vilarrubí Vicenç Villatoro Chief Editor

5......... Catalonia: a democratic process, a European process by Víctor Terradellas

Visions from a newly-emerging state

8......... The democratic tradition of a thousand-year-old nation

by Jordi Pujol

12........ Catalonia’s march toward self-determination

by Carles Boix and J.C. Major

22........ An unprecedented social and political process .............. by Salvador Cardús

28........ The economic and financial challenges facing an independent Catalonia .............. by Guillem López-Casasnovas

34........ Catalonia, navigating through friendly international waters .............. by Martí Anglada

38........ The cultural foundations of independence: from a hostile state to a ...........cooperative state

Judit Aixalà Jordi Fexas

.............. by Vicenç Villatoro

Language Advisory Service

.............. by Jordi Martí

Nigel Balfour Júlia López Coordinator

42........ Barcelona’s contribution to Catalonia’s National Transition 46........ Muriel Casals

by Francesc de Dalmases

Ariadna Canela

52........ Leadership in civil society


58........ The Catalan language: the backbone of a cultural nation that


Gemma Lapedriza Cover Art

Mayte Vieta The reproduction of the artwork on the front cover is thanks to an agreement between the Artist and Fundació CATmón Executive Production Headquarters, Administration and Subscriptions

Fonollar, 14 08003 Barcelona Catalonia (Europe) Tel.: + 34 93 533 42 38 Fax: + 34 93 319 22 24 www. international-view.cat

Legal deposit B-26639-2008 ISSN 2013-0716

© Edicions de la Fundació CATmón. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, protocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Edicions de la Fundació CATmón. Printed in Catalonia by Vanguard gràfic

Published quarterly

With the support of

by Fèlix Martí

...........aspires to equality

by Isidor Marí

64........ Universities and research in Catalonia, the challenges that lie ahead

by Jaume Bertranpetit

70........ Catalonia: land of modernity ........... by Santi Vila 74........ Decentralization gains ground

by Salvador Esteve

78........ A potential Catalan state’s continued membership of the EU

by Albert Royo

84........ The involution of the Spanish legal system ........... (with regard to abortion reform)

by Mireia Canals

88........ International investment and confidence in Catalonia

by Antoni Ma. Grau

92........ Landscape and national identity in Catalonia

by Joan Nogué

96. ...... Barcelona, a safe investment A Poem

99. ...... To Majorca During The Civil War

by Bartomeu Rosselló- Pòrcel

A Short Story from History

100........The Dalmases Embassy and the Case of the Catalans (III) The Artist

102. ..... Mayte Vieta

Catalan International View

Positive & Negative by Francesc de Dalmases

300 artists support the Right to Decide This May, 300 Catalan artists issued a manifesto which states, ‘With total respect and democratic determination we wish to express our support for the statements and actions of the Parliament of Catalonia in the defence and promotion of the Right to Decide’. They went on to confirm their commitment with the declaration that, ‘today more than ever, being an artist means entering into a dialogue with the contemporary world and culture’. They defend, ‘respect for the dignity and freedom of individuals and, accordingly, of peoples and nations’. The signatories view the Catalan challenge, ‘as a great democratic performance, as a great act of political creation, aesthetically charming, politically creative and revolutionary, while open, respectful, democratic and inclusive of the peoples and cultures that live with us’. Finally, the signatories wish to, ‘make clear our support and our involvement in this major civic and political process which Catalan society has begun, convinced of its legitimate status as a sovereign subject and nation’.

Echo, by Jaume Plensa exhibited in Madison Square Park, New York, summer 2011. Plensa is one of the manifesto’s 300 signatories.

The Spanish Parliament rejects the Parliament of Catalonia’s democratic proposal

On the 8th April, a delegation from the Parliament of Catalonia appeared before the Spanish Parliament to ask that it be granted the necessary authority to hold a referendum agreed by the majority of Catalan political forces and which is programmed for the 9th November. In spite of the democratic legitimacy of the Catalan proposal, Spain’s two largest political parties (the PSOE and the Partido Popular) voted against the proposal. That same day, the President of Catalonia, Artur Mas, declared, ‘The vote is not a full-stop; it is more like a new chapter’ and showed his unwavering determination for Catalan society to express its opinion in the referendum planned for the fall. Mas also stated that, in spite of the door being closed in their faces, the Catalan hand of friendship ‘will still be offered’. When speaking to the Catalan politicians, President Rajoy failed to show any willingness to engage in dialogue or desire to take seriously a democratic proposal supported by a majority of the Parliament of Catalonia. In fact, the Spanish president depicted Catalonia as merely an autonomous community, without acknowledging its unique political identity. Mariano Rajoy during his speech to the Spanish Parliament. 4

Catalan International View

To Our Readers

Catalonia: a democratic process, a European process by Víctor Terradellas

Catalonia figures highly on the international agenda, but not for the usual reasons. In a world full of conflicts that hinder dialogue, understanding and democratic values as a means of resolving problems, Catalonia addresses the global community with a political proposal that is primarily civic, peaceful, democratic and pro-European in nature. In foreign policy terminology one often hears of ‘hot spots’. In the case of Catalonia I would be inclined to speak more of a ‘beacon’. Not only because Catalonia is undertaking a process of national transition which has as its main objective ensuring the progress and wellbeing of all members of Catalan society, but also because it considers this progress to be an integral part of the progress of the continent as a whole and its neighbours’ in particular. The consolidation of the various democratic systems, in tandem with the search for political, economic and social stability, represents a major challenge to each and every society within the European Union. We understand that the economic crisis was the result of a crisis of values that has endangered the very idea of Europe, as dreamt of by Schuman and Monnet and articulated and described by Steiner. We are seeking a solution to this very problem. Having surpassed the stage in which the Catalan process was subjected to ostracism and ignorance, we must now accept that Catalonia’s democratic challenge figures

prominently in the global agenda and, in turn, on the European agenda. It has such a prominent role because it is based on and directed at core European principles: its democratic values. For this reason, in this article and those that follow, you won’t find grand arguments in favour of independence, in spite of the fact that there are a whole host of reasons why every society and every individual ought to move further down the democratic path, in terms of the right to decide their future and express it through the means of a ballot. The fact that a majority of the Parliament of Catalonia has agreed on the question and chosen the 9th of November as the date for when Catalan society should be consulted as to its future is not a declaration of independence but a declaration of democratic principles: the Government of Catalonia, led by President Artur Mas, and a majority of Catalan political parties are expressing their commitment to the people of Catalonia in order that they can exercise their inalienable right to decide their own future. Therefore, it is not possible to be against the process taking place in Catalonia without also being against democracy itself and the European values we share. Therefore, we are not a ‘hot spot’ but rather aim to become a beacon that shows the future we want for Europe in this, the twenty-first century: a Europe committed to democracy, civility and peace.

Catalan International View


Visions from a newly-emerging state The only live debate to feature all five candidates best positioned for the presidency of the European Commission took place on the 15th May, as part of the European election campaign. Taking part were Jean-Claude Juncker (European People’s Party), Martin Schulz (Party of European Socialists), Guy Verhofstadt (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), Ska Keller (European Green Party) and Alexis Tsipras (European Left Party). As was to be expected, the debate addressed the major challenges facing Europe: the economic crisis, immigration, corruption and the widening gulf between the electorate and the political institutions. The viewers of the forty European television channels that broadcast the debate live were also able to witness how the Catalan question was dealt with. Indeed, Catalonia’s national transition process was one of the major con-


Catalan International View

temporary issues discussed in the most important debate in the campaign, held at the European Parliament in Brussels, which had been turned into a TV studio for the occasion, with a giant screen and a lectern for each candidate, imitating the style of the American presidential debates. The candidates were specifically questioned as to the Catalans’ right to hold a referendum, thus demonstrating the democratic foundation of the Catalan process. Guy Verhofstadt, the Liberal candidate, argued that the European Commission should play a ‘positive role’ and emphasized the need to take into account the will of the people. The Green candidate, the German Ska Keller, made it clear that, ‘the people in Scotland and in Catalonia should have the right to decide as to their future’. Less clear was the candidate of the European Left group, the

Greek Alexis Tsipras, stating that, ‘we respect the right to self-determination, but nationalism and confrontation never have a positive outcome’. Finally, as expected, the People’s Party candidate, Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz of the Socialist Party, avoided giving a clear answer. Aside from the various answers given by different candidates during the campaign, the fact that the Catalan question is being widely discussed underscores the international dimension of the political challenge facing Catalonia and reaffirms the need to facilitate the national transition process, while adhering to democratic principles. To do so, Catalonia needs to explain and discuss, both inside and outside our borders, the process that is taking place. All those who make up contemporary Catalan society, its institutions, political representatives, researchers, entrepre-

neurs, students, civil society organizations, teachers and athletes need to participate in this undertaking. The media should also be involved.

You have before you a special issue of Catalan International View. One that offers an up-to-date, concise and diverse viewpoint, to enable one to comprehend the Catalonia of the twenty-first century and why Catalan society is facing this political challenge of the first order You have before you a special issue of Catalan International View. One that offers an up-to-date, concise and diverse viewpoint, to enable one to comprehend the Catalonia of the twenty-first century and why Catalan society is facing this political challenge of the first order.

Catalan International View



The democratic tradition of a thousand-year-old nation by Jordi Pujol *

An outsider might find it somewhat difficult to understand the current situation in Catalonia and the separatist approach adopted by a significant proportion of its population. It is generally known throughout Europe that Spain is not a homogenous country, that Catalonia originated its own language and culture in medieval times, and that such differences have grown over time to take on greater significance. It is also known that Catalonia has significant economic and political influence in the context of Spain, despite the loss of its own political institutions as a result of Spain’s traditional policies aimed at centralization and standardization. It is also common knowledge that during the restoration of democracy following the Franco dictatorship, at a time of European integration, Catalonia regained its political power and was able to strengthen its economic and cultural development. Catalonia’s role within Spain is also widely known. Indeed, Catalonia is a shining example of how a country is able to defend its own identity and choose its own path in spite of the absence of a state. It has shown how a country is able to contribute to the overall progress of an entire state (the Spanish state) out of a sense of its own identity. This is true so long as the state of which it forms a part (in this instance, Spain) organizes things in such a way that a country (Catalonia) can have a significant degree of self-government, while ensuring that the essential elements of its identity and culture (and 8

Catalan International View

its language in particular) are fully respected. In keeping with such a view, a majority within the Catalan movement had always called for the recognition of Catalonia as a nation. It made special reference to Catalan language and culture, together with the political, administrative and financial power required to allow it to develop its own personality. These demands have been made repeatedly, in spite of extreme episodes of political self-indulgence and suffocation by Spain. Nevertheless, such claims were largely made from within a Spanish state. Catalonia has also done so while psychologically and culturally identifing itself with the project of European unification. This was particularly apparent during the period from the end of the Franco dictatorship until relatively recently. Catalonia had managed to

Visions from a newly-emerging state

preserve the integrity of its society in spite of the highly undemocratic and anti-Catalan nature of the dictatorship. Catalonia worked very hard to ensure the restoration of democracy in Spain, together with its economic development and its integration into Europe. On the whole (with certain exceptions), this project aimed at achieving recognition for Catalonia and obtaining a self-governing political status while retaining its identity and improving social and economic development within the Spanish state was backed by a clear majority of Catalan political forces. Together with society as a whole. Achieving such goals from within Spain entailed two conditions. The first, as mentioned earlier, that the unity of the state was configured so that Catalonia had the proper recognition within Spain’s political, institutional and financial framework. That their unique

character was recognized. The second, that Catalonia collaborated in a highly committed and loyal spirit to shaping a democratic Spain, in its economic and social progress and its integration within Europe.

The Barcelona City Council’s Saló de Cent.

In recent years the Spanish state has undergone an aggressive, belligerent return to its centralized, uniform spirit Over the last forty years Catalonia has been positively committed to working towards these two objectives. Dialogue with Spain has not always been easy. Nonetheless during part of that time it has felt as if this relationship of respect and collaboration has been useful, beneficial even. From a Catalan perspective it has suited us to Catalan International View



simultaneously work for the economic, social and political progress of both Spain and Catalonia. For the recognition of our own identity and respect for self-rule. In the past, Catalonia was content with the idea of collaborating with Spain towards its general progress while also consolidating its own status. This is no longer the case.

An extremely high percentage of the population (possibly the majority) has now become pro-independence, as a result of Spanish policies over the last ten years Over a period of thirty years, Spain has made significant progress in many areas: institutional, political, economic, social, its image abroad and so on. We Catalans have participated in this endeavour in so far as we were able, though not entirely satisfied with the corresponding political recognition and acceptance of our reality, of Catalonia’s reality and aspirations. Nonetheless we have actively worked for it, with enthusiasm. The situation continued until in many ways the arrangement began to break down, including from the Spanish perspective, of the state as a whole. This breakdown occurred in many sectors, including the institutions, and especially in relation to Catalonia. In recent years the Spanish state has undergone an aggressive, belligerent return to its centralized, uniform spirit. In all areas. So much so that Catalonia’s majority response has been a total rejection of Spanish policies. The policies which Spain currently operates are highly aggressive both in their design and implementation. It is a return to the actions and words of a government from the distant past. One that does not hide its intention to carry out policies which exercise an economic stran10

Catalan International View

glehold on Catalonia’s institutions, coupled with drastic reductions in its powers and critical attacks on Catalan identity, especially in relation to its language. Such attacks have been carried out in conjunction with the combined machinery of the state, from the High Court to the Treasury. This has resulted in Catalonia moving strongly towards independence. The final straw came with the Spanish Constitutional Court ruling against the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 28th June 2010, thanks to the disrespectful manner in which the process was conducted, together with its questionable legality. The political option of independence had become weak, extremely weak. Our calls for independence as a people and a nation had until then largely been expressed in the form of a desire to remain within a Spanish framework and in terms of the Spain’s commitment. This has now undergone a dramatic change. An extremely high percentage of the population (possibly the majority) has now become pro-independence, as a result of Spanish policies over the last ten years. It is worthwhile outlining the occasions on which there has been a clash between Spain and most of the political and social forces in Catalonia, particularly since 2003-2004. The majority of these forces (at least within Parliament) are calling for a referendum on independence. Following the Constitutional Court’s ruling and the political line established and followed by the Spanish government in Catalonia, many people have now reached the conclusion that serious attacks against the Catalan language have once more resumed, together with its role in education and ultimately the culture of which it forms a part; against the finances of the Generalitat, i.e., the Catalan autonomous government, subject to relentless privations, and against

Visions from a newly-emerging state

the powers of the government, which in turn become inoperative. Ultimately the attacks go against the foundations of Catalan identity and the survival of our nation. These include such comments as, ‘Within two generations you’ll be diluted’. Or, ‘You’ll become residue and you’ll disappear’. The Catalan reaction is against such beliefs, and also against the contempt with which they are held. Nevertheless, Catalan society expresses its opinion in an entirely peaceful and completely democratic environment. In a climate of deep respect toward everyone living in Catalonia, whatever their origin and their language. With a desire to build a positive relationship with Spain, even

after independence, in a relationship involving cooperation in all areas. In keeping with Catalonia’s continued desire to form a part of Europe, which has a long history. Catalonia is the only area of Spain which was born as part of Europe, one thousand years ago. An awareness of this European connection has persisted ever since. History also teaches us that Spain has often been reluctant in its attitude towards Europe. Catalonia now gives its full support with the absolute confidence that Europe will not ignore such a historical, yet contemporary fact. So long as it is carried out through democratic strength, internal cohesion and a respectful attitude.

The Royal Palace of Barcelona’s Saló del Tinell.

*Jordi Pujol (Barcelona, 1930). Trained as a doctor, he was elected President of the Government of Catalonia in 1980 and re-elected in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1995 and 1999. Since 2004, coinciding with his withdrawal from front-line politics, Jordi Pujol has presided a private foundation, the Jordi Pujol Study Centre, the aim of which is to raise awareness of his political and intellectual thought.

Catalan International View



Catalonia’s march toward self-determination by Carles Boix* and J.C. Major*

revista de pensament p

EL DAVANTALpolitical transformation. Turning their backs to In recent years Catalonia has witnessed an extraordinary what was a secular struggle for political autonomy within Spain, an overwhelming majority of Catalans Francescindependence de Dalmases where a majority would cast a positive vote for now favor holding a referendum on Catalan separation from Spain. Director

According to the results of two surveys conducted for Cadena Ser, one of the biggest radio stations in Spain, this September and one year ago, four out of five individuals favor holding a referendum on self-determination. Less than 15 percent are opposed to it. As a matter of fact, this level of support for such a referendum has been constant in recent years – as attested in the report on a political referendum that has been published by the Advisory Council on the National Transition set up by the Catalan Government and that compiles a long temporal series of surveys undertaken by a very diverse number of media and opinion poll institutes (CATN 2013). When asked as to whether they would support or oppose independence for Catalonia in a referendum, a half of the population would vote yes, a fourth would vote no and the rest of those surveyed would either abstain or express no opinion. The majority in favor of independence

barely changes even when individuals are offered a fiscal pact similar to the generous tax-and-spend arrangements in place in the Basque country – pointing to the fact that pro-independence positions are motivated by more than purely economic or fiscal motivations. Similarly, almost a half of Catalans still prefer independence even when they are told this could hypothetically lead to being excluded from the European Union. In short, the Catalan movement toward self-determination has become widespread, has strong democratic roots and cannot be simply reduced to a fiscal revolt by a rich region battling an economic crisis.

Una proposta co silenci com a arm destrucció inform 12

A long historical march toward Catalan autonomy

Today’s conflict between Spain and Catalonia is often portayed by the Spanish side as a case of one part wanting to detach itself from the whole: alleging real or perceived grievances

La nova directora de l’Agència Catalana de Cooperació al Desenvolupament, Marta Macias, International View per va tenir l’encertCatalan d’organitzar un esmorzar a la premsa amb representants de diferents moviments i organitzacions socials implicats i

Tots els nostres interlocutors en a persones que havien rebut amen moment s’han vist obligades a fu garantir la seva vida

Visions from a newly-emerging state

Burriac Castle, Cabrera de Mar, Maresme.

1 In a speech to the Cortes on May 13, 1932, the prominent theorist of Spanish Republican nationalism, José Ortega y Gasset, acknowledged that the relationship between the two could be at best one of mutual tolerance: “ Yo sostengo que el problema catalán [...] es un problema que no se puede resolver, que sólo se puede conllevar”.

against the capital, a self-centered province uses the threat of separation to blackmail the state into making concessions that run counter to a presumed common good. Catalans describe instead their present difficulties with Spain as just the latest episode in the centuries-old friction between two human communities with different worldviews and conflicting political cultures – two national realities that were historically linked in an unequal partnership and have never found a way to live together in harmony.1 When trying to present their case to the world, Catalans are at a disadvantage. They must start by asserting, and then proving, their existence. Spain, on the other hand, is taken for granted, not only as a political entity but as a social, cultural and historical reality. Indeed, a common claim of Spanish nationalists is that theirs is ‘the oldest nation in Europe’.2 It is true that, in the mid-fifteenth centu-

ry, the medieval kingdoms of Aragon (led since its inception by the Catalan House of Barcelona) and Castile came under the joint rule of their respective monarchs. A royal marriage does provide a practical symbol of unity, but the fact is that each of those kingdoms kept its independence and continued to be governed separately and according to its own laws.3 It would take centuries for Castile’s avowed expansionist designs over the whole peninsula to be realized, gradually turning a collection of royal possessions into a unified state. Some commentators maintain that Spain as we know it is in fact a fairly recent creation.4 In 1516 a Flemish prince, Charles V, inherited the Iberian kingdoms together with several other territories in Europe. Betting on the future of the American enterprise, which was being launched as a Castilian monopoly, he set the stage for his heir, Philip II, to make Castile the center of the emCatalan International View

2 Most recently, for instance, President Mariano Rajoy: “... creo en la nación española, la nación más antigua de Europa, con más de quinientos años viviendo juntos...” Quoted, among others, by La Voz de Galicia, April 8, 2013. 3 “The union of the Crowns of Castile and Aragon as a result of the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella had left Catalonia with its system of government formally unchanged”. (Elliott 1989: 73) “The new Spain was [...] a plural, not a unitary, state, and consisted of a series of separate patrimonies governed in accordance with their own distinctive laws”. (Elliott 1990: 78) 4 “The modern centralized Spanish state was [...] in large measure the creation of nineteenth-century liberalism. It developed centralized institutions and modern national law codes on the basis of the “Spanish nation”, which became a constant reference”. [...] “...there was no flag until 1843, no real national anthem, few new national monuments, a very weak national school system, and no genuine universal military service”. (Payne 1999: 7)



pire. Castilian bureaucracy relentlessly promoted a pattern of administrative and political homogenization for the whole Peninsula. As Spain’s grip on Europe declined in the seventeenth century, thanks to imperial overreach and the re-emergence of France, political tensions flared among the different peoples governed by the Spanish king. In 1640 both Portugal and Catalonia rebelled against royal power and for independence. In the case of Catalonia, the war ended in a political stalemate with Castile (and the loss of Roussillon and Conflent to France). However, seventy years later, the War of Succession led to the defeat of the Catalan army, the imposition of absolute rule by the Bourbon dynasty, and the banning of all Catalan institutions, including its powerful, five-hundred-year-old parliament.

The War of Succession led to the defeat of the Catalan army and the imposition of absolute rule by the Bourbon dynasty The unified Spain that had finally been created by right of conquest in the eighteenth century was a backward society, with the state living on the wealth wrested from a shrinking empire. The decadence was made more obvious after the loss of most of the American colonies in the early nineteenth century. From then on, the history of Spain can be seen as the story of a society’s inability to evolve from a failed empire to a workable nation-state. The only relative exceptions to the general decline were the so-called historic nations. The industrial revolution only took hold in Catalonia and the Basque country in the nineteenth century. In Catalonia, the economic recovery would allow a rebirth of a culture that had been, and would remain, 14

Catalan International View

persecuted. And from there, a budding political project would emerge. Although at the time Europe’s borders were being redrawn and new states were appearing as nations struggled to pull themselves free from crumbling empires, Catalonia chose to carry on within Spain for two reasons: the military strength and authoritarian tendencies of Spain reminded Catalans of the terrible consequences they endured the last time they defied the state; and, at a time of economic nationalism and captive markets, the need to have access to the Spanish market for their industrial products. Nevertheless, Catalonia pursued a modicum of cultural and political autonomy through different strategies. They led an attempt to establish a federal state under the first republic of 1873-74 – which was quickly put to rest by a military coup and the restoration of the Bourbouns to the Spanish throne. Challenging the corrupt electoral system of that period, they finally obtained a minimal level of administrative autonomy in the pre-World War I period. In the wake of World War I and Woodrow Wilson’s international doctrine on the right of selfdetermination, the Catalan regionalist movement launched a campaign for a fully-fledged autonomous status. The campaign, that finally failed due to Spain’s resistance, eventually triggered the imposition of a military dictatorship in 1923 and the outright repression of Catalan language and culture. With the collapse of the monarchy and the introduction of democracy and the Spanish republic in 1931, the Catalan question once more came to the fore. For the Republic to prevail over its many enemies (the royalists, the military, the church establishment and a small but troublesome group of newcomers, the fascists) the Catalans’ participation was essential. In exchange, the Spanish republican parties agreed to grant Catalonia a measure of au-

Visions from a newly-emerging state

tonomy in the form of a self-rule charter, the first Estatut. Even though that concession came without an honest acknowledgement of Catalonia’s national nature, thereby upsetting the Catalan public, many in Spain considered it excessive and led to the first military insurrection (in 1932) against what many saw as the breakup of Spain. This was the prelude to a further coup, in 1936, and the start of a three-year civil war. That the ‘Catalan question’ was an important motivation for those supporting the military uprising is clear from statements the coup’s instigators made at the time. Most Catalans stood by the Republic and lost once again. With the occupation by Franco’s nacionales, another dark period began for Catalonia. All the government institutions which had been re-established were dissolved, and anything that might suggest that Catalans were anything other than ordinary Spaniards, beginning with their language, was ruthlessly persecuted. Once more, the Catalans had no choice but to work quietly to build their economy while trying to preserve as much as they could from their culture, often in clandestine ways. This was the state of affairs at the time of Franco’s death in 1975.

The promise of constitutional rule

After Franco’s death a new regime that was acceptable to the other Western European nations had to be installed in Spain. For the forces of change to prevail over a still-powerful Francoist old guard, the Catalans and Basques needed to be brought on board. A long-standing demand by both communities was the recognition of their national character and the need to give it a political expression. The principle had been endorsed by all the political parties in the Spanish pro-democracy movement during the dictatorial period, but when the time came to make

it effective, the political players leading the transition in Madrid proved to be as intrinsically centralist as their predecessors. The notion of various national communities coexisting as equals within the state was strongly resisted, and the result was the ambiguous wording that finally found its way into the 1978 Constitution. In an article that would prove to be open to conflicting interpretations, a distinction was made between the constituent ‘regions’ and ‘nationalities’, while the Spanish state reserved the title of ‘Nation’ 5 for itself. Many Catalans chose to read into this a recognition of their historic rights and, consequently, the acceptance of a differential status for their community, allowing it to develop on its own terms and in line with its specific needs. A charter laying down the bases for the effective exercise of Catalan self-government, a second Estatut, became an organic law in 1979. This was thought to mark the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship with the state, and the Catalans earnestly set out to fit in with the new order. It was hoped that nudging a self-absorbed Spain to open itself up to European influences and promoting the country’s economic prosperity and political stability would bring about the necessary societal change on which to build such a relationship. Nonetheless, if a deal had ever been struck, Spain soon gave signs of wanting to go back on it. As early as 1981, an attempted coup was interpreted as a signal from the military to scrap the idea of differential treatment for Catalans and Basques. In 1982, the two parties that held the majority in Spain (though not in Catalonia) agreed on a process leading to the virtual equalization of all ‘autonomous communities’. Diluting the meaning of political autonomy by sharing it among 17 entities, most of them artificially created only months earlier, was their way of Catalan International View

5 Art. 2 of the Constitution reads: “La Constitución se fundamenta en la indisoluble unidad de la Nación española, patria común e indivisible de todos los españoles, y reconoce y garantiza el derecho a la autonomía de las nacionalidades y regiones que la integran y la solidaridad entre todas ellas”.



Burriac Castle.

6 For the most recent and exhaustive analysis on the legal encroachment of the central state, see the report published by the Institut d’Estudis Autonòmics (2013).


rejecting the principle of genuine selfgovernment for the historic nations. This indicated a fundamental disagreement about what the new organization of the state was about. When signing up for the Spanish project in 1978, the Catalans had thought that it would eventually evolve into a federalstyle arrangement, in which most matters would come within the exclusive jurisdiction of the re-established Catalan parliament and government, and that a bilateral relationship would be instituted with the central state. Now, however, it was becoming apparent that from the Spanish point of view, autonomy meant little more than decentralizing part of the administration and farming out the onerous provision Catalan International View

of services like health and education, while the central government would still have the last word on all essential policy-making, not least through its control of the collection and allocation of fiscal revenues. These two opposing views as to the shape that the post-Franco regime should take were not to converge in the next thirty years. On the contrary, throughout that period Catalans found themselves having to use a lot of energy defending certain basic notions they thought had been settled for good. A pattern emerged of constant encroachment on self-government through laws and regulations, in an effort to exert control over areas that were supposed to be beyond the state’s jurisdiction, always in a way that suited the central government’s interests.6 Even more worrying was the realization that the Catalan cultural exception was not going to be accepted by unitary Spain. The traditional hostility towards the Catalans’ distinct personality, expressed most visibly in their language, had clearly not died away. Despite a climate of growing disenchantment, frequent attempts were made by the Catalan side to change the course of events, with little success. Finally, in 2005, the Catalan Socialist Party, then leading the tripartite coalition in power in Catalonia, saw an opportunity after a presumably more receptive government had been elected in Madrid under Zapatero’s fellow Socialists. On the strength of the promise made by Zapatero in November of 2003 to support a new Estatut approved by the Catalan parliament, all political parties in Catalonia were enlisted (except the PP, which opposed the idea and worked to sabotage it from the start) in an effort to draft a new self-rule charter incorporating the quasi-federal concept of devolution that the Catalan side had always advocated. Moreover, to guarantee the

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autonomy of the Catalan government against the central state’s systematic interventionism, the new Estatut was drafted employing highly detailed, almost cumbersome wording. Even before its contents or its purpose were known, the idea of a new Estatut for Catalonia was greeted with suspicion throughout Spain, where it was viewed as a separatist ploy. The fiercest attacks (coming mostly, but not exclusively, from the PP) included calls to boycott Catalan products and found considerable popular support among large sectors of Spanish society. The process carried on regardless, in full compliance with the procedures laid down by Spanish law. The Catalan parliament debated and agreed on a consensus text taking into account the more tepid thinking about self-government advocated by the Socialist Party. This was submitted to the Spanish Cortes, where, presaging what was to follow, several important elements from the original were struck down. This watered-down version was then endorsed by the Catalans out of a feeling of resignation in a referendum in which the low turnout was a first sign of their disenchantment with the whole process. The new Estatut was duly signed by the King and thus became an organic state law, but that didn’t keep the PP from challenging it on constitutional grounds. In 2010, ending a five-year period of uncertainty, Spain’s Constitutional Court (with one vacant position and three members serving with expired mandates due to a lack of agreement between Spain’s two main parties in the appointment of new judges) gave its ruling. Alleging technical adjustments needed to align the text with the 1978 Constitution, various articles were totally or partially invalidated, while others were seriously undermined thanks to an interpretation that was contrary to their original spirit. In the end, the

resulting Estatut was no better than the previous one, and in any case it didn’t solve any of the problems that had called for the revision. But, beyond the more practical aspects, there was in the Court decision an ugly undercurrent that went to the heart of the matter. It was expressly stated that the term ‘nation’ used to refer to Catalonia in the preamble had no legal value. And to rub that in, the new text included eight references to the ‘indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation’. This meant denying the Catalans their collective rights as a people and shutting the door on any possibility of a bilateral relationship with central government.

In 2010, the resulting Estatut was no better than the previous one, and in any case it didn’t solve any of the problems that had called for the revision What was essentially a unionist proposal, in so far that it aimed to find a practical solution to the state organization by defining the place of an autonomous Catalonia in a decentralized Spain, had been misinterpreted as a step towards separation. So everyone in Spain was happy with the court’s decision. By pulling the teeth of the Estatut, it was thought that the latest Catalan scheme had been derailed, and the intractable ‘Catalan question’ had been put off, for a few years at least. This was a serious mistake. If accepted in its original form, the new Estatut would have guaranteed the continuation of the Spanish enterprise. Of course, the price of unity would have been some loss of the control enjoyed by the Madrid-centered establishment. So, for the powers that be in the capital, the dilemma was between ceding part Catalan International View



of that control, as the Catalans proposed, or taking a hard line, even if it meant antagonizing the Catalan people and risking an escalation of tension. Madrid chose the latter. What they failed to realize was that the new Estatut represented a strict minimum in order for the Catalans to go ahead with the Spanish venture. The message from the Court served to set the limits to Catalan self-rule and, subsequently, to what Catalans could expect from belonging to Spain. In Catalonia this naturally generated a feeling of indignation. Catalans felt they had been cheated when they agreed to a game in which the deck was stacked against them. It was all the more irritating because they had wasted almost five years and considerable energy on the Estatut project.

In 2009, Catalans had been organizing local referenda on independence involving more than half a million voters without any institutional support Although pro-secessionist sentiment had been growing since the rebuttal of the new Estatut in the Spanish Cortes (see Figure 1), the Constitutional Court’s decision marked a decisive tipping point. Beginning in the fall of 2009, Catalans had been organizing local referenda on independence involving more than half a million voters without any institutional support. In July 2010, barely two weeks after the ruling on the Estatut had been made public, close to a million people marched in protest in Barcelona under the slogan ‘We are a nation, we decide’. From then on, more and more Catalans came to the conclusion that the Spanish way had been closed to them and chose to start on a separate road. 18

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Catalan political representatives were taking good note of those developments. A new administration led by President Artur Mas was elected in November 2010. They were times of crisis and the economy had taken center stage. It was deemed necessary to put more resources at the disposal of Catalan society by stopping the constant drainage of funds from Catalonia to the central government. This was an issue around which every social and political group in Catalonia was in agreement, and Mas made a commitment to propose to the central government what he called ‘a new fiscal pact with the state’. But by then the Catalans’ exasperation had grown far beyond the financial aspects, creating a gradual but steady shift in public opinion. Pro-independence feeling that only a few years before barely represented one sixth of the electorate was fast becoming the majority option. On September 11th, 2012, most of the 1.5 million who marched during the Catalan National Day demonstration that made headlines around the world were openly calling for independence. Only a few days later Mas made a last-ditch attempt to put across his proposal for a negotiation on the fiscal pact, which was contemptuously spurned by Spanish President Mariano Rajoy. This prompted Mas to call a snap election with just one major campaign promise: the Catalan people would be given the chance to vote in an official referendum as to their future relationship with the Spanish state. Although Mas’ coalition didn’t win by the landslide it expected, it was because many voters opted for a more openly pro-independence party. All in all, the elections of November of 2012 gave a two-thirds parliamentary majority to the parties in favor of holding a referendum – the remaining third being equally split between those opposed to any consultation and the

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Socialist Party, which mainly wanted to hold a referendum to promote a federal reform of the constitution.

The road ahead

After issuing a parliamentary declaration stating that Catalonia is sovereign to decide its future, the Catalan government has started to lay the necessary groundwork to hold a referendum in 2014. As part of the process, the regional government has promoted several political initiatives: (1) it has gathered a panel of experts in the form of an Advisory Council for the National Transion (CATN) to examine the legal and institutional steps that are needed to hold a referendum; (2) it has convened a broad civic platform, that now includes the main Catalan trade unions, a significant part of the business community and a broad swath of social and civic associations, including representatives of immigrant communities, all of which have agreed to support the right to hold a consultation: (3) it has recently committed itself (with the support of two thirds of the parliamentary seats) to set a date and a question for a referendum to be held in 2014; (4) it has informed the Spanish government as to these steps and has invited it to agree to the holding of a referendum. As thoroughly discussed in the first report issued by the Advisory Council (CATN), holding a referendum on selfdetermination is legitimate and legally possible. As of today, the legitimate use of the principle of self-determination is defined by two main bodies of legal and jurisprudence doctrine. On the one hand, the opinion of Canada’s Supreme Court on the case of Quebec (followed by the Clarity Act), where the Court acknowledges that even if the Quebecois government cannot ‘invoke a right of self-determination to dictate the terms of a proposed secession to the other parties to the federation’, Canada has ‘no basis to deny the right

of the government of Quebec to pursue secession’.7 The ideals that inspire this opinion lie behind the recent agreement between Scotland and Britain on the Scottish referendum of September 2014. On the other hand, an opinion issued by the International Court of Justice in 2010 on the case of Kosovo states that international law does not forbid the right of self-determination provided it is conducted through peaceful and democratic means. The Spanish legal order provides at least five channels through which to consult the Catalan people as to their opinion about the future status of Catalonia. Three of them depend on the explicit will of the Spanish government, which may directly authorize a (non-binding) referendum in Catalonia (art. 92 of the Spanish constitution), delegate the power to hold one to the Catalan government (art. 150.2), or reform the constitution (through the procedures estalished in art. 167 and previously employed in the summer of 2012 to constitutionalize the deficit limits agreed by the EU). At this point, however, the Spanish government has declined to respond to the Catalan government’s request one way Catalan International View

View from Burriac Castle.

7 The difference between referenda and political consultations follows a sentence of the Spanish Constitutional Court of 2008.



REFERENCES CATN. 2013. La consulta sobre el futur polític de Catalunya. Barcelona: Consell Assessor per a la Transició Nacional. Elliott, J.H. 1989. Spain and its World 1500-1700. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Elliott, J.H. 1990. Imperial Spain, 1469-1716. London: Penguin Books. Institut d’Estudis Autonòmics. 2013. Informe sobre les duplicitats funcionals i organitzatives entre l’estat i la Generalitat de Catalunya. Barcelona. Payne, Stanley G. 1999. Fascism in Spain, 19231977. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. This article was originally published in the French journal Politique étrangère: Carles Boix et J.C. Major, “La marche de la Catalogne vers l’autodétermination”, Politique étrangère, n°4/2013.

or another. In fact, the Spanish government has not even entertained the possibility (raised by a reduced minority of Spanish intellectuals and journalists) to engage in some form of meaningful dialogue or negotiations that could accommodate the demands of Catalan society. In turn, the Catalan government can hold referenda directly through two means: according to the current Catalan law on referenda; and using a new law (now under discussion in the Catalan Parliament) on political consultations. In both cases, however, the central state could always challenge the law (or its application) before the Constitutional Court: given the dubious independence of this court (the current president was a former member of the Partido Popular author of a book that contains demeaning remarks about Catalans), the likelihood that the Catalan referendum could be technically blocked is high. As pointed out earlier, both the Catalan government and the Catalan Parliament have committed themselves to holding a referendum in 2014, as a response to massive popular demands, as confirmed by numerous opinion polls. If, for purely political reasons, the Spanish government blocks it, the Catalan government could (and in fact it has already stated that it would) resort to holding fresh parliamentary elections. Those elections would then work ‘as if ’ they were a referendum, that is, the electoral campaign would most likely

pivot around the exercise of self-determination and the will of the Catalans to become independent or not. Although the Spanish Senate is empowered by art. 155 of the constitution to suspend an autonomy, the likelihood of this happening seems remote as of today. It would certainly not resolve a problem that would arise in every election (local, Spanish, European) to be held in the future. There are two factors that make the current Catalan movement strong. First, it is a truly grassroots movement that has developed spontaneously and independently from political parties. As such, it cannot be put back into the bottle through some kind of shady deal between political elites. Second, it is an extraordinary civic and peaceful movement, as attested most recently by the demonstration of September 11th, 2013, where 1.6 million people held hands along a 400 km human chain from northern Catalonia to the region of Valencia demanding independence in a festive, orderly manner. This has nothing to do with the violent and exclusive activities that have sometimes accompanied other national popular movements in Europe. On the contrary, the Catalan process toward self-determination invokes, both in its form and substance, the true spirit of democracy. It therefore calls for a generous political response from Spain – in the form of a political referendum on the future status of Catalonia.

*Carles Boix is the Robert Garrett Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a member of the Advisory Council for the National Transition of the Government of Catalonia.

*J. C. Major is one of the founders of Col·lectiu Emma and the editor of its webpage ‘Explaining Catalonia’.


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An unprecedented social and political process by Salvador CardĂşs *

The social and political process that a significant part of Catalan society is engaged in is so dense, complex and fast-paced that it is difficult to clearly appreciate the factors that explain its origins some ten years ago and its current state of development. According to opinion polls conducted at the end of 2013, 60 percent of the population held a desire to have an independent state (double the number than at the beginning of the process), a phenomenon which is still on the rise. Nevertheless, a huge number of political uncertainties remain. At present no one can reasonably predict the probable future evolution and eventual outcome of this impressive democratic challenge to twenty-first century Europe. Not until the process comes to an end will it be possible to fully, precisely and rigorously examine all the factors involved in this phenomenon, which is as politically exciting as it is unprecedented. I say this because I think it is worth noting that the following analysis should be seen as tentative. We are awaiting more data and in-depth research to help us understand a process of political demands of a kind which has never previously been seen in contemporary Europe. Although it is a process which should be seen from the perspective of a long Catalan tradition of economic, political and cultural resistance, it was not originally intended to follow this radical, yet purely democratic path, lying outside the framework of the Spanish Constitution. In addition, the speed of events, combined with the consistency of developments in public opinion accompanying the mobilisation of civil society, mean that any attempt to 22

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understand the situation is all the more complex.

One condition and two triggers

From my point of view, the first thing of note are the conditions which made possible the emergence of the current process. No one believed at the time of the recovery of democratic institutions in Catalonia (in 1977 following the restoration of the provisional Generalitat or in 1980 with the creation of the first Parliament of Catalonia after the Franco dictatorship) a majority expression of a desire for independence would have been viable. Not because of the lack of a solid conceptual independence movement with a long political tradition, but because it was in the minor-

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ity and political conditions during the transition to democracy, with no real break with the previous regime, meant the time was not right. In fact, the only Catalan political party with a republican tradition, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, was not made legal until after the Communist Party and following Spain’s first democratic elections. Nevertheless, after more than thirty years of self-government, the situation has changed. The existence of a regional government and the policy of ‘national reconstruction’ it has developed have made possible a strong sense of belonging and a degree of cohesion within the Catalan political community. While in 1980 four out of ten Catalans declared themselves to be ‘solely’ or ‘mostly’

Spanish, in 2014 this figure is not even one in ten. Conversely, while two and a half people out of ten felt themselves to be ‘solely or mostly’ Catalan in 1980, now the figure stands at six out of ten. The remaining three out of ten stand outside of this dichotomy. The failure of Catalonia’s latest attempt to politically accommodate itself within Spain (with the reform of Catalonia’s Statute, begun in 2004 and prematurely ended in 2006) was met with a response which was largely unexpected. The fact that a proposal which had the backing of 90 percent of the representatives of the Parliament of Catalonia was critically reduced by Spain’s judiciary (which according to experts left Catalan political autonomy in a Catalan International View

La Serra del Montsant, Montsant, southern Catalonia.



worse position than under the previous statute of 1979), may well have reduced the public to a state of collective depression. Instead, distancing itself from its political representatives, civil society set to work and turned the page on the old autonomous model, in a display of a progressive ability to respond to circumstances. There were certain precedents in demonstrations between 2004 and 2006, but it is chiefly following 2007, with the failure of the new Statute, that an impressive, grassroots mobilization of society became apparent: all manner of separatist organizations emerged in large numbers; mass demonstrations of public support heralded a new era of political sovereignty; hundreds of books supporting sovereignty were published; informal referenda were held at the local level in 550 municipalities, including the capital, Barcelona, with the participation of over twenty percent of the population; around 4,000 promotional activities were organised in just eighteen months. And so on. There is an almost endless list covering this mobilization. To some extent it cannot be catalogued, since much of it has taken place online, and as such is hard to quantify, though it has an extraordinary scope. One can find few examples in post-WWII Europe of a process of constant and increasing mobilization of this magnitude, with the ability to rally two million people (of a population of seven and a half million) in a human chain 400 kilometres long.

Civil society has set to work and has turned the page on the old autonomous model, in a display of a progressive ability to respond to circumstances However, to explain this response to failure we need to add a factor that has not yet been studied thoroughly, which is 24

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the response to humiliation. The failure of the reform of the Statute could have resulted in a parliamentary political crisis, without causing the social reaction I have outlined. However, it appears as if the Spanish political elite wanted to profit from political failure in order to accelerate the process of dismantling the very concept of autonomous states. This process is advocated by the FAES Foundation, closely linked to former Spanish President José María Aznar, and is also in keeping with the desire of certain sectors of the PSOE, the Spanish socialist party. Arrogant expressions of such an ideology, humiliating the Catalans for their political failure, began in 2006, coinciding with the continued erosion of the political autonomy which had been won only after much effort. The state broke its agreements, publicly flaunting the notorious fiscal suffocation (with Catalonia making a net contribution exceeding 8 percent of its GDP, according to the Spanish government itself ), Catalano-phobic campaigns were organized by the Spanish Partido Popular and, what is more, the Spanish press added to a resurgence of Spanish nationalism of a most unitary and homogenizing variety. In other words, they once more dismissed and attacked Catalan language and culture, keys to a feeling of national belonging. The appeal against the new Statute in the Constitutional Court (in spite of it having been approved by the Catalans in a referendum in the summer of 2006) and the painful sentence which followed, removing its very essence, gave way to the grassroots reaction. In July 2010 a million Catalans took to the streets of Barcelona under the slogan ‘We are a nation. We decide’, in a protest organized by Òmnium Cultural. On the 11th September 2012, one and a half million Catalans once more took to the streets with the slogan ‘Catalonia, a new European state’ this time organized by a body behind the popular consultations of 2009 and 2010, the Catalan

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National Assembly (ANC). On the 11th September 2013, two million Catalan participated in the 400 kilometre-long Via Catalana, once more organized by the ANC. It was a show of strength, intelligence and organizational ability that surprised even the Catalans themselves.

Political aggiornamento (renewal)

The social reaction to the political failure of the reform of the Statute and Spain’s subsequent attempt at humiliation was so overwhelming it forced the political parties to adopt a position in response to the public’s demands. Likewise, the pro-independence social movement has appreciated that it needs to be headed by the parties which are supporting the process. It has therefore adopted a strong position in order to ensure a steady pace, without resorting to any form of populism that would have detracted from the formal legitimacy of any developments. The Catalan nationalist, centreright coalition, Convergència i Unió (CiU), which governed from 1980 to 2003 and again since 2010, has adopted the sovereignty thesis, most notably from 2012 to now. The traditionally pro-independence party on the left, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), has experienced a period of unprecedented growth and is vying with CiU for first place. Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (ICV), the former-communist party, remains in favour of Catalonia deciding its own future but has yet to declare whether it supports independence. In the space occupied by leftwing parties we find assembly-based Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP), which is also pro-independence. The Partit Socialista de Catalunya (PSC) has been plunged into an unprecedented crisis due to its lack of clarity, which it tries to disguise with appeals to federalism. As a result it is in danger of becoming a minority party. Meanwhile, Spanish nationalism which not only

opposes Catalan independence but also the Catalans’ right to decide, is divided between the right of the Spanish rightwing Partido Popular (PP) and an ideologically undefined party Ciudadanos (C’s), which is gaining ground on the PP. In total, two thirds of the Parliament of Catalonia has declared itself in favour of a referendum on the ‘right to decide’ (CiU, ERC, ICV and CUP), fifty-five percent are explicitly in favour of Catalonia becoming an independent state and only twenty percent are strictly Spanish unionists. Forecasts suggest that these figures will rise significantly in favour of pro-independence positions in the next election. Whatever happens, it is clear that the independence process is creating strong tensions within virtually all of the political organizations, which are Catalan International View

The Santa Maria d’Escaladei Monastery, Priorat region.



Siurana, Priorat region.

busy trying to catch up with the social demands of a climate of informal political participation of unprecedented dimensions. Voter turnout in 2012 was the highest since 1980 and the Catalan population has a taste for political debate, in stark contrast with the general climate of distrust towards parties that exists throughout Europe.

The strategy of threats and scaremongering employed by Spanish leaders has proved itself worthless. The Catalan process, indifferent to such tactics, continues to unfold in an impeccably democratic and peaceful manner Spain’s failure to understand

A relatively surprising phenomenon is Spain’s apparent failure to under26

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stand the magnitude of the Catalan secessionist process. It may well be a reaction to events which even caught Catalan political analysts unawares, as mentioned earlier, and for the fact that it fails to follow the pattern established over the previous thirty-five years. Nevertheless, the fact is that Spanish political elites, party leaders, major media organizations, certain business sectors and senior government officials have refused to initiate any form of dialogue to find some kind of middleground. Obsessed by the unconstitutional nature of Catalonia’s separatist aspirations, they refuse to accept any kind of negotiation, even to the extent of criticising the few sectors of Catalan society which are trying to find a third, non-disruptive, alternative. Initially Spain alleged that it is a process triggered by the economic crisis and that once it has passed every-

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thing will go back to normal. Then it insisted that the process would eventually run out of steam. Thirdly it warned of an impending breakdown of social cohesion between native Catalans and the descendants of the massive waves of migration of fifty years ago. Finally, Spain tried to make people believe it was all the result of President Artur Mas’ megalomania and the manipulation of the public via publicly-owned media. However, the fact is that the move towards pro-independence can be traced back to around three years before the start of the recession. In fact, signs of improvements in the economy (noticeably more visible in Catalonia than the rest of Spain) may well bolster support for secession. Moreover, not only has support failed to run out of steam, according to opinion polls, the opposite has occurred. In relation to possible fractures in cohesion, it seems that those who utter such threats have not understood that Catalan society has established a peaceful multicultural model, with very low levels of racism. Instead, organizations which are successors of the waves of immigrations have come out in favour of independence and proudly state their radical Catalan nature. As for President Artur Mas and publiclyowned media, one need only remember that his policies are a reaction to public pressure (as late as autumn 2012 he was still trying to reach a settlement through a new fiscal pact), and that Catalan public television accounts for only between 15 to 20 percent of the

audience share, while the rest is in the hands of Spanish channels. The strategy of threats and scaremongering employed by Spanish leaders has proved itself worthless. On the contrary, the Spanish state’s total inability to create a climate of trust and empathy reinforces the belief that there is no possible means of reconciliation. Aside from these threats, often exposing a barely democratic political culture, the Catalan process, indifferent to such tactics, continues to unfold in an impeccably democratic, peaceful, goodnaturedly friendly, manner.

The outcome

Ultimately we will only be able to judge the success or failure of the current analysis with the final outcome of the process. If the independence movement were to lose momentum, if fear took hold of Catalan society, if political leadership took a step backwards and, finally, if the desire for self-determination were to fail to achieve an electoral majority, one would need to thoroughly review the information we have so far taken as decisive. For now, however, this scenario seems unlikely. It appears highly unlikely that the steps taken so far would be undone. It is difficult to imagine who could politically lead a failure of this nature. Nonetheless, if the outcome lives up to the aspirations of this great popular movement and the political dynamics it has generated, we will have to spend many hours studying the idiosyncrasies of such an unexpected and unprecedented process. *Salvador Cardús

(Terrassa, 1954). PhD in Economics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge, Cornell University (USA) and Queen Mary College of the University of London. Currently he is professor of Sociology at the UAB and the former Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology. He has conducted research into the sociology of religion and culture, media, nationalism and identity. His published works include, Plegar de viure (Giving Up on Life) with Joan Estruch, Saber el temps (Understanding the Time), El desconcert de l’educació (The Education Puzzle), Ben educats (Well Educated) and El camí de la independència (The Road To Independence). In the field of journalism he was the editor of the Crònica d’Ensenyament magazine (1987-1988) and was deputy editor of the Avui newspaper (1989-1991). He contributes to ARA, La Vanguardia, Diari de Terrassa and Deia newspapers. He is member of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans.

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The economic and financial challenges facing an independent Catalonia by Guillem López-Casasnovas*

If the Government of Catalonia manages to hold the proposed referendum and Catalan voters express their majority will to set our country on its own path, then structures for economic governance will be needed in order to manage our own destiny. Organizations, well established working-practices and the human resources able to pursue the economic policies that various governments wish to put into practice are the characteristics one would expect of a normal country. These institutions underpin independent states such as Denmark or Lithuania, or members of a federal system, such as California or Puerto Rico. Since such things cannot be created overnight and the scale of the proposal calls for a serious analysis, a group of academics from the Institute of Catalan Studies (IEC), university professors and professionals in the field of economics, recently held a meeting in order to assess the challenges involved in this institutional building. They did so in answering the call of Òmnium Cultural (one of the figureheads of organized Catalan civil society) and the IEC itself. These two organizations wish to contribute towards reflection as to the future economy of a country which has a desire to be ‘normal’. The aim is to exam28

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ine the various factors which, in new scenarios, will have an impact on the economy. They wish to do so while avoiding closed prescriptive solutions and without losing a strong hold on reality. Firstly, it is a matter of ensuring that any changes do not have a negative impact on the welfare of Catalonia’s citizens and secondly, making the most of such changes in order to improve the country’s institutional capital. This involves identifying problems which can be solved with action, complexities which can be tackled through hard work, limitations which can be accepted in different time periods (short, medium and long-term) and considerations as to how the transition can be made as smooth as possible.

Economic viability

Catalonia’s own economic and financial viability is not in question: it is a country with a mature economy and a business culture which is strong enough to manage its own destiny. Nevertheless,

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there are political circumstances (with a greater or lesser degree of respect for the democratically expressed wishes of its citizens) which may determine the cost of the transition will be and what may affect the timing and the feasibility of the process. The IEC group paid special attention to three areas in particular: taxation (responsibilities in the exercise of new powers over taxation, regulation and inspection); finance (supervision of institutions which provide credit, insurance and mutual funds, and securities markets and collective institutions) and trade (international institutions, trade agreements).


In this first area, the IEC Report emphasized the importance of building a new culture of tax compliance which is not subject to excessive Internal Revenue Service controls: the mechanisms and computer hardware and statistical control systems need to be in place, but

they must serve to aid the collaboration of taxpayers on the one hand and the corresponding loyalty of the Treasury on the other. In the short term, a potential way ahead might be for two legal frameworks to coexist, with one being enforced in a merely transient manner, with a separation between the tax declaration and revenue collection. This might work thanks to its capacity as a repository of information and to allow greater continuity in the lives of most businesses and taxpayers. Obviously, a decision would have to be made for legally implementing a system in favour of one of the two taxation bodies. Suggestions which endeavoured to generate greater understanding between the government and the taxpayers would be favoured: with greater legal security, consistency in responses to binding agreements and, above all, the conviction that the new government will make better use of its citizens’ tax contributions in response to public Catalan International View

River Onyar flowing through the city of Girona.



interests. Hence it is important that a new tax administration knows how to find mechanisms to facilitate the process with an inspection body, which would largely be newly-recruited and trained in these objectives. Such a task might appear to be overwhelming if it takes place in a context lacking in interadministrative cooperation, in which the European agent is unfortunately less relevant, even if it shows total respect for guidelines and agreements, both of the EU in general (irrespective of whether the country is in the Eurozone) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This task is possible thanks to the benchmarking best EU practices and the fact that it will be carried out gradually, in a sensible manner, while avoiding all sense of fiscal impunity. This will undoubtedly call for a continuation of the existing tax laws, unpopular as this move may be, for the sake of greater legal confidence in the functioning of economic life.

The political rather than the economic viability is at stake. Catalonia is a country with a mature economy and a business culture which is sufficiently robust to manage its own destiny Financial regulation and supervision

In the area of financial regulation and supervision, there was almost unanimous agreement within the IEC group with respect to the value of the euro as the common currency, even in the event of Catalonia remaining outside the Eurosystem (which is likely in instances of non-cooperation) and/or the Eurozone. This would be better achieved through being based on a monetary agreement (as in the case of Andorra and Monaco) or a unilateral decision (as with Kosovo and Montenegro). We must do what30

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ever is necessary (depending on what Europe asks of us) in order to achieve this continuity, such would be the legal security resulting from the preservation of the euro currency for business transactions for Catalan firms or foreign companies which are based here. In any event, a national banking authority will be necessary, with regulatory and supervisory skills, together with the corresponding inspectors, since the Bank of Spain will not have passed on its authority for the new tasks. The implementation of the European supervisory mechanisms will only partially alleviate this function. In any case, being outside the Eurosystem can be seen as the lesser of two evils; what is more significant is agreeing that if one is outside the Eurozone, collateral assets remain limited in terms of European Central Bank liquidity. This is not a matter of access to liquidity, solvable through bank subsidiaries or branches in the Iberian Peninsula or any other EU state, but rather the quantum, given our high indebtedness. In any case, the dangers of this restriction (in a ‘failure to agree’ scenario) are expected to be alleviated in the best interests of the EU itself. Indeed the Commission and the European Council will need to clarify the role they wish the Government of Catalonia to have as a ‘successor’ (maintaining of the rights of European citizens and other related aspects - mobility, currency) thereby holding joint responsibilities in Spain’s pre-existing sovereign debt, or its socalled ‘successor’, sequential in time, without continuity in taking on any of those obligations. The mood among the pro-European participants of the IEC meeting was to ‘do as Europe says’, in the sense that it is sufficiently aware of how to gauge the consequences of one decision or another, not only in national or Spanish terms, but rather on a European level of interest, building a common space, with respect for Spain’s commitments, customs and guarantees

Visions from a newly-emerging state

to its creditors. Those who thought that the EU itself would favour a deal were in the majority, since it would be foolish to condemn a group of European citizens to starvation, and, in any case, it would eventually drag the Kingdom of Spain into the crisis, as the solvency of its debt would be seriously weakened, as would the credibility of the European construction itself. Although they attempted to evaluate the inconveniences of the doomsday scenario (in aspects relating to the operation of Target 2 -the chamber of compensation- or the potential credit crunch, and differential ‘haircuts’ and lower ratings that could penalize the debt belonging to the Catalan government and Catalan economic agents), everyone remained convinced that the EU would not allow it to happen. This is not because of the concerns of state governments per se, but because of people, the sense of belonging to the European community and to a common space, with Catalonia being the gateway to the EU for Spain and the whole Mediterranean. In the

worst-case scenario the effects would only be felt in the short-term.

The city of Girona.

Foreign trade

Finally, in the field of foreign trade, there was total agreement as to the benefits of not establishing separate tariff structures in any event, thus explicitly demonstrating our inclusive intentions and ensuring maximum stability in business transactions. In the event of finding ourselves outside the EU, we would seek a trade agreement, which does not require a unanimous vote by the European Council and for which there is no possibility of a veto. It would not be necessary to seek the protection of the World Trade Organization, in order not to subsequently be limited when it came to making an agreement with the EU through being granted ‘most favoured nation’ status. If Catalonia was to sign a trade agreement to join the European Economic Area (as has Norway) or a customs union (as is the case with Andorra), a common external tariff on imports from outside the EU would apply. No other tariff would Catalan International View



be applied, whether for imports from inside or outside of the EU. In no instance, therefore, would a common external tariff be postulated, thus maintaining the free flow of goods, and thereby showing a genuine willingness to follow the EU’s recommendations to new structures for the smooth functioning of the European free trade area. It is acknowledged that the Inspection, Monitoring and Regulation of Exports Service (SOIVRE) will need to carry out the necessary border checks (such as veterinary controls, phytosanitary inspection) as well as quality control, processing paperwork, controlling the import and export of products, certification, carrying out disciplinary proceedings and so on. This will require the participation of quality and certification bodies. They are also aware of other solutions related to the virtues of the European Economic Area, which allow for specific customs unions (Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and Turkey), with common tariffs, and the different free trade agreements that the EU has with twenty-two other countries (some of which are not even members of the UN, such as the Palestinian Authority). The list of countries includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia. It also includes countries with which the EU has commercial interests which are considerably lower than it has with neighbouring countries such as Catalonia (Honduras, Nicara-

gua, Peru and South Africa). Moreover, the work of external promotion already has the support of major organizations which have a network of commercial offices yet to be developed, but which are already fully aware as to what is required, in line with the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) foreign policy or whoever takes on their current role.

Final thought

As Professor Jaume Ventura, a distinguished member of The Wilson Initiative pointed out, the services we, the citizens of Catalonia, expect from our state as part of a new design to ensure that they are provided efficiently require the ‘Catalonia-Europe tandem’. We expect three services from Europe: (1) to ensure the smooth-functioning of markets; (2) to ensure democracy, human rights and the freedom of individuals and peoples to choose their destiny; and (3) to defend the European space from external aggression. The Spanish state cannot provide these services. In a similar manner we expect three services from Catalonia: (1) to ensure law and order; (2) to ensure a generous and efficient welfare state; and (3) to provide infrastructures that are adequate for the economic activity of the country. Can the Spanish state provide, or is it willing to provide, these services? Let’s ask the citizens for their opinion as to whether the time has come to opt for the new tandem.

Guillem López-Casasnovas (Minorca, 1955). Holds a degree in Economics (distinction, 1978) and Law (1979) from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and a PhD in Public Economics from the University of York (1984). He has been a lecturer at the UB, visiting scholar at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Sussex and at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Stanford. Since 1992 he is full professor of economics at Barcelona’s Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), where he has been vice-rector of Economics and International Relations and dean of the School of Economics and Business Science. In 1998 he created the Economics and Health Research Centre (CRES-UPF), which he directed until 2005. In 2000 he received the Catalan Economics Society Award, in 2001 the Joan Sardà Dexeus Award and in 2008 the Ramon Llull Distinction from the Balearic government. He is a member of the Catalan Royal Academy of Medicine and distinguished member of the Economists’ Society of Catalonia. Former President of the International Health Economics Association and since 2005 a member of the Governing Board of the Spanish Central Bank. He serves on the advisory councils for Health, Economic Recovery and Catalan Research of the Government of Catalonia.


Catalan International View


Catalonia, navigating through friendly international waters by Martí Anglada*

Catalonia is navigating its way through ‘friendly, yet concerned international waters’. The Catalan sovereignty process is simultaneously viewed with great concern and sympathy by most Western states. The English-speaking media, both American and British, have excelled themselves thanks to their appreciation of the Catalan independence movement: seeing it as a peaceful mass-movement, driven by a profound democratic yearning, in what they identify as a popular democratic struggle. Meanwhile, the more skeptical, continental European media have been a big help to the Catalan process when they have covered, in a balanced and objective manner, Spain’s fiscal and economic imbalances which currently make the state untenable. This lack of financial sustainability in Spain’s current structure is indeed of great concern to the governments of Western nations. So far, not a single Western leader has expressed support for maintaining the Spanish status quo. In reference to Catalonia, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius declared, ‘It’s a problem that needs sorting out’. Numerous other European dignitaries have appealed for dialogue and a settlement between Catalonia and Spain. Yet none of them has argued in favour of maintaining the current structure of the Spanish state. Neither have they stated that the Catalan people do not have a right to express themselves democratically in a referendum. In other words, not one Western leader has fully subscribed to the Spanish government’s position. In summary, while the Spanish establishment defend the status quo (to continue ‘milking the Catalan cow’), Western governments long for reform to overcome the current financial and internal imbalances. They also long for changes to certain Spanish policies 34

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which they hold as being responsible for the infeasibility of Spain servicing its public debt in the long-term and for the falling-out between Catalonia and Spain. This is without going too deeply into the issue of the Catalan people’s democratic right to participate in a referendum, which, as has been mentioned, no one outside Spain’s borders questions for a minute. The international community’s reaction to the Catalan process is a feeling of great concern with respect to Spain, rather than questioning the economic viability of an independent Catalonia. It also feels great sympathy towards a democratic Catalan nation. However, there is a third key element that makes the situation all the more critical: the Catalan government and media have expressed a desire for the nation to retain its membership of two major international organizations: the European Union and NATO. Not a single

Visions from a newly-emerging state

party in the Catalan parliament has explicitly asked to leave the European Union, though many would prefer it to ease its austerity policies. Within the pro-independence majority in the Parliament of Catalonia (the four parties and coalitions that agreed on the date and the question to be put to the vote), only one (the CUP, on the extreme left) believes that Catalonia could do without the European Union. Membership of NATO goes without saying, or rather it would do if it weren’t for a spokesperson from the organization’s headquarters in Brussels who let slip that Catalonia would cease to form a part of NATO if it declared itself independent against the will of its parent state (Spain). It would therefore need to reapply for admission. Since NATO’s popularity has never been very high in Catalonia, it is a great example of how scaremongering could end up making imaginary problems real.

Fortunately, an independent Catalonia’s membership of NATO is not in dispute. Catalonia’s membership of the European Union (EU) is at the centre of the tug-of-war debate surrounding sovereignty, however. The alarmists have managed to make an impression. Those that fall into this camp include the Government of Madrid, the major Spanish political parties and certain members of the European Commission (Xosé Manuel Durao Barroso, Viviane Reding, Joaquín Almunia and Michel Barnier). They take it for granted that if Catalonia were to declare independence it would find itself outside the EU, in spite of the fact that European treaties make no mention of the possibility of ‘internal expansion’. Nevertheless, Joaquín Almunia has previously been quoted as saying that, ‘it would be dishonest to state categorically that Catalonia would be excluded from the European Union’. Moreover, another part of the European Catalan International View

The Ebre Delta.



The Ebre Delta.

Commission is immune to pressure from the Spanish government and is either remaining silent or is actively making friendly statements about Catalonia. One example is the Austrian Commissioner Johannes Hahn, who declared that the situation arising from a declaration of independence ought to be studied ‘calmly’.

So far not a single Western leader has expressed support for maintaining the imbalances of the Spanish status quo Such alarmist talk (with no historical precedent, and no support from European treaties thanks to the fact that they can be interpreted in multiple ways) has had an effect on Catalan public opinion. This is precisely because Catalan public opinion holds membership of the European Union in high regard. Such great appreciation is not the result of any form of ‘economic self36

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interest’, as Catalonia has always been a net contributor to the EU’s coffers, since joining the organization in 1986. The Catalan people’s high regard for the European Union (and the Roman and Carolingian Europe in particular) is similar to the respect one has for the land upon which one walks: without it one would be nothing. Furthermore, up until now the European structure has been Catalonia’s only guarantee of a robust and reliable democratic framework. It provides a bulwark against Spain’s fragile democracy, with a coup on February 23rd 1981 and a Constitutional Court of dubious legitimacy, which overturned the 2010 Statute of Catalonia, which had previously been voted on and approved by the Catalan people in a referendum. A majority of Catalans still hope that mediation by the European Union will finally make it possible for them to exercise their democratic right to decide their own future; a right presently denied them by the Spanish government and parliament. For the Catalan people, the European Union has traditionally guaranteed their cultural, economic and political survival. Catalonia’s loyalty to the international organizations to which it belongs undoubtedly helps project a general feeling of calm in the midst of the sovereignty process, particularly in the western area that surrounds it. This makes the scaremongering all the more pernicious, short-sighted and above all irresponsible for wishing to undermine the foundations of these western alliances with Catalonia. The French and German governments (the two EU heavyweights) have done well to maintain a relative, expectant silence on the Catalan sovereignty process. Future relations should not be harmed, whatever the outcome. France cannot ignore the fact that Catalonia is increasingly on its side, with the high speed rail link to Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon and

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Paris and ever-closer ties in the supply of such essentials as water and electricity. The French always have in mind the map of France favoured by Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin (prime ministers at the time of Louis XIII and Louis XIV) and briefly attained by Napoleon, with Catalonia annexed within French territory. Obviously, we are not looking at annexation, but it appears as if France views Catalonia the same way it sees Belgium, as a close, perpetuallyfriendly nation and a loyal neighbour at all times. Germany, for its part, sees Catalonia from two viewpoints: business and culture. The former focuses on the fact that 55 percent of German companies established on the Iberian Peninsula (both Spain and Portugal) are based in Catalonia, between Barcelona and Tarragona. The cultural viewpoint has numerous components: the success of German translations of contemporary Catalan writers, such as Jaume Cabré, Albert Sánchez Piñol and Quim Monzó, Catalonia’s invitation to participate in the Frankfurt Book Fair and the performance of the Bayreuth Festival at the Liceu de Barcelona on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner (the only such performance to take place outside Germany). When the Catalan independence movement is seen from without, it reveals unexpected perspectives. It is highly attractive from the standpoint of complex national and regional circumstances in Europe such as Scotland, which wishes to retain Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and sterling as its currency; Flanders which

wants a minimal confederation with Wallonia within a Belgian framework; and even South Tyrol, a Germanspeaking region which is historically Austrian, which has belonged to Italy since 1918 with the name Alto Adige. The case of Catalonia has a great deal to contribute to the resolving of such complex problems: on numerous occasions, Catalonia’s president, Artur Mas, has proposed that a Catalan state could conduct its foreign policy directly with Brussels and its defence policy with one of its two immediate neighbours: France and Spain. The Catalan case could thereby help to encourage the search for new political and administrative alternatives which hitherto have not been seen in the European Union. They would operate in a more flexible, diverse framework than at present, with more subtle gradients between states: similar to German reunification at the time of Bismarck, when territories of the central government of the Second Empire had various intensities of dependency. Certain sectors of the German academic world, especially those composed of economists, also view the Catalan sovereignty process as an opportunity for greater economic dynamism in a southern Europe which has been so affected by the current crisis. Accordingly, stagnation within the economic structures of the large southern European countries may receive a boost of competitiveness and innovation with the emergence of smaller, more agile industrial countries such as Catalonia. Catalonia is navigating, then, through uncharted, yet ultimately friendly, waters.

*Martí Anglada Former foreign news editor at TV3 (Catalonia Television). He has been foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Italy and Great Britain (1977-1984) for the Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia and United States (19871990), Brussels and Berlin (2009-2011) correspondent for TV3. He has also been an international political commentator. His books include Afers no tan estrangers [Not So Foreign Affairs] (Editorial Mina, 2008), Quatre vies per a la independència: Estònia, Letònia, Eslovàquia, Eslovènia [Four Ways To Independence: Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia] (Editorial Pòrtic, 2013) and La via alemanya [The German Way] (Brau Edicions, 2014).

Catalan International View



The cultural foundations of independence: from a hostile state to a cooperative state by Vicenç Villatoro*

Just over one hundred years ago, the public were deeply shocked by Spain’s humiliating defeat at the hands of the United States in the war fought to maintain some of its former colonial strongholds in Cuba and the Philippines. In Spanish-speaking Spain, the crisis of ‘98 resulted in a blow to their ego and a subsequent emotional crisis, which gave rise to some beautiful literary outpourings. Meanwhile, in Catalonia, this same unforeseen defeat provoked a dynamic reaction, out of which was born politicized Catalan nationalism. This has become the dominant note in Catalan life for over a century. Industrialized Catalonia, home to one of the few industrial revolutions in Southern Europe, saw Spain’s defeat as the result of an inefficient, impotent state which, unlike the victorious United States, was not founded on the values of modernity, as measured in economic progress and democratic principles. Spain seemed to them an antiquated state in its values and alien in its attitudes and cultural foundations: a state tailored to the interests and culture of Castilian Spain, marginalizing the Catalans, their interests and their culture. Perhaps the clearest expression of this analysis is a poem by Joan Maragall (the grandfather of the former socialist president of the Catalan government), in which he refers to Spain as a mother and goes on to complain bitterly that she has stopped listening to and understanding her (Catalan) children. Aside from this analysis, the poem proposed two alternative solutions to the problem. The first, the reform and mod38

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ernization of the Spanish state, making it sensitive to the culture and interests of the Catalans. The second, if the first were to fail, abandoning Spain. The poem written in 1898 ends with a telling ‘Goodbye, Spain’. Both therapies were put into practice at the same time. Catalan nationalist reformism began its attempts to modernize Spain and endow it with plurality. It has dedicated more than a century of consistent effort to such an undertaking. It is no wonder that the cultural movement associated with this political attitude is known as ‘modernism’: the desire to be modern, a commitment to modernity. Meanwhile, Catalonia abandoned the state, especially in the field of culture, thus proclaiming a form of cultural independence. To the extent that the Spanish state did not wish to be the state of the Catalans, it did not wish to understand them in Catalan and had decided to be the state

Visions from a newly-emerging state

of the Castilian language and culture, Catalan culture decided to organize itself outside of the state. Not by forming another state but through a strong civil society, private funding, grassroots organizations with massive cross-class support, which allowed Catalonia to enter a Golden Age during the twentieth century (with the likes of Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Gaudí and Tàpies, together with many more equally as important but perhaps less well-known artists) in spite of the indifference or down-right hostility of the Spanish state. A century later, the demands and methods are almost identical, but the circumstances have changed. The project to reform and modernize Spain has been only partially successful: Spain has entered Europe, it has adopted a democratic system, practicing a decentralization which is more administrative than political. It believes it has signed up to modernity, but a significant part of its

political culture has pre-modern rhetoric and foundations and it has never lived up to the promise of the measured, generous cultural diversity of its peoples. The reformist path trusted gradualism, in spite of its slow pace, but this was dealt a death blow when the Spanish Constitutional Court radically reduced the Statute of Autonomy that had previously been approved by the Catalan people in a referendum. Moreover, the formula that was possible in the early twentieth century, of building a strong culture on the margins of the state, without its complicity, was no longer viable in the early twenty-first century: in order to survive, a culture needs the cooperation of a state committed to its survival through the education system, the communication system and every other mechanism a modern-day state has at its disposal, many more than those available to a state a hundred years ago. In the past a Catalan International View

The Sant Pere de Roda Monastery (IX century), with the Cap de Creus in the background.



View of the inside of Sant Pere de Roda’s bell tower.

culture could survive without the help of a state, so long as it built a strong civil society. Nowadays this civil society need not be replaced by the state, but it does require the existence of a state with a strong cultural involvement. Responses to Catalonia’s crisis of confidence in Spain which worked a hundred years ago no longer suffice. Reform has simply proved impossible, as has the option of living apart as if the other did not exist.

Catalan culture is facing a major problem at the start of the twenty-first century. The state, in linguistic terms, is the Castilian state, and considers that at best Catalan ought to play a regionalized, subsidiary and secondary role The solutions that were developed in 1898 have expired a hundred years later. The problems have not. To some degree they have worsened. A hundred 40

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years ago (and three hundred years ago, thanks to the adoption of a model based on the homogenizing, centralizing French system), Spain decided it was the state of the Spanish language, relegating the other languages to residual or subsidiary positions. Much more recently, around thirty years ago, Spain decided to take the model a step further. For many decades the mainland capitals were divided in the Italian manner: Madrid was the political, military, administrative and even financial capital, while Barcelona was the undisputed economic and cultural capital. Not many decades ago, Spain openly opted to centralize the various capitals in Madrid, including those traditionally found in Barcelona, the cultural capital among them. In order to accumulate these capitals it employed its resources and the power of the state in a discriminatory manner. This happened in the economic realm: the Spanish public infrastructure, railways, roads and airports (with only the ports partially excluded for

Visions from a newly-emerging state

purely geographical reasons!) are all designed to favour Madrid’s position as capital. They are organized radially, scorning lines of communication, even those directed towards Europe such as the Mediterranean, which do not pass through Madrid. The same occurred with the role of the cultural capital. The state opted for large cultural infrastructure for Madrid, its theatres, museums and concert halls. In some cases (though not all of course) these had been in a weaker position than their Catalan counterparts, yet they received direct and indirect resources to elevate their popularity. This phenomenon went beyond infrastructure: Madrid wanted to attract cultural industries, which had primarily been located in Catalonia, through state intervention: for example, the concentration in Madrid of public media organizations and their influence acted as a powerful magnet. The film industry, music studios and audio-visual companies that were originally largely based in Barcelona relocated to Madrid. Catalan culture is therefore facing a major problem at the start of the twenty-first century. The state, in linguistic terms, is the Castilian state, and considers that at best Catalan ought to play a regionalized, subsidiary and secondary role, which should be the responsibility of local organizations, while state-wide organizations alone are responsible for Spanish. It is totally the opposite from what one finds in other multilingual states, such as Switzerland and Canada. What is more, the state, with its commitment to Madrid’s exclusive position as capital acts as a

biased referee in cultural competition within its own territory, manifestly harming Catalonia’s cultural output in whatever language. The publishing industry has only partially managed to resist this attraction towards Madrid caused by the state’s interference. Catalan culture, the culture made in Catalonia, in any language, not only fails to enjoy the cooperation of the state, it has a state that is actively against it, that is in direct competition. This is one of the, non-intrinsic, thoroughly pragmatic, roots of the wave of independence that is sweeping Catalonia. A hundred years ago, the diagnosis was the same: Spain did not wish to be, it refused to be, the state of the Catalans, working for their interests and their culture. However, there was a certain degree of hope in the treatment: state reform, alternative civil society. A hundred years later, the diagnosis is the same and certain areas have worsened, such as the desire to concentrate the various forms of capitals in Madrid. And the treatment has failed. Major reform has been impossible and civil society is no longer enough. If a culture is happy to survive a cooperative state, and it finds it hard to survive an alien or hostile state, it is not surprising that, for cultural reasons, many Catalans are willing to peacefully and democratically replace a large state such as Spain, admirable and powerful, yet alien and hostile, for a closer, governable and culturally cooperative Catalan state. And to do so without giving up their knowledge of Spanish or their admiration for Spanish culture or Spanish-speaking markets around the world. By having a state that helps rather than hinders. *Vicenç Villatoro

(Terrassa, 1957). Writer and journalist. Holds a degree in Information Sciences. Former president of the Ramon Trias Fargas Foundation. As a journalist he has worked for numerous organizations. He was the editor of the Avui newspaper from 1993 to 1996 and head of the culture section of TV3. Between 2002 and 2004 was director general of the Catalan Radio and Television Corporation. He has contributed to a range of media companies, such as Avui, El Periódico, El País, El Temps, Catalunya Ràdio and COM ràdio. As a writer he has written a dozen novels. He is the former director of the Institut Ramon Llull.

Catalan International View



Barcelona’s contribution to Catalonia’s National Transition by Jordi Martí*

On 1st July 2011 the federation of Catalan sovereigntist and centrist parties Convergència i Unió, led by Xavier Trias, began to govern Barcelona. Its electoral victory two months earlier confirmed the voter’s desire for change in the City Council of Barcelona, following the Socialist Party’s 33 years in power. Xavier Trias thus became the first sovereigntist mayor since the times of the Second Spanish Republic. This change in the city’s government coincided with the start of the Catalan national transition process. The following year, on 11th September, Catalonia’s National Day, a demonstration was held in Barcelona with a record-breaking participation of one and half million people under the slogan ‘Catalonia, a new European state’. One year later the Catalan capital was traversed by a human chain that stretched from one end of the country to the other. On that occasion, 1,600,000 people joined hands along a distance of 400 kilometres to call for independence for Catalonia. In response to the wishes of a majority of the country’s citizens, the city’s government has carried out a series of actions designed to allow the capital of Catalonia to take its place at the 42

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head of this national transition process, aware of its role as the country’s political capital and as a worldwide example of effective governance, with its high standard of living, its tourist appeal, and its appeal for business, as was highlighted at the recently held Mobile World Congress. As part of this process, the plenary session of the City Council of 24th July 2013 agreed that the capital of Catalonia should adhere to the National Agreement on the Right to Decide. This agreement, promoted by the Government of Catalonia (led by its president the sovereigntist Artur Mas and formed by the same federation of sovereigntist and centrist parties that governs the Barcelona City Council) seeks to enlist the participation of civil

Visions from a newly-emerging state

society, the country’s most representative institutions, the grassroots organizations and sympathetic political forces, in a process to allow the exercise of the right to decide and the holding of a referendum on Catalonia’s political future, regardless of the position that the participants may finally adopt in this respect. It should also be pointed out that Barcelona City Council, at its plenary session in December 2013, gave its support to the date of the consultation and to the question on Catalonia’s legal status in the referendum envisaged for 9th November 2014. In the field of political action, various initiatives have been taken to strengthen Barcelona’s role as a city that supports the Catalan national

transition and that actively carries out its role as Catalonia’s political capital. In the cultural sphere, for example, support has been provided to organizations like Òmnium Cultural, a Catalanist association created during the period of resistance to the Franco regime which promotes various actions aimed at fostering the full collective recovery of the Catalan nation’s identity through campaigns based on the participation of civil society. A prominent role has also been given to traditional and popular Catalan culture in the large annual Festival of Santa Eulàlia, held around 10th February each year, in honour of the city’s patron saint, promoting street parades featuring traditional figures related to the city’s past such as gegants and capgrosCatalan International View

Les Quatre Columnes (The Four Columns), Barcelona, restoration of the work by the architect Puig i Cadafalch.



sos (giants and big-heads), and performances of folk dances like the sardana and the ball de gitanes. Also with a view to fostering Catalan culture and traditions, the City Council has created the Folk Club Network, providing organizations active in traditional culture with a meeting point for the exchange of experiences and the chance to collaborate. In terms of sport, the Organization for Catalan National Teams has received backing for conferences explaining how important it is for Catalonia to have its own national teams and to be able to compete on the international level. Likewise, ceremonies have been held at major sporting events, in which the special nature of Catalonia’s traditions has been highlighted. This was the case during the opening ceremony of the 15th FINA World Championships Barcelona 2013, when a castell or human tower rose out of the water.

El Born Cultural Centre is a unique space that bears witness to three centuries of our history In the international sphere, special mention should be made of the shift in focus which has occurred at the think tank CIDOB, an organization which specializes in the analysis of international issues. Barcelona City Council is an active member of its board of directors. CIDOB has added the sovereigntist debate to its list of priorities and plans to promote a study to analyze, among other scenarios, of the macroeconomic impact of a possible Catalan secession on the horizon of 2030. The City Council is also participating in the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT), which is charged 44

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with the task of explaining Catalonia to the world and is working to influence international public opinion in order to improve our country’s image and prestige abroad while establishing ties and relations based on trust with citizens and institutions of other countries. Barcelona City Council, together with the Government of Catalonia, is organizing the Tercentenary Year. Every 11th September, the city commemorates the fall of Barcelona to the combined Castilian and French forces in 1714. The unfortunate event marked the abolition of Catalonia’s sovereign laws, together with its institutions, such as the Council of the Hundred, Barcelona’s municipal government. The people of Barcelona in particular and Catalans at large, however, do not commemorate this date with bitterness or nostalgia. On the contrary, it helps inspire them to continue their struggle for freedom. Indeed, in keeping with this sentiment, Barcelona City Council has renovated El Born. Located in the heart of the Old Town, El Born Cultural Centre is a unique space that bears witness to three centuries of our history. Beneath the beautiful, wrought iron structure of an emblematic 19th century market lies the Barcelona of the year 1700, the prosperous city that came to resist the fatal siege of 1714 with epic acts of heroism. The historic site of El Born is an outstanding archaeological space. It is unique in Europe thanks to its sheer size and its excellent state of preservation, but above all it is important for the information it provides. Together with contemporary documentary evidence, it provides a true picture of the Barcelona of the 14th to the 18th centuries and gives one a good idea of what everyday life was like in the city in 1700. Other actions worthy of mention that have been supported by the cur-

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rent municipal government include the celebration of the National Day of Catalonia throughout the city’s 10 districts, which were the scenes of many dramatic events during the War of the Spanish Succession; the laying of a memorial wreath, for the first time in history, by the Municipal Police of Barcelona in tribute to Rafael de Casanova, the hero of the city’s unwavering defence on 11th September 1714; and the change in the

use of Montjuïc castle, turning it into a space of remembrance and culture. Through all these actions, Barcelona has contributed to Catalonia’s national transition and has actively carried out its role, under Mayor Trias, as the capital of a nation that has set off on the path to the attainment of statehood, with the explicit support of the Government of Catalonia and its President Artur Mas.

El Born Cultural Centre, Barcelona.

*Jordi Martí is Councillor for the Presidency and Territorial Affairs of Barcelona City Council, and Councillor for the District of Sants-Montjuïc. He is chairman of the CDC National Executive Committee (Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, a centrist and sovereigntist Catalan political party). He received a Law degree from the Universitat de Barcelona (1986). He has a diploma in European Communities from the Patronat Català Pro Europa and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1990). He also holds a diploma in Management Organization from ESADE (1993). He was Deputy Managing Director of the Barcelonès County Council (20082011). He is President of the Citizen’s Association Barcelona 2020 and member of various civic organizations.

Catalan International View



Muriel Casals ‘The communion between the political world and civil society makes the national transition process unstoppable’ Interviewed by Francesc de Dalmases Photos by Quim Milla

Muriel Casals (Avignon, 1945) has been president of Òmnium Cultural since 2010. This non-profit organization was created at a historic moment in which Catalan culture was censored and persecuted by the dictatorship and therefore recovering it and keeping it alive was a top priority for the nation as a whole. Fifty years on, in a democratic context, the entity remains a landmark of Catalan civil society and works throughout the country in defence of the Catalan language and culture. Òmnium is therefore a key element in the national transition process which Catalonia is currently undergoing. Destiny has ordained that Muriel Casals, with a long academic tradition and a life-long commitment to many civic and cultural movements, should lead the organization at this historic moment in time. She does so in the same manner in which she has behaved throughout her life: with tenacity, stubbornness, optimism, strength and enthusiasm. You are president of Òmnium Cultural, a civil society organization founded in 1961, during the dictatorship of General Franco. Nevertheless, Òmnium is more alive than ever. How would you explain the organization to someone who doesn’t know Catalonia? Òmnium was born at a time when the Catalans couldn’t live normally with their language and their culture because there was a dictatorial regime that prohibited the use of the language in public and banned any manifestation of Catalan culture. Even the sardana (Catalonia’s traditional dance) was forbidden because it was seen as a display of our

cultural and therefore national identity. As a nation we have suffered long periods of cultural and linguistic repression and, therefore, need to defend ourselves through organized civil society. So, when the dictatorship ended we were still suffering the consequences of the damage that had been done. Òmnium is an organization that works to normalize the use of the Catalan language and culture and this commitment is demonstrated by what the people who make up our organization ask. How many members do you currently have? We hit the forty thousand mark this month [May].

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Is there anything similar to Òmnium in any other country? I’d say that the circumstances aren’t quite the same in Catalonia as in any other country. A nation that exists within a democratic state, that’s not a colony, and that has difficulty in fully expressing its language and culture is rather unusual. That’s why we have to explain our situation so often. Spain is a democracy but one of its imperfections, like other democracies, is that rejects diversity and this means that there’s the special situation we find in Catalonia that calls for an organization like Òmnium. We’ve looked for similar entities abroad but we haven’t found any. Oddly enough we have found them in other Catalan-speaking territories inside Spain, such as Valencia and the Balearic Islands, but not outside.

In an independent Catalonia we’d never harm someone’s identity as we know what it’s like to suffer and how unfair such discrimination is The national transition process that Catalonia is experiencing has the majority support of the Parliament of Catalonia, having its origins in civil society and, specifically, in organizations such as Òmnium and the Assemblea Nacional Catalana [Catalan National Assembly*]. Do you see it that way, do you feel somehow responsible? Yes, for sure. Òmnium does what it does because it’s the will of its forty thousand members, but that’s not all. There’s also an enormous number of volunteers and contributors which together go to make up an expression of Catalan society which is calling for political change and a turning point in our history. What Òmnium does is provide the tools and help out with the resources it has at its disposal in order to make it a reality. We often ask ourselves how it’s possible that Catalonia still exists after three centuries of political, social and cultural repression. Well, we’re here because we’re a society that has always been tenacious and stubborn, that has always been clear that it wants to survive. A people who haven’t had a state is much better equipped for civic life than political life. But this isn’t good because politics is necessary. The 48

best thing about what’s happening at the moment is that civism and politics now go hand in hand. That’s why now it’s for real: the people want it to happen, it’s coming from the grassroots, and political power goes along with it and wants to make it a reality. The communion between the political world and civil society makes this national transition process unstoppable. How do you explain the fact that this process is led by organized civil society in a country where 70% of the population or their parents weren’t born in Catalonia? This is a bonus. Catalan society has flaws like any other society around the world but it has the virtue of being tenacious and stubborn, while being very receptive and open to other cultures and other languages. We’re a hybrid. We all have someone in our family who doesn’t speak Catalan. A large number of Catalan families speak a mixture of languages, especially Spanish, but other languages as well. The fact that we haven’t been able to experience our diversity with normality has made us very respectful towards the diversity of others. A lot of things might happen in an independent Catalonia but I’m convinced that what will never happen is that someone will suffer for having a different identity. We’d never harm someone’s identity as we know what it’s like to suffer and how unfair such discrimination is. Òmnium has always had a pretty clear position on the merits and the success of linguistic immersion. Attacks on this system by the Spanish government and the Spanish judiciary have ultimately led to rulings that could seriously affect it. What’s your opinion of the situation? It’s true that immersion is under threat. But in Catalonia there’s also a high degree of agreement between the politicians and civil society organizations, making the threat ineffective. Supporters of homogeneity, the Spanish nationalists, who want a homogenous Spanish nation, who want to keep Catalonia within this state, know that to do so they need to bring an end to the use of Catalan in society. In schools, the mechanism of linguistic immersion has maintained and guaranteed equal opportunities for our young because it facilitates the learning of Spanish and Catalan. That’s why the Spanish authorities are trying to break this

Catalan International View


model. Spanish nationalism is incredibly strong and it knows what it’s doing but, fortunately, so does Catalan nationalism. We can see that it’s not only Catalan-speaking families that defend immersion but also Spanish-speaking families and newly-arrived families who want to ensure equal opportunities for their children. Therefore, despite the legal interference, they won’t get away with it. It’s a common cause that was present even before the introduction of the linguistic immersion system. That’s right, we see how at the same time as the middle and upper classes had their Catalan schools, which started at the beginning of the democratic period, predominantly Spanish-speaking, working class neighbourhoods were also calling for schooling to be in Catalan. This was the case in Santa Coloma, a town which received large waves of Spanish immigration in the second half of the twentieth century, where parents wanted their children to have the same opportunities and the same education as the wealthier classes in the

centre of Barcelona. This still happens nowadays and it gives us a lot of strength.

Europe is still being built, as is Catalonia, and to transform it into a common homeland for Europeans it needs to democratically resolve the political challenges it is facing If Catalonia were to become independent, are you concerned by the emotional ties that many Catalan citizens have with Spain? What’s your position in terms of the linguistic rights of Spanish-speakers in a future sovereign Catalonia? I think these emotional bonds are incredibly positive. The fact that part of the population has strong emotional ties with a neighbouring country, whether they be economic, commercial, territorial, blood ties or whatever, is a great opportunity. States are responsible for ensuring they have

Catalan International View



good relations with their neighbours and maintaining and strengthening these emotional ties is the best way of bringing this about. It will be of benefit to the Catalans and also the Spanish as it will reassure them. At the moment they are upset by our linguistic and cultural demands but when we are neighbours things will settle down, as they do with any other state with its own language and culture. We’ll have the same relationship based on mutual understanding as the Spanish have with the Portuguese, who took this same step four centuries ago. Do you find it useful to see the process of self-determination that Catalonia is going through as not only political but also as an opportunity to change and improve the economic and social conditions within Catalan society itself? This is precisely what we’d like to happen. We Catalans have been rather funny about the whole 50

thing for a long time. We were uncomfortable with the idea of a state and wanted to try something different. We’ve now realised that in 2014 we need to form a state. Maybe in the year 5000 we’ll need something else, but for now the model that Catalan society needs is a state. We realise that this state will be somewhat special thanks to our past. There’s a huge amount of positive energy within Catalan society that wants to examine and re-examine the future of the Catalan state. This is really positive because it means the process of becoming a state will count on a high degree of participation, and thus be of a highly democratic nature. As with all participatory processes it will be extremely complex but the outcome will be highly inclusive. In fact it already is. The future Catalan Constitution will be written by a small group of experts but I’m convinced that the outcome will be a combined expression of the will of the vast majority of Catalan society.

Catalan International View


How do you respond to those who say the transition process will lead to Catalonia being less engaged with Europe and the rest of the world? I don’t believe it, we mustn’t believe it. Europe is still being built, as is Catalonia, and to transform it into a common homeland for Europeans it needs to democratically resolve the political challenges it is facing. One of these challenges is Catalonia and it’s what brings us closer to Europe. It’s also true for Spain: 70% of Spanish goods are transported to Europe via Catalonia; we could also say that a significant part of Spanish ideas directed towards Europe pass through Catalonia; together with art and culture... We need each other and this is the way to go about building this new Europe. Your obvious enthusiasm and excitement is infectious. Has your part in this process been a surprise to you? Indeed. Not every generation has the good fortune to witness such a momentous moment as the formation of a new country. We have the responsibility and opportunity to do well in honour of all those who were our strength in difficult times and are unable to be with us now. We’re here because certain incredibly brave and tenacious pockets of resistance decided to continue their work after the Spanish Civil War, throughout the dictatorship, during the hard years of the fledgling democracy

in Spain, and even earlier, for over three hundred years. Up to the present day. We should be incredibly proud of this and treat it responsibly. It’s now May 2014, what will Catalonia be like in May 2015? In other words, how would you like it to be? We may well be in the middle of a complex negotiation process with Spain. We won’t wake up one day and find that Catalonia is independent. There will be a period of negotiation that will probably require the presence of international mediators. We’ll need the mediators when we make the political gesture and announce exactly what we wish to be. We’ll need to negotiate how we’ll share our assets, our obligations... this is probably where we’ll be a year from now. I like to think that it’ll be the beginning of a new friendship with Spain. * The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) is a grassroots, unified, democratic and pluralistic organization working towards Catalonia becoming a new European state. The ANC was officially founded in March 2012, although it originated at the National Conference for Our Own State held a year earlier (April 2011). It is not a political party and has no pretensions to become one. It is an association of citizens who freely participate as individuals and who vote at elections for different options. What unites all of its members is the conviction that Catalonia has the right to its own voice in the world. In other words, that it can become a democratic state, like any other.


Leadership in civil society by Fèlix Martí *

Everyone was unaware that the Catalans wanted to create a new European state. International experts appreciated Catalonia’s aspirations in the manner in which they were usually expressed, in the context of the Spanish state. During the periods of democratic freedom which have existed over the last one hundred years, Catalan society has expressed its desire to be recognized as a Spanish region with a distinct political, cultural and linguistic personality. Spain’s democratic transition led to the creation of a regionalized state model, in agreement with the Catalans. The 1978 Spanish Constitution recognized Catalonia’s historical political and cultural structures for self-government within the context of a democratic state of an apparently federal nature. Catalan society realised that Spanish government practices substantially reduced political autonomy, effectively making Catalonia a regional administration while Catalan language and culture were subordinated to the preferential treatment given to Spanish culture and language. Political parties on both the left and the right that have governed Spain since the beginning of the democratic transition have not proposed the building of a multinational, multicultural, multilingual state, but rather the assimilation of the peripheral nations (Catalan, Basque and Galician) and the progressive marginalization of languages and cultures other than Castilian, the majority in Spain. Successive governments in Catalonia have interpreted autonomy as effectively self-rule, while the Spanish government has minimized the powers trans52

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ferred to the Catalan institutions via recentralising laws and legal resources. Meanwhile, in Catalonia, with its large, well-educated and highly-organized middle class, unease at the Spanish political model which fails to respect its personality has continued to grow, becoming the majority view. For the first time, the most representative organizations and social movements have envisioned a future with independent state structures within the framework of European institutions. Witnessing this change in public opinion, Catalonia’s autonomous government has decided to hold a democratic referendum in order to find out whether the desire for independence is truly in the majority. If the outcome confirms this hypothesis they will negotiate a consensual, peaceful and reasonable separation with the Spanish government. Civil society

Visions from a newly-emerging state

has led this process, with the Catalan government doing nothing more than acting as a conduit for what has become the people’s preferred choice. The institutional initiatives to strengthen self-rule have always enjoyed the backing and often the prior mobilization of civil society. One can identify the major factors that have determined the move from a desire for regionalism to a call for independence in the minds of the Catalans. It is not hard to see that the initial reason has been the hostility of Spanish governments towards the Catalan language. Civil society has developed courageous strategies to protect and save a language that suffered harsh repression during Franco’s dictatorship. At the time, laws prohibited the presence of Catalan in the school system and the media. Nevertheless, a mainly private initiative cre-

ated schools and publications in the service of cultural and linguistic resistance. Spanish democracy has not been shown in obstructing language planning (linguistic normalization) involving Catalan within the school system by enforcing court rulings against the immersion method, which up until now had ensured every student has a perfect understanding of both Catalan and Spanish. The authorities in the Catalan-speaking regions of the País Valencià and the Balearic Islands, governed by Spain’s ruling party, continue to suppress the teaching of Catalan in their territories. They also interfere with regular broadcasting of television and radio in Catalan in their autonomous regions. Civil society organizations head the protests in favour of Catalan, both in Catalonia and in other areas of the linguistic community. Non-governmental organizaCatalan International View

Stained glass ceiling designed by Antoni Rigalt, El Palau de la Música Catalana.



tions such as Òmnium Cultural and la Plataforma per la Llengua, together with numerous organizations backed by the unions, warrant special recognition in this respect.

Witnessing a change in public opinion, Catalonia’s regional government has decided to hold a democratic referendum in order to find out whether the desire for independence is truly in the majority A second reason for a shift in public opinion is the working class’ new-found understanding of the economic relations between Catalonia and Spain. The fiscal balance has been made public in the last few years. The value of services and spending by the Spanish state in Catalonia are grossly inferior to Catalonia’s contributions to the Spanish treasury. The system of Spanish public finance requires excessive solidarity on behalf of Catalan society in favour of other regions in the state. Catalonia does not currently have the necessary resources at its disposal to maintain both its productive economy and the services which are part of the welfare state. The Catalan public realise that their contributions to the state are spent irrationally on projects that respond more to political interests than worthwhile investment in the development of other autonomous regions. They refuse to accept Spain’s interpretation of its demands, which sees them as being privileged and lacking in solidarity. They want to create their own state in order to make their own decisions on economic policies that will overcome the crisis, combat poverty and unemployment, respond intelligently to the processes of globalization and decide on the most effective form of solidarity. The public no longer believe in the funding formula introduced in 54

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1978, under which the government of Catalonia is a mere agent of the Spanish administration. There is a broad consensus on the issue of Catalonia establishing its own state. Such a state, in economic matters, would not be subordinate to Spanish priorities in terms of centralism, the economic ideology that perpetuates the privileged minorities that maintain a hold on power, or the inertia that prevents the effective fight against corruption. This consensus brings together the views of experts and claims by social movements that another economic order is possible. The political and economic independence of Catalonia is an idea shared by the most respected scholars as well as the grassroots of society. It has the articulated strength from both the street and the world of culture. The participants include both respected economic analysts and groups acting on behalf of human rights, sustainability, respect for diversity and peace at the local, national and global level. The third reason why public opinion has changed, and one which is hardly ever mentioned, is Catalonia’s desire to take on greater international responsibilities. Ever since 1978, the Spanish state has failed to integrate Catalonia’s participation into its international activities and structures. The government of Catalonia has been forced to operate solely in the field of interregional relations, facilitating the internationalization of Catalan companies, participate in the global agenda through the activities of Catalan non-governmental organizations and the creation of its own modest aid programmes. Catalonia’s desire to act internationally has been mainly carried out at the initiative of entities and individuals from civil society. Some noteworthy examples of this phenomenon are the cancer research scientists Josep Baselga and Joan Massagué in New York, the international image of Barcelona FC, the excellent technical relations

Visions from a newly-emerging state

between Catalonia’s NGO UNESCO Centre and the United Nations system, the international reputation of the musician Jordi Savall and the numerous other Catalan professionals involved in activities as diverse as design, technological innovation, gastronomy, journalism and the arts. The Catalans relish the opportunity to carry out their international responsibilities, in contrast to the frequent lack of interest found among Spaniards towards the major challenges created by globalization processes. Arguably, the starting point for many Spanish participants in global issues is characterized by

a willingness to use international bodies exclusively for the benefit of their own country. Meanwhile, in Catalonia we have a strong desire to participate in shared supranational responsibilities and to be able to contribute to solving major global problems that affect a significant portion of the world’s population, such as poverty, a lack of human rights and democratic freedoms, environmental challenges, the failure to use peaceful means to resolve conflicts, repressive policies in relation to cultural diversity, the growth of religious and ideological fanaticism, and state itself-interest that Catalan International View

El Palau de la Música Catalana, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.



inhibits the creation of more effective and more democratic political structures. Catalonia believes that the creation of a new state will bring this new vigour to the international community. The modest size of the new state is in keeping with the qualitative contributions made by similar European nations. In the future, Catalonia will be able to use its considerable experience in nongovernmental diplomacy in creating innovative forms of conventional diplomacy.

The current agreement between government institutions and civil society in Catalonia as to the process towards independence, suggests that this shared objective will be a resounding success A thorough study of the evolution of political consciousness among Catalan civil society in recent decades reveals that there no longer exists a sufficient consensus for co-existing with the Spaniards in the framework of a single state. Most Catalans believe that such a system can only end in political, cultural and economic subordination, to their detriment. They also believe that with its own state, Catalonia could achieve objectives similar to those made by the most advanced nations in Europe. They wish to build a state which is free from the nationalist ideology that has slowed down the modernization of Spain, a

state guided by principles that do not coincide with Spanish practices, which are characterized by weak democratic sensibilities, little respect for pluralism and indifference towards exercising its responsibilities, whether within Europe or globally. The impressive demonstrations on Catalonia’s National Day on September 11th, 2012 and 2013 convened by the Catalan National Assembly (a civil society organization capable of summoning millions of people to the streets) are an expression of an irreversible, majority decision by a people and some of its leaders who are at the forefront of Catalan politicians in the process towards statehood. The much-needed negotiations between the Catalan and Spanish governments could ensure that an amicable, painless separation is jointly agreed upon. They won’t serve as a means to finding alternatives to the goal of political independence, however. Even if Spain’s opposition to the process becomes foolish and aggressive, Catalan society will not give up on its project of building a new state in Europe. The process generates enthusiasm among the young and the old, immigrants and those who were born Catalan, longstanding organizations and new ones, respected personalities and emerging social leaders. The current harmonisation between government institutions and civil society in Catalonia as to the process towards independence, suggests that this shared objective will be a resounding success.

* Fèlix Martí Former president of the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (Pax Romana), from 1975 to 1984; director of the Catalonia magazine (1987-2002), aimed at disseminating the Catalan culture around the world; director of the UNESCO centre of Catalonia (1984 to 2002) and subsequently its honorary president. From 1994 to 2002 he was editor of the Catalan editions of the yearly reports of the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute, L’Estat del món [The State of the World] and Signes vitals [Vital Signs]. He promoted the Declaration on Contributions by Religions to a Culture of Peace, signed by leaders of the great religious traditions in 1994. President of the Linguapax International Institute from 2001 to 2004 and its honorary president thereafter. He published his memoirs Diplomàtic sense estat [Diplomat Without a State], in 2006. His latest book is Déus desconeguts. Viatge iniciàtic a les religions de l’Orient [Unknown Gods. Journey of Initiation Through the Religions of the East], published in 2013. He was awarded the UNESCO Human Rights Medal in 1995 and the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Creu de Sant Jordi in 2002.


Catalan International View


The Catalan language: the backbone of a cultural nation that aspires to equality by Isidor MarĂ­*

Catalan is currently spoken by more than 10 million European citizens, including 72.5% of the population (some 13.5 million) of where it has been spoken historically (Fig. 1). The total percentage of the population that understands Catalan is 92% (around 13 million), while just over a half (53%, some 7.3 million) can write it.

1 In Catalonia, in 2012, 17.7% of the population had been born overseas and 19.1% in the rest of Spain. For Spain as a whole, over 40% of foreigners reside in Catalan-speaking areas.


On one hand, the figure relating to the ability to write in Catalan is an indictment of Catalan’s longstanding marginalization within the states in which it is spoken and their respective education systems: Catalan failed to regain its role as the language of instruction in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia until the 1970s (when Catalan was recognized as an official language alongside Spanish). The language policies of the various territories have not all been the same (Strubell and BoixFuster, 2011). This means that while in Catalonia 15% of the population do not speak Catalan, for the Balearic Islands and Valencia this figure stands at 28.5% and 42% respectively. The contrast between Andorra, where Catalan (the only official language) is spoken by 79% of the population, and Northern Catalan International View

Catalonia, where only a third of the inhabitants speak it (Catalan has no official recognition in the French Republic), is indicative of the consequences of the profound socio-political inequality that the Catalan linguistic community has suffered throughout its history. On the other hand, this long history of marginalization, yet to be fully resolved, and the large proportion of recent immigrants among the population1, are factors that add value to other positive sociolinguistic indicators. Just 31.2% of the population began with Catalan as their first language, out of a total of 4.4 million. This means the ratio of current Catalan speakers (72.5%) to those who spoke it originally is 2.32. Therefore, the number of people who currently speak Catalan is more than double the number who

Visions from a newly-emerging state

spoke it as their initial language. This suggests that the Catalan language has a strong power of attraction, beyond its core of original speakers. This can also be seen in the intergenerational transmission of Catalan, which is also positive, particularly in Andorra, Catalonia (home to 55% of the Catalan-speaking population) and the Balearic Islands. In Northern Catalonia and the Sardinian city of Alghero, however, there is a negative trend (the process of language shift towards French and Italian, the only official languages, has not slowed down), while in the Community of Valencia it stands at around zero. This clear overall trend among new citizens to understand and use Catalan is a clear example of the uniqueness of the Catalan situation in the context of so-called regional or minor-

ity languages –labels which are often (unintentionally?) applied as a means of restricting the linguistic rights of a language’s speakers and maintain its subordinate status (DUDL, 1996). The way in which new citizens identify with the Catalan language suggests the adoption of a sense of belonging to the host society that has been characteristic of Catalan society throughout its history, as highlighted by Anna Cabré (1999). Clearly, the identification with Catalan and the adoption of this new sense of belonging in no way implies a renunciation of one’s cultural identity or language of origin: the fact that the society to which the Catalan language belongs has historically been a point of convergence and intercultural relations (see Culturcat) has produced a deeplyrooted sense of harmony through diCatalan International View

Santa Maria de Taüll Romanesque church, Vall de Boí.



Figure 1

The regions where Catalan is spoken

REFERENCES Cabré, Anna. El sistema català de reproducció [The Catalan Reproductive System]. (Barcelona: Proa, 1999). Council of Europe, Reports and Recommendations. http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/ education/minlang/Report/ default_en.asp (accessed March 2014).


versity, while simultaneously incorporating a commitment to overcoming social inequalities. Hence Catalan can be seen as a shared language and a sign of social cohesion. This close relationship between a commitment to justice and a common language as a sign of identification was already present in early medieval chronicles: Ramon Muntaner, writing at the beginning of the fourteenth century, praised Catalan (lo bell catalanesc) and the rectitude of its rulers (veritat e dretura) seeing these factors as reCatalan International View

sponsible for the people’s adhesion to the various kingdoms of the Catalan dynasty. Hence the historian Pierre Vilar (1962) asserts that an early sense of national community began to manifest itself at around this time, through the diversity of states ruled by the Catalan dynasty. This is a factor that has endured and remains within the Catalan language community’s collective consciousness, which now as before is divided into different political and administrative structures. Language is a component of co-

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hesion, although, as Joan Francesc Mira (1984) points out, sharing the Catalan language does not necessarily imply belonging to a political nation, but rather the participation in a cultural relationship: a cultural nation, which can articulate itself politically in various ways (though some, undemocratically, reject the possibility of a common political future for the Catalan Countries). The Spanish transition to democracy allowed one to imagine (not without a large dose of skepticism) that the 1978 Constitution would lead to a system of autonomous states in which the corresponding languages, cultures and nationalities would share equal status, as in the case of Switzerland. Failing this, one might expect at the least some form of equilibrium in which the primacy of the Spanish2 language is offset by the primacy of the other languages in their respective territories. As we shall see, the political development of the Kingdom of Spain has been entirely in the opposite direction. It is true that Catalan has regained its usage in important areas of public life, such as political institutions, education (from primary to tertiary), the media (press, radio and television), cultural industries, public services, economic and professional activities. It also has an international presence and a presence in cyberspace and computing tools (CRUSCAT, 2013). It is also worth noting that Catalan’s capacity for expression is equal to those of any modern language: It has established rules relating to spelling, grammar and lexis which have been accepted and socially integrated in every territory concerned since the 1930s. Catalan’s stylistic development together with languages for special purposes and scientific and technological terminology mean it is appropriate for any function.

The standard variety of Catalan allows for regional variations and the existence of a different official name for the language (valencià), according to the Statute of the Valencian Community, does not imply denying the unity of Catalan. This view is supported by the Valencian Academy of Language, which the Valencian Statute itself names as the official authority in language matters.

2 Triple primacy, as found in the Constitution of the Second Republic (1932), as Rafael Lluís Ninyoles observes (1977): it is the only official language in the general institutions of the state, it is the only official language in its historic territory and it is the only language which is also official outside of its historic territory.

The way in which new citizens identify with the Catalan language suggests the adoption of a sense of belonging to the host society that has been characteristic of Catalan society throughout its history

Nevertheless, resistance to Catalan receiving equal recognition within a Spanish framework (which accounts for 95% of speakers) has been on the rise since the Catalan Parliament initiated an overhaul of the Statute of Autonomy in 2005. After undergoing significant revisions in the Spanish courts, the Statute of Catalonia was put to a referendum and approved by the people of Catalonia in 2006. The approved text was subject to further revisions by the Spanish Constitutional Court, in its ruling of June 2010: paradoxically, the ruling rejects the idea that Catalan is the preferential official language in Catalonia, arguing that there should be a strict equality between the two official languages (Catalan and Spanish). Meanwhile it sees an understanding of Spanish as an obligation, yet rejecting such a status for Catalan. The inability to reach linguistic equality in the Kingdom of Spain, alongside other adverse factors, both Catalan International View

CRUSCAT / Observatori de la Llengua Catalana, VI Informe sobre la situació de la llengua catalana (2012) (6th Report on the Situation of Catalan). (Barcelona, 2013). Available online: http://www. demolinguistica.cat/arxiu/ web/informe/informe2012. pdf (March 2014). CULTURCAT: http:// www20.gencat.cat/portal/ site/culturacatalana (accessed March 2014). European Ombudsman. Guide for Complainants and Complaints Form. http://www.ombudsman. europa.eu/atyourservice/ couldhehelpyou.faces (accessed March 2014). DUDL: Declaració Universal de Drets Lingüístics [Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights]: http:// www.linguistic-declaration.org/ (accessed March 2014).



Fresco in the apse of Sant Climent de Taüll.

Government of Catalonia. Catalan, language of Europe. Online at http://www20. gencat.cat/portal/site/Llengcat/menuitem.b318de7236a ed0e7a129d410b0c0e1a0/?v gnextoid=5aab35b924b621 10VgnVCM1000008d0c1e 0aRCRD&vgnextchannel= 5aab35b924b62110VgnVC M1000008d0c1e0aRCRD &vgnextfmt=default (March 2014 ) . Mira, Joan F. Crítica de la nació pura [Critique of a ‘Pure Nation’] (València Tres i Quatre, 1984).


political and economic, explain the growth in the independence movement in Catalonia. Recent political developments in Spain, especially in the areas of government that rely on the Partido Popular, have accentuated actions aimed at fragmenting the Catalan language. Meanwhile, they have denied the Catalan nature of the language of the eastern area of Aragon (where it dates back to the origins of Romance languages), as well as that of Valencian, thus contradicting the opinion of the Valencian Academy of Language itself. Moreover, Catalan has been marginalized in sectors which are key to its future: Catalan is not a requirement for Catalan International View

access to public sector jobs and the use of Catalan is restricted as the language of instruction in education, with the excuse that students need to learn better English. Catalan is also suppressed in public radio and TV broadcasts in the Valencian region. Furthermore, Spain’s representatives to the European institutions oppose the recognition of Catalan as an official language, a petition which has been reiterated on numerous occasions by the parliaments of both Catalonia and the Balearic Islands: beginning in 1987 and 1988, and subsequently in 2001 and 2002. Spain also fails to respect agreements reached between the Spanish

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government and European institutions, based on the European Council conclusions of 13th June 2005, allowing EU citizens the right to address the European institutions in Catalan (and Basque and Galician) and receive a reply in the same language. Even the European Ombudsman itself fails to inform the public of the possibility of addressing the EU in these languages (see European Ombudsman). The Spanish government has also failed to fulfil its commitments regarding the implementation of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (Council of Europe). This is in spite of the recommendations made

by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, outlining Spain’s shortcomings in respect to implementing a charter they had freely agreed to. The implicit message that the Spanish and European institutions send to their Catalan-speaking citizens is that equality is only possible if Catalonia becomes an independent state. It is no surprise, therefore, that Catalan society is heading in this direction: no one can ask it to renounce to equality and its full linguistic and cultural development, something which has formed the basis of its internal cohesion and its contributions to world civilization throughout history.

Ninyoles, Rafael Lluís. Cuatro idiomas para un Estado [Four Languages for a State]. (Madrid: Cambio 16, 1977). Strubell, M. and BoixFuster, E. (eds.). Democratic Policies for Language Revitalisation: The Case of Catalan. New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Vilar, P. La Catalogne dans l’Espagne moderne. Recherches sur les fondements économiques des structures nationales [Catalonia in Modern Spain. Research on the Economic Foundations of National Structures]. (Paris: SEVPEN, 1962).

*Isidor Marí He directed the Department of Catalan Language and Literature at the Universitat de les Illes Balears. He was sub-director of Linguistic Policies at the Generalitat de Catalunya and director of the Linguamón-UOC Chair in Multilingualism at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia). He is currently the president of the Philological Section of the Institute of Catalan Studies. His published works include Un horitzó per a la llengua catalana [A Horizon for the Catalan Language, 1992], Plurilingüisme europeu i llengua catalana [European Plurilingualism and the Catalan Language, 1996] and Mundialització, interculturalitat i multilingüisme [Globalisation, Interculturality and Multilingualism, 2006].

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Universities and research in Catalonia, the challenges that lie ahead by Jaume Bertranpetit*

Countries don’t conduct research because they are rich: they are rich because they conduct research. Such a sentiment could end up being just a platitude, or the desire of a country as a whole. It could also be seen as a roadmap or an inspiration for our goals and what we wish to become. The desire to obtain knowledge, which aside for being for its own sake, could serve to further innovate and generate wealth. In return, it could generate still more knowledge, a milestone to which we can aspire. The big question is whether we can make it a reality. Hence the question: do we currently have a country which has the foundations of knowledge, research, training at the highest level together with technological innovation? The foundations of the country, of its education and its development. And the foundations of the economy. Since the Middle Ages universities have been the focus of knowledge and this remains true to this day. We should be proud of this fact, even though we often take it for granted: things could well be different. A large number of people are working together to ensure that the academic world retains its significance, and not merely for historical reasons. Like everyone else, the universities need to earn their keep, and nowadays they are facing one of the greatest challenges in their history: retaining their position at the forefront of the development of knowledge at a time when a part of knowledge has been transformed into technology and economic development. At a time when there is a consensus that knowledge is one of the great engines of the 64

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future. As for knowledge itself, it has become a commodity, a product that can be quantified in terms of its quality and the impact it will have on future developments. Very few corners of the academic world or the generation of knowledge have been left untouched by these developments. Society demands accountability from those responsible for conducting research in order that they generate more and that they achieve excellence. We are dealing with the complex and competitive process of knowledge production, comparable with many other production processes in our society, and in many ways even more competitive. Our universities should not only be fit for the domestic market: they need to have an international impact, go global and be on the

Visions from a newly-emerging state

cutting edge. This is the situation, the challenge. Are Catalan universities up to the job at hand? We ought to be demanding: we should want the best universities possible, both for the formation of new generations and for the creation of knowledge. These two goals are complementary: a good teacher can no longer be seen as a separate entity from a good researcher. Universities ought to be staffed by people who achieve excellence in both areas, otherwise they are unfit for the job. Experience teaches us that generally when we look for good researchers, in most cases they are also good teachers; that is, they are good professors. This is the best approach: to generate knowledge while also transmitting it.

This duality should be kept clear, in that the excellence in research (and in teaching) forms a part of the very definition of a university. It means we need to understand the concept of a university as an institution for research and the production of knowledge, which in turn means the academic staff (professors) are the ones who need to propose the personal, social, scientific and technical challenges on a global (not solely a local) scale. Having such excellence in research in turn leads to the possibility of applying the innovative output of knowledge created by the professors to the productive world. The university should be a meeting place between production and science, as happens in the leading countries in the world. Instead, here we find there is more of a Catalan International View

ALBA Synchrotron Light Laboratory, Cerdanyola del Vallès.



boundary. We must rethink the concept of a university by stimulating research and innovation through economic policies that are in relation to productive potential, though this should be done without neglecting education as a whole. University professors shouldn’t need to be told that they need to conduct research, society ought to take it as a given. A university’s objectives should no longer be defined internally, out of mere self-interest, instead it should meet the scientific, technical and social challenges of the time. This is the university system we need, but which we don’t actually have at present. It is what we want and what we could achieve.

We ought to be demanding: we should want the best universities possible, both for the formation of new generations and for the creation of knowledge

Catalan universities are of a good standard, both when compared with Spain and with the rest of Europe. However, on a global scale they do not fare so well. We ought to be satisfied, but we need to improve, and the challenges are not easy ones. Unfortunately universities have lived for too long in isolation from society and its challenges, becoming somewhat stagnated and uncompetitive. There are aspects that require urgent change, from minor details to the very concept of the institution itself, for better or for worse. Our universities are uncompetitive and we need fundamental structural changes, from their governance to their internal management and functioning, which all too often follow a model which suits certain interests, but which is not justified or socially acceptable. For example, universities should not employ people 66

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who do not make a contribution: approximately 50% of university professors either conduct very little research or none at all. This means they are wasting a potential and an opportunity not to be missed. How many of those who have emigrated (working in the US or the rest of Europe) would be willing to replace them for the same salary? More than anything, we need mechanisms of evaluation which should have consequences for the academic staff, together with clear goals for what we as a society want from our universities. A commission charged with investigating the governance of the university system in Catalonia announced its findings in 2013 in a report entitled Challenges, Proposals and Strategies (available online). It made an excellent job of analyzing the current situation and suggesting clear and precise

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proposals as to what should be done to ensure that universities successfully tackle the challenges of the future. These proposals are unlikely to be put into practice due to resistance and conservatism within the university sector and a lack of commitment on behalf of those responsible for the legislative framework. Perhaps we are not fully aware of the consequences for the future of our society of this failure to act, meaning the university system is not as strong as it ought to be. It is unable to make the changes that will really mean it is fully functional and competitive. We need this priceless investment in our future. Universities play a fundamental, though not unique, role in our research system. A system that has

shown how far we can go. In late 2013, the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) website reported the results of a study into the top scientific institutions in the world, according to discipline. While MIT took the top spot in most cases, there were some surprising results: in physics and astronomy, two of the top three institutions in the world are Catalan, with the ICFO (Catalan Institute of Photonic Sciences) holding first place. It is not the only instance of internationally recognized excellence. For the first time in our country, we have not only managed to have good researchers (often an isolated event) but we also have some of the best institutes in certain subjects: the best in the world, not just the best in relative terms or nationally. This is of great importance for the country as a whole: we are ready to do the best sciCatalan International View

Interior of the Synchrotron.



ence, prepare the best professionals and begin to benefit socially and economically from the innovations emerging from it. Amazingly, for the first time we in science and research are playing in the first division. Of all the activities in which the country is involved it is one of our biggest successes. There is another indicator of excellence: Catalan success in ERC (European Research Council) research projects, which are the most competitive and best-funded in Europe. Taking all European countries as a whole, Catalonia holds a respectable fifth place, and third in the EU, bettered only by the Netherlands and Sweden. This success is due to the successful operation of the majority of Catalan research centers and ICREA, the institution responsible for attracting, hiring and retaining researchers in a global context, with excellence as its sole requirement. We need now apply what has been made possible in a few research centers to the system as a whole: to all our research centers, institutes and university departments, including research centers linked to medicine. It should also affect the definition of CSIC’s centers in Catalonia and be involved with other areas, hospitals in particular.

We should be conscious of the social implications of science. Take care of science as a vocation, allow the young access laboratories, to get to know the world of science at first hand. Society should be more involved in the dissemination of science

It is unlikely there are other areas in Catalonia that have as much autonomy and which have been as successful as the field of universities and 68

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research, making us international leaders. There is no room for complacency, however, as we have a lot of work to do. Undoubtedly our most important task is to ensure that part of our research is transformed into innovation and thus has an economic impact. Unlike in the US, in Europe there is a well-defined separation between the academic world and industry, with a lack of key links based on applied research and the transfer of knowledge and technologies. This ought to be a fundamental part of the research system. Catalonia needs to correct this situation. The government has a key part to play in this, since there are still too many bureaucratic obstacles to the transfer of knowledge to industry. There is some controversy as to the best way to improve the transfer of knowledge to the industrial sector. While it is generally accepted that focusing on applied science will lead to an increased likelihood that knowledge will be transferred, many successful examples suggest otherwise: when there are first-rate research groups, it is likely that applications of high economic interest will emerge from them, irrespective of what they had initially been investigating. Nevertheless, they need to be operating at a high level, with sufficient critical mass and an international impact. The transfer of knowledge to industry will then occur naturally, with much more successful outcomes than the small changes implemented in previous applications: with true innovation and application. Catalonia is now an international leader in the production of knowledge. It is a landmark that the whole country should be proud, yet cautious of: we can do more. There are many ways of looking at the world and some are clearly better than ours. We should look up to such examples, since selfcriticism is constructive and complacency is our worst enemy. We ought

Visions from a newly-emerging state

to try to ensure that our public universities are among the best in the world. We are a long way off our goal; being the best within Spain doesn’t count for much at the global level. We must strive towards having a mature research system and stop interfering on a day to day basis to see whether it has laid the groundwork for excellence. We should strive for an efficient mechanism for the transfer of knowledge to industry. We still have a long way to go in this too, with many alternatives to explore, though we have made a great deal of progress. There is a lot at stake. Therefore, we need to be persistent in wanting more and to do better and the road ahead needs the support of the country as a whole.

Some final words as to our obligations 1. Universities must not only undertake their role in education but also in research. They need to be at the forefront of research on an international level, at the lead in every field under investigation. The government needs to stimulate such a vision, especially in terms of university funding. Instead of worrying about the number of students they should concern themselves with the productivity of the teaching professors in terms of research. 2. Universities must equip themselves with better incentives and greater flexibility of action, both in teaching and research. They need faster and better responses to the world’s challenges. A key point is a change in the model of external and internal governance. We

ought to avoid the self-interests of internal groups who often fail to protect the interests of the university and wider society. More importance should be given to external consultants and points of reference, together with rigorous (external) assessment procedures that have consequences. 3. The country has made great strides in obtaining world-class research centers. We ought to ensure that all our research centers obtain such a high level and that the universities increasingly adopt their working practices. Catalan research centers should all be at a world-class level. To do so they need to establish stronger ties with universities. 4. Given that research centers have proven their success as a model, other centers, dealing with other matters, must also be considered in the future. The research system should be dynamic and should be open to initiatives of a high value. 5. There must be greater cooperation between the academic world and the productive sector. While excellent research will naturally result in innovation, we must also ensure that bureaucratic obstacles are kept to a minimum and that there is support for the transfer of knowledge. 6. We should be conscious of the social implications of science. Take care of science as a vocation, allow the young access laboratories, to get to know the world of science at first hand. Society should be more involved in the dissemination of science.

This article is based on a report commissioned by the Institute of Catalan Studies

*Jaume Bertranpetit Professor of Biology at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Member of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Director of ICREA.

Catalan International View



Catalonia: land of modernity by Santi Vila*

This year Catalonia is celebrating a double anniversary. The first is the tercentenary of the loss of its national liberties following the defeat of 1714, an anniversary of great significance and one which Catalan national parties have gone to great lengths to promote both within and beyond Catalonia. The tercentenary also falls in a year in which the people of Catalonia are called to the ballot boxes to democratically determine our political status. However, we should not forget that this year we are also celebrating the centenary of the creation of the Commonwealth of Catalonia, the modest public administration that was the first to encompass all of Catalonia since the days of 1714. The country had lacked its own, unitary administration for two hundred years, which nonetheless did not prevent it from becoming an economic, cultural and political powerhouse within a Spain, where the winds of modernity and regeneration were not blowing strong enough. The zeal for modernization transcended ideologies and disciplines and was shared by many important Catalan figures throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Fields such as the sciences and liberal arts were full of people who, 70

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in one way or another, left an indelible mark on our nation and its history. In the areas of architecture, city planning, infrastructure and regional development, for example, the names Ildefons Cerdà, Antoni Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Nicolau M. Rubió i Tudurí stand out, among many others. These people help define us as a group and their greatest glory is that most of them excelled in both theoretical and practical matters. With regard to the Centelles-born engineer Ildefons Cerdà, considered to be the father of modern urban planning, the late Manuel de Solà-Morales once said that his greatest contribution was the actual implementation of his plan. The 1860 Pla d’Eixample (the urban-planning project designed to ex-

Visions from a newly-emerging state

pand the city of Barcelona; also known as the Cerdà Plan) was a masterpiece created through intensive research that left nothing to chance. Solà-Morales was categorical in his assertion that the Eixample was the most perfect of the European city-expansion projects implemented at the turn of the 20th century. Cerdà was a utopian socialist who believed that the ‘container’ (the city) would improve the lives and interrelationships of its ‘contents’ (the inhabitants), and this vision of modernity and progress was put into practice, despite a lack of enthusiasm from city authorities. The uniformity of Cerdà’s grid pattern and its egalitarian aspirations did not go unnoticed by the wealthy, disapproving ruling classes. It is therefore not surprising that the backlash against

the Cerdà Plan was led by illustrious figures. The irony of this story is that many of those who criticized the Cerdà Plan helped beautify it and add value to its architecture and landscape through their own unique buildings. We know that the Modernistes and especially the Noucentistes made their own contributions to the Eixample project: for example, the Modernista architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner built the Sant Pau hospital complex (renovated this year) with a diagonal layout, while the works of Antoni Gaudí have become major tourist attractions with a priceless heritage value. However, it was the Noucentistes who can be truly said to have developed their own form of urban planCatalan International View

Casa Milà, as seen from Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia.



ning. Puig i Cadafalch, for instance, in his dual role as technical specialist and politician, strove to advance his own vision of the city and Catalonia. During his term as a councillor in Barcelona, he proposed the remodelling of the Gothic Quarter and mitigated as best he could the effects of the demolition work undertaken to create the Via Laietana in the heart of the city’s historic centre. He also supported the Jaussely Plan (named after its creator, the Frenchman Leon Jaussely), which aimed to connect the towns around Barcelona to the new Eixample district. However, the plan was never carried out, even after it had been transformed into a far more modest ‘connection plan’ and the initial vision was reduced to a series of individual projects. Nonetheless, the Jaussely Plan is important, despite never being fully implemented. The criticism of figures such as Puig i Cadafalch superimposed onto Cerdà’s visionary logic has made our Eixample one of the 20th century’s most successful models of urban expansion.

Now that we are once again living in turbulent times with the feeling of a new beginning, it is worth looking back at the actions and directions taken by those who came before From Puig i Cadafalch and the rest of Cerdà’s detractors onwards, the approach to city expansion evolved from logical planning into regulation, control, modification and the creation of new social organizations based on a city’s structures. This new mentality can be defined through five characteristics: the desire to create a city that is not uniform; a view of the city as an organism, rather than a chessboard; the marriage of high-quality architecture and 72

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urban design; structuring the city in accordance with a specific political, social and economic context (the Jaussely Plan was considered to be the initiative of the Regionalist League, the political party in power at the time); and the introduction of an approach to the city that does not solely cover the layout of the streets of Barcelona, but extends to Catalonia as a whole. This last characteristic is especially important, as it was the justification for the key tenets of Catalan regional policy throughout much of the 20th century: ‘The streets do not end in the city, but are the beginning of the umbilical cord that will generate urban development in the rest of Catalonia’ (Bohigas, 1997). This shift in scale from city to region or from Barcelona to Catalonia as a whole is vital to understanding much of what has happened since 1914. This was year zero, as the brand of Catalan nationalism headed by figures such as Enric Prat de la Riba and Puig i Cadafalch himself took control of the new Commonwealth of Catalonia, that modest yet significant administrative structure that had always demonstrated a great appetite for modernization in the political, social, economic and cultural spheres. The grand idea of the ‘city of Catalonia’ would drive the quantitative and qualitative expansion of a wide range of public services and infrastructure across Catalonia, including schools, libraries, roads and telephone lines. These were ambitious plans developed to serve a vision of a prosperous and prominent nation, and the Commonwealth’s vision and will to succeed overcame its lack of resources and real political power, as is clear from three figures: in 1914, just 38 of Catalonia’s 1,000-plus municipalities had telephones; yet, by the start of the 1920s, 6,000 kilometres of telephone lines had been installed to cover virtually the whole of Catalonia. In 1914,

Visions from a newly-emerging state

fewer than 5,000 people used Catalonia’s libraries; yet, by 1922, this figure had increased nearly tenfold thanks to the expansion of the library network. In terms of infrastructure, this period saw the construction of 1,700 kilometres of roads to connect much of Catalonia. In fact, the streets no longer ended in the cities but acted as an umbilical cord to generate urban development across the rest of the country, just as planned. The topic of road building provides an opportunity to examine a superb case study of this desire to connect or, to use a term currently in vogue, ‘create balance’ in Catalonia through infrastructure and how this concept has been maintained over the years. The geography of Catalonia partly explains Barcelona’s central location, but there has always been a strong desire to be able to cross Catalonia without having to pass through its capital city. The project that would become known as the Transversal Arterial Road aimed to follow natural corridors and connect the city of Girona in the north-east with Lleida some 300 kilometres away in the west without passing through Barcelona. The project was mentioned for the first time in 1921 in the Commonwealth of Catalonia’s Six-Year Plan, but was not put into practice. Fourteen years later, the subject was raised again, this time under the Generalitat de Catalunya (the regional government installed during the Second Spanish Republic) in the 1935 Public Works Plan drawn up by the engineer Victorià Muñoz i Oms. The long winter of Franco’s rule would

have to pass before democracy and selfgovernment returned to Catalonia and, by 1997, the project could finally begin, almost three quarters of a century after it had first been proposed. The importance of the Transversal Arterial Road goes far beyond mere infrastructure considerations, as it has a symbolic dimension that should not be overlooked: the project clearly demonstrates the zeal for modernity and to modernize that has characterized the main pluralistic group within contemporary Catalan nationalism. The times, people and priorities may change, but now more than ever it is necessary to defend the solid foundations that have enabled us to advance as a nation and a society. Catalan nationalism, which should be viewed as a civic-minded, liberal, open ideology, has always triumphed when combined with a modernizing, progressive and regenerative outlook. These values should be embraced when facing current and future challenges. This is a lesson that should not be limited to so-called regional politics, but should be applied to the art of politics as a whole, from start to finish. In the field of urban planning, for example, it is time for our cities to be ‘renatured’, a term we will soon be hearing more of. Now that we are once again living in turbulent times with the feeling of a new beginning, it is worth looking back at the actions and directions taken by those who came before us in order to understand their mistakes and successes and try to learn as much as we can. *Santi Vila

(Granollers, 1973) is currently the Minister of Territory and Sustainability for the Government of Catalonia. He holds a degree in History (1996) and has published several scientific and historical articles. In 2004, he obtained the Joan Fuster d’Assaig award for his work on Elogi de la Memòria. He was elected mayor of Figueres in 2007, and in 2012, holding the first place on the electoral list for Girona, he obtained a seat for the third time in the Catalan Parliament. Between 2010 and 2012 he was a supervisor at the Control Commission for the Catalan Corporation of Media at the Parliament of Catalonia and a board member of the Ernest Lluch Foundation at Catdem, as well as vice-president of the Social and Health Consortium of Catalonia.

Catalan International View



Decentralization gains ground by Salvador Esteve*

The progress made by decentralization in almost every region of the world in recent years is undeniable. Setbacks such as Spain’s recent local government reform law are exceptions to a global trend towards local and regional authorities gaining influence. Although they have been carried out at different rates, in recent years, decentralization processes have proliferated in most regions of the world. From our position as holding the chairmanship of the Committee on Decentralization and Local Self-Government (DAL) of the United Cities and Local Governments organization (UCLG) we at the Provincial Council of Barcelona have followed this phenomenon with particular interest. We are convinced that opting for decentralization is the wisest decision, especially in times of crisis. In difficult economic situations decentralized policies are more relevant than ever in that they facilitate the optimization of resources and the identification of priori74

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ties and strategies based on the public’s real needs. In the case of Catalonia, for example, the figures show that local authorities are not the cause of a debt or a deficit in the public administration’s budget. In the European context, the principle of subsidiarity is clearly recognized. For example, the European Charter of Local Self-Government, sponsored by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and ratified by every European country (with the exception of Belarus) argues that local governments should be involved in making decisions on all matters that affect them and that they be equipped with the skills and resources in order to do so. For certain states, the

Visions from a newly-emerging state

challenge is to put this principle into practice. In the European Commission’s latest communiqué on local authorities, it reiterated its commitment to the promotion of decentralization and local autonomy processes in its member countries. The European Council of Municipalities and Regions has recently published a study that includes specific information on 41 countries. It concludes that there is a significant trend towards decentralization in the region in spite of the economic crisis. It is a trend which is present worldwide, to varying degrees. In Latin America, for example, countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Costa Rica have launched major processes

of political and administrative decentralization. In the Arab world, the new Tunisian constitution and the legislative and constitutional reforms undertaken in Morocco underscore a firm commitment to decentralization and the recognition of the role of local authorities. A further example of the increased interest in local governance and decentralization is the DAL Commission, coordinated by the Department of International Relations of the Barcelona Provincial Council. Its website, designed as an up-to-date platform on the subject, received twice as many visits between 2012 and 2013. From 4,835 visits to 12,015 pages in 2012, the number of consultations leapt last year to 8,047 visits to 19,731 pages. Catalan International View

Meeting between the four provincial councils, the Generalitat and the two Catalan municipal entities in defence of local autonomy and in protest against the LRSAL. Photo: Oscar Ferrer / Diputació de Barcelona



Global reports on Decentralization and Local Democracy (GOLD), published by the UCLG are a good means of gauging interest in the phenomenon. Since the publication of the first GOLD report in 2007 there has been a growing trend in favour of decentralization processes, largely motivated by subnational governments’ need to find innovative and efficient solutions to global challenges with a local impact (climate change, the demographic crisis, natural resources and environmental crises, etc.).

Opting for decentralization is the wisest decision, especially in times of crisis Figures on the worldwide growth of the urban population are undeniable, forcing cities to play a clear role. According to the latest GOLD report, presented at the World Congress of UCLG by the Barcelona Provincial Council, the world population is expected to exceed 8,000 million by 2030, and much of this growth (1,400 million) will occur in urban areas. The report, which in its third edition provides an overview of the global urbanization process and the governance of basic services, states that in this situation it is important that local governments have a say in building a sustainable future, respectful of the environment and in which all citizens can live with dignity. Accordingly, the UCLG has opted to include a specific target for sustain-

able urban development in the post2015 agenda, when the period for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals will come to an end. The decision, originating out of the urgency for local responses to global challenges, has already received the support of 170 cities and regions across the world, besides the support of organizations such as UN Habitat, Cities Alliance and C40 Cities. In the context of a general increase in decentralization, imagine our surprise when we see that Spain is swimming against the tide by passing a law such as the one governing the Rationalization and Sustainability of Local Government, which mutilates the powers and resources of local councils. Faced with such a situation, the Barcelona Provincial Council has taken a proactive approach, both nationally and internationally. On an international level, the Provincial Council is working hard in favour of decentralization and local autonomy through the UCLG’s DAL Commission. In terms of the Spanish state, it supports the charge of unconstitutionality, which has the backing of over a thousand mayors, representing some 7.2 million members of the public. The four provincial councils, the Catalan Government and the two municipal entities have joined the initiative in defence of local autonomy, the main thrust of which is the filing of an appeal against the Rationalization and Sustainability of Local Government Law, which repeatedly violates the principle of autonomy.

*Salvador Esteve (Martorell, 1945). President of the Diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona Provincial Council) since July 2011, President of the Associació Catalana de Municipis (Catalan Association of Municipalities) since 2007, and mayor of Martorell from 1987 to 2003 and again since 2007.


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A potential Catalan state’s continued membership of the European Union by Albert Royo*

The European Union is facing two instances of a process which is unique in its history: the possibility that a territory of a member state will secede and become an independent state. Scotland will hold a referendum on independence on 18th September that may well lead to the disappearance of the United Kingdom as we currenty know it. In Catalonia, two-thirds of its regional parliament have agreed to hold a referendum on selfdetermination on 9th November. While Scotland’s referendum has the blessing of the British government, which has temporarily transferred legal authority to Scotland to organize a referendum, the process in Catalonia has received repeated refusals from the Spanish government, hiding behind the argument that such a referendum is incompatible with the Spanish legal system, and that the unity of Spain is unquestionable.

1 This has been the European Commission’s position since the Catalan and Scottish cases began appearing in the international media (towards the end of 2012). The message repeatedly given by the spokesperson in response to questions from the press has been: 1) ‘The treaties do not specify how to manage a situation of this type. There is a legal void in the European Union regarding how we handle the secession of a part of a member state. 2) The European Commission will make no statement about hypothetical questions. 3) The European Commission will only comment on the legal impact of such a situation if a member state formally requests a ruling from the Commission.’ [something that has not happened as neither the United Kingdom nor Spain have requested said ruling]. In addition to this position a fourth point has been added in recent months which appears to


Aside from the particular circumstances present in each country, and in spite of attempts by the European institutions to avoid taking a stand on these two processes by claiming they are part of the UK and Spain’s1 internal affairs, finding a resolution to the Scottish and Catalan cases presents a challenge for the EU which could well see two of its member states losing part of their territory and population following the birth of newly-independent states. The European dimension of this matter is magnified by the fact that the territories involved are historically the most pro-Europe regions in their respective states, and both have made it clear that they wish to continue to form a part of the Union. Recent statements by some senior EU officials2 would seem to agree with what the politicians in Madrid and London have said, when they state that should Catalonia and Scotland become independent they would cease to Catalan International View

remain in the EU and would have to negotiate their re-entry like any other country seeking membership.3 These declarations have nevertheless been contested by a variety of academics and experts on European integration,4 who conclude that the officials’ statements are simply scaremongering, with the intention of influencing the upcoming referendum results. The following is an analysis of some of the main aspects of the European dimension of Catalonia’s national independence process (and by extension that of Scotland as well).

What do the EU rules say exactly?

The EU rules do not establish how a self-determination process in a member state should be handled. Nonetheless, the European Union Treaty (EUT) covers certain aspects that might prove useful when attempting to decide how such a situation should be managed if Scotland or Catalonia democratically

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Participants in the Via Catalana contradict the earlier ones: ‘If a territory of a member state secedes it would automatically stop being a part of the EU’. 2 Statement by President Barroso on Scottish independence in an interview with the BBC on 16th February 2014: ‘It would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” for Scotland to join.’ (http:// www.bbc.com/news/ uk-scotland-scotlandpolitics-26215963).

opt for independence in 2014. The following articles from the treaty are the most relevant: • Article 4.2 establishes that the Union will respect and guarantee the territorial integrity of states and their public order. • Article 7 establishes that should there be an instance of a member state failing to respect Article 2 of the EUT (human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, and respect for human rights) then a member state could see its rights to participate in determined decisionmaking mechanisms of EU governance suspended. • Article 48 outlines how the Union’s treaties may be amended. • Article 49 establishes the procedures to follow if a non-member

state wishes to join the EU. However, it does not outline any procedures related to either remaining within the Union or re-joining it should a member state be subdivided or should a territory within a member state become independent. • Article 50 regulates the voluntary withdrawal from the Union by a member state and imposes negotiations between the parties for a period of up to two years. However, it does not establish any mechanism for forcibly expelling a member state or a territory thereof. In light of the treaties, the Spanish authorities conclude that an independent Catalonia would automatically be excluded from the Union and would have to negotiate re-entry according to Article 49 of the EUT, as if Catalonia had never been in the EU. Such a process would take time and Catalan International View

3 Vice-President Reding said on 24th February 2014 in Barcelona that ‘a few seconds after a vote for independence, Catalonia would be out of the Union’ (http:// europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-14-152_ en.htm?locale=en). 4 Jim Currie, a former European Commission director general, said on BBC on 18th February 2014: ‘Scotland had a right to membership and Barroso’s statement was extremely unwise and I also think it was inaccurate’. (http:// www.bbc.com/news/ uk-scotland-scotlandpolitics-26278237). Written evidence from Graham Avery. Scotland’s Accession to the European Union. September 2012. (http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_EuropeanandExternalRelationsCommittee/Meeting%20Papers/ Graham_Avery_Written_Evidence.pdf ). David Edward: Scotland and the European Union. 17th December, 2012. (http:// www.scottishconstitutionalfutures.org/OpinionandAnalysis/ViewBlogPost/ tabid/1767/articleType/ ArticleView/articleId/852/ David-Edward-Scotlandand-the-European-Union. aspx).



would create serious hardship for the Catalan people. The Catalan authorities, on the other hand, argue that Catalonia has already been in the EU for almost 30 years, that all community legislation is already in place, and that Catalonia’s 7.5 million citizens are already EU citizens and wish to continue to be so. Thus they conclude that should Catalonia become independent, the logical solution is a political agreement, without the need for the normal entry process.

Despite 80% of the regional parliament asking Spain for this to happen, the Kingdom of Spain has not yet accepted the possibility that the people of Catalonia could be consulted at the ballot box The EU’s traditional pragmatism when facing unforeseen circumstances and the member states’ interest in avoiding political, economic and judicial setbacks that could prejudice not only Catalonia’s interests but also those of Spain and the rest of the EU, all bring me to one conclusion: the Spanish authorities’ will have to reverse their intransigent position (with the greater or lesser support of certain EU authorities), once the independence process becomes irreversible (if it is the will of the Catalan people).

The precedents

The Catalan and Scottish processes have no precedents. Nonetheles, the German reunification process is an excellent example of how a situation that was unforeseen in the European treaties was made possible thanks to political will. The German Democratic Republic was dissolved and became part of the 80

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Federal Republic of Germany in 1993. From one day to the next the EU expanded its size by 108,000 km2 and its population by 16 million. In spite of the fact that the treaties make no prevision for such a case, the reunification was possible thanks to political negotiations that led to an agreement that was ratified by the member states in a very short period of time. Certainly German reunification did not increase the number of EU member states, but it did considerably alter the equilibrium among the member states, significantly increasing Germany’s demographic (and political) weight, to the point where the European Commission had to modify the community’s budget in order to offer a large amount of economic aid to the former East Germany. In addition, we should remember that the Federal Republic of Germany argued in favour of the principle of self-determination for peoples when justifying the reunification of the two Germanys, as made patently clear in the German Fundamental Law (as amended on 30th August 1990). Neither are there any precedents for expelling a state or a territory from the EU. In fact, the expulsion of a territory that forms a part of the Union is against the logic that the EU has followed since 1952 in terms of European integration, which has proceeded progressively across the continent adding all those territories respecting the basic principles of the Union who have asked to join and who meet the technical requirements to do so. There are no precedents for expulsion, but there are some precedents for territories who have voluntarily left the EU, with the clearest case being that of Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark (an EU member since 1973). In 1982 the citizens of Greenland voted to leave the EU. Their exit, however, did not actually take place until 1985

Visions from a newly-emerging state

following complicated negotiations and a process of ratification by all EU member states. Greenland only left the EU at the end of this lengthy process, and then immediately became associated to the EU as an ‘overseas territory’. The member states agreed that Greenland could leave the EEC, which lost 2 million km2 of its territory, in spite of the fact that the EU treaties did not cover this possibility. In the case of Catalonia, we are talking about a territory that has been in the EU for much longer, and in a period when Europe is much more integrated than it was in the 1980s when the Greenland case arose. More importantly, we are talking about a national community that does not want to leave the Union. How could an independent Catalonia be forced out? What implications would that have for the EU citizens in

Catalonia and the European companies with investments in Catalonia? It is difficult to say, since the treaties don’t cover the expulsion of a territory. But it is hard to imagine a situation whereby a member state requested an expulsion and that said request were approved by a qualified majority of states or even by a unanimous vote (of course we don’t know what kind of a vote would be required since the situation is not foreseen in the treaties). If we take expulsion as a given, it still seems more reasonable to assume the expulsion would not be automatic. The Lisbon amendments to the treaties (2007) for the first time introduced Article 50 to the EUT covering the voluntary departure of a member state. In that case it was established that the treaties would cease to be applied in the state in question Catalan International View

Part of the 400 kmlong Via Catalana as it passed through the city of Girona.



when an agreement was reached between the state in question and the EU regarding the new relations that would be established or after two years of unsuccessful negotiations. The door is, therefore, closed to an express departure, which could provoke political, legal or economic chaos.

Spanish authorities will not be able to block the Catalan people from expressing their democratic will at the ballot box

5 Yves Gounin, Les dynamiques d’éclatements d’États dans l’Union européenne: casse-tête juridique, défi politique. Politique étrangère (vol. 78). January 2014.


If the expulsion were approved (which is not a given), for a territory like Catalonia which has no intention of leaving the EU, at the very least a two-year period should be allowed to expire before the treaties ceased to apply. Should such a situation arise, all sides (Catalonia, the rest of Spain, and the EU) should seek to guarantee the protection of the rights of citizens, companies, and investors from EU members inside Catalan territory, as well as ensuring the correct functioning of commercial operations between the Union and the new state. In this regard, Catalonia’s economic weight and internationalization constitute its main assets in any hypothetical negotiations as to whether it can remain in the EU. Catalonia, Spain’s most industrialized region, represents more than 2% of the EU’s GDP, and hosts 55% of the German companies operating throughout the entire Iberian Peninsula. It is also home to one of the Mediterranean’s most important ports, and is the main corridor between North Africa and the heart of Europe. In addition, Catalonia’s per capita income is higher than the EU average, meaning the new state would be a net contributor to the Union’s budget. Nonetheless, the threat of expulsion should Catalonia become independent Catalan International View

is almost non-existent, since such a situation could only occur if the rest of Spain recognizes the new Catalan state (something that would occur as a result of negotiations between the two sides, where Catalonia holds some good cards). Until Spain recognizes Catalonia, the Spanish authorities would continue to consider Catalonia and the Catalan people as an integral part of Spain (and, therefore, of the EU). And when Spain does recognize Catalonia, a Spanish veto to Catalonia’s membership of the EU would be completely irrational and highly disputed by other member states of the Union.

The day after the vote

The day after the referendums, if the majority were in favour of independence, neither Catalonia nor Scotland would immediately become independent. Scotland has established a period of 18 months from the date of the referendum in which to negotiate the Scottish state’s status in the EU and the international community and to conclude any agreements necessary to remaining in the EU. Within that timeframe the Scottish government would negotiate in parallel with the UK government and with the European institutions, in order to reach agreement on the new state being born inside the EU. As Scotland and Catalonia’s referendums draw near, a growing number of academics and experts are proposing solutions to EU membership that are based more on realpolitik than a restrictive interpretation of the treaties. Yves Gounin5 considers that the EU constitutes a new kind of entity for international law, quite apart from the traditional concept of states, and that Catalonia and Scotland are already a part of this entity. As a result, their membership cannot be treated in the same way as an application from

Visions from a newly-emerging state

Montenegro or Turkey, who have never been in the EU. Along the same lines, the former judge on the EU’s Court of Justice, David Edward, and the Honorary Director General of the European Commission, Graham Avery, have proposed a reform of the treaties in such a way that would permit (under Article 48 of the EUT) the new state’s entry into the EU to coincide with the date they proclaim independence. They consider that 18 months would be a sufficient period to negotiate changes to the treaties and to obtain the ratification of the Union’s 28 member states. Other writers on the topic, such as Kai-Olaf Lang,6 have proposed a transitional status whereby the new states would not immediately become fully-fledged members. Instead they would transition into the EU, while EU legislation would continue to apply in such a way as to guarantee the rights of existing EU citizens, companies and investors and avoid the Union’s potential political, legal and economic collapse. Unlike the UK, the Kingdom of Spain has not yet accepted the possibility that the people of Catalonia might be consulted at the ballot box as to their will as regards Catalonia becoming an independent state, despite 80% of the regional parliament asking Spain for this to happen. It is to be hoped that if the Spanish government were to permit the referendum and were to recognize its outcome, then Catalonia would follow the same road as Scotland as regards to being granted permission to remain in the Union, an agreement

based on the good will of all the parties involved. Ultimately, the Spanish authorities will not be able to stop the Catalan people from expressing their democratic will at the ballot box. When the moment comes, if the result shows a majority are in favour of independence, and support a clear democratic mandate in the regional parliament, all the political actors involved (the Catalan government, the Spanish government, and EU institutions) will seek to avoid unilateral measures. Nevertheless, it will be the role of the EU and its member states to bring both sides to the negotiating table in order to find the way to execute the democratic mandate. They must avoid putting the rights of numerous European citizens at risk along with those of EU investors and the EU companies operating in Catalonia.

The human chain crossing the Ebre, Amposta, southern Catalonia.

6 Kai-Olaf Lang, Katalonien auf dem Weg in die Unabhängigkeit? SWP-Aktuell 50. August 2013.

*Albert Royo has been Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia since February 2013. He holds a BA in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Applied Economic Analysis from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, as well as a degree in European Affairs from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Moreover, he is a lecturer of European and International Institutions at UPF and has taught European Affairs at the Diplomatic School of Uruguay. Royo has worked for the Government of Catalonia as Secretary for International Cooperation (2005-2007) and for the European Commission as press officer and political reporter (2001-2003).

Catalan International View



The involution of the Spanish legal system (with regard to abortion law reform) by Mireia Canals*

Thanks to Spain’s new abortion law, Spanish women of the twenty-first century will have the same rights as women from the 1950s. These rights, from fifty years in the past, condemned women who voluntarily decided to terminate their pregnancy to going abroad if they wanted an abortion. Women will once again be in this position, whether as the result of a difficult decision or out of a necessity.

1 Spain. Organic Law 2/2010, of 3rd March, Salut sexual i reproductiva i de la interrupció voluntària de l’embaràs (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy). (BOE [on-line], no. 55, 4-032010, pp. 21001-21014). <https://www.boe.es/ buscar/doc.php?id=BOEA-2010-3514> [Consulted: 27th February 2014]. Replacing Organic Law 9/1985, de 5th July, reform of article 147bis of the Criminal Code. (BOE [on-line], no. 166, 12-061985, pp. 22041-22041. <https://www.boe.es/ buscar/doc.php?id=BOEA-1985-14138> [Consulted: 27th February 2014].


The new law is to be called the ‘Law for the Protection of the Rights of Foetuses and Pregnant Women’. As can be seen from its very name it is an insult to women, declaring them free of criminal liability and transferring responsibility to the doctors who carry out a termination. In other words, a woman who takes the decision to terminate her pregnancy is considered a minor and thereby not responsible for her actions. Furthermore, the law rigidly controls a woman’s right to decide. A retrograde step in the purest sense. The current reform of the abortion law claims to address the debate on at least three fronts: legal, health and the rights of women as individuals in their own right. Firstly, if we look at the current legislation, it is worth noting that Spain’s law regarding the voluntary termination of pregnancy was primarily focused on its criminal dimension. Prior to 1985, abortion was considered a criminal act. From that year onwards exceptions to the law were introduced for specific cases (such as pregnancy following rape, malformation of the foetus or a threat to the life or health of the mother). Catalan International View

In Europe, many countries that were equipped with more rational laws were forced to admit the inefficiency of a criminal sanction, which in reality did nothing to curtail the mobility of women to different countries with less stringent laws or fraudulent practices by certain professionals. Such measures therefore failed to avert the risks for women who undergo treatment to terminate a pregnancy. Gradually, the legislation began to change its focus, becoming more centred on the field of public health and reproductive health, with the idea that refusing to accept a phenomenon does not necessarily entail its disappearance, thereby resorting to inaction as a means to finding a solution. This led to the demands for the introduction of a time-bound element into voluntary terminations, together with preventive measures and information. In 20101 a law was introduced governing sexual and reproductive health and the voluntary termination of pregnancies, which defined the part to be played by legislation in society’s reproductive health. The law provides solutions to the problem and has been

Visions from a newly-emerging state

The Modernist Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona.

successful with regard to the drastic reduction in the voluntary termination of pregnancies (VTP). In 2010, 24,305 VTPs were carried out; 22,614 VTPs in 2011 and 21,956 VTPs2 in 2013. We can see that a reform of the law that makes VTPs decline3 is inconsistent. It appears that the current reform proposed by the PP government will ignite an unnecessary debate that is not a response to a genuine social need, but

rather is based on an artificial debate that does not actually exist. The 2010 law adhered to recommendations from the UN and the WHO and is based on gestation periods rather than the assumptions proposed in Minister Gallardón’s reform, which once more subjects women to the criminalization of which they were victims in the past and requires health professionals to make decisions which Catalan International View

2 World Abortion Policies by Country and Region. United Nations. 2013. <http://www.un.org/en/ development/desa/population/publications/pdf/ policy/WorldAbortionPolicies2013/WorldAbortionPolicies2013_WallChart. pdf> 3 IVE data in Spain, 19922010. Instituto Nacional de Estadística (National Institute of Statistics). <http://www.ine.es/jaxi/ tabla.do?path=/t15/a044/ e01/l0/&file=01001. px&type=pcaxis&L=0> IVE data in Europe, 19922011. Instituto Nacional de Estadística (National Institute of Statistics). <http:// www.ine.es/jaxi/menu. do?type=pcaxis&path=/t15/ a044/a021/&file=pcaxis>



4 Resolution 1607 (2008) 1 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 14-12-2009. <http://afavor.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/ resolucion-1607-20081-dela-asamblea-parlamentariadel-consejo-de-europa/> 5 Catalonia. Appeal to the Government of Catalonia on the Rights of Women. Catalan Parliament. [on-line], File no. 30000124/10, 17-01-2014.

far exceed their responsibilities. When women had finally managed to overcome the stigma of guilt, along comes a regressive law which returns us to a punitive model rather than prevention, violating women’s authority and right to make decisions. Thus it not only contravenes current legislation on an international level, but also the advances made in recent decades that have brought equality between men and women.

In a recent debate in the European Parliament, the various political groups declared themselves to be against the reform due to the fact that it violates the rights of women <http://www.parlament. cat/web/activitat-parlamentaria/siap?STRUTS ANCHOR1=detallExp edient.do&criteri=30000124/10&ad=1 > 6 Catalonia. Organic Law 3/2007, of 22nd March, Per a la igualtat efectiva de dones i homes (For Effective Equality Between Women and Men) Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona 2008. <http://www20.gencat.cat/ docs/Justicia/Documents/ ARXIUS/llei_igualtat_ homes_dones_75.pdf> 8 Campanya pel dret a l’avortament lliure i gratuït (Campaign for Free Abortion) <http://www. caladona.org/campanyes/ campanya-pel-dret-alavortament-lliure-igratuit/> 7 ‘Perquè jo decideixo’ (Because I decide). <http:// nosotrasdecidimos.org/ perque-jo-decideixo-textque-sentregara-al-congresdels-diputats/ > 8 Spain. Law 33/2011, 4th October, ‘General de Salud Pública’ (General Public Health). (BOE [on-line], no. 204, 5-9-2011, page 104593. <http://www.boe. es/boe/dias/2011/10/05/


On a European level, Resolution 1607/2008 of 16th April 20084, affirms the right of all human beings, women in particular, to respect for their physical integrity and to freedom to control their own bodies. The Resolution explicitly mentions women and it is the intention of the Government of Catalonia not to abandon European approaches. In a recent debate in the European Parliament, the various political groups declared themselves to be against the reform due to the fact that it violates the rights of women. Aside from the loss of the right to decide as to her own body, the changes implied by this reform mean a limit to and a reduction in a woman’s sexual and reproductive rights. As I mentioned earlier, we are dealing with public health, with laws and rights5. We are dealing with the protection of women and the protection of the unborn child, and this protection is of concern to everyone. Nevertheless we cannot expect doctors to take Catalan International View

responsibility for something which is exclusively the concern of the women and families involved6. In response to this situation, the Catalan Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the professional body of medical specialists, have spoken out to denounce the reform as a retrograde step and to defend the existing law, which they say has protected thousands of women by legislating all aspects relating to pregnant women and gestation. According to them, the PP’s proposed law will entail a step back in medical and social terms. The association warns of the possible dangers that women and doctors might face for failing to comply with the law and that decreases in perinatal mortality and disease rates might undergo a reversal. Faced with such a proposal, we in Catalonia ought to opt for decriminalization and for addressing the phenomenon by undertaking preventive measures in the form of sexual and emotional education. We should also commit to family planning policies. This is clearly a progressive attitude which is already producing positive results and it is the attitude we need to oppose a law that turns the clock back far beyond 1985. The premise on which we should base our argument is the fact that women have the right to decide as to their own pregnancy and to separate their sexual rights from their strictly reproductive rights7. Exercising this fundamental right means that such decisions are not taken by others, as the new law proposes8. The Catalan Parliament is currently working on its own law of effective equality in this regard. It would be inconsistent for us to simultaneously ignore a key aspect of the lives of our citizens9, and female citizens in particular. The Government of Catalonia initiated a series of programs and assistance in the field of health policy that have been

Visions from a newly-emerging state

Closeup of the Modernist grounds of the Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona.

pdfs/BOE-A-2011-15623. pdf > 10 Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. World Health Organization. 2010-2012. <http://www.who.int/ maternal_child_adolescent/ epidemiology/en/> 11 Spain. ‘II Plan Estratégico Nacional de Infancia y Adolescencia’ (Second National Strategic Plan for Childhood and Adolescence) from 2013-2016. Passed by the Cabiet, 5th April 2013. <http://www. observatoriodelainfancia. msssi.gob.es/documentos/ PENIA_2013-2016.pdf>

maintained in spite of the economic and financial situation which the country finds itself in. Catalonia operates a policy of health care which is designed and executed as a universal right10. This approach is a guarantee of support for Catalan women, who can be confident that they are not alone in the event of a pregnancy, which, for whatever reason, they are unable or unwilling to bring to full term. These policies take into account vulnerable individuals such as children and adolescents, through, for example, the Promotion and Prevention of Sexual and Emotional Health Planning in Childhood and Adolescence11. I could cite many other programs and plans in the area of health,

which have been deployed and maintained in recent years which indicate we are a progressive country in this matter12. As we have seen, the current reform of the abortion law, calls for the debate to be addressed from the perspectives of the law, health, and the rights of women as individuals in their own right. We have seen how this initial desire for reform has been reversed, in a purely retrograde step. Thus, we ought to legislate on the health and also the rights of Catalan women in Catalonia. Catalonia’s priority is to have our own law, in spite of the difficulties involved in not having full authority in this matter. For the time being.

12 Catalonia. Pla director d’infància i adolescència de Catalunya. Generalitat de Catalunya (Master Plan for children and adolescents in Catalonia). Ministry of Social Action and Citizenship. Government of Catalonia, Barcelona 2010. http://www.tercersector. cat/sites/www.tercersector.cat/files/3._pdiac_2010_-_2013_v2.2.pdf .“

Mireia Canals (Barcelona, 1969). Holds a degree in English Philology from the Universitat de Barcelona. Vice-president of the ALDE Party Gender Equality Network. President of CDC’s Department of International Policy and a member of their National Executive. She has been a Member of the Parliament of Catalonia since 2010.

Catalan International View



International investment and confidence in Catalonia by Antoni Ma. Grau*

In 2013, foreign investment grew by 10% worldwide and 25% in Europe: companies are on the move, looking for new countries in which to grow, creating new trade flows on an international scale, creating wealth and jobs. For this reason the economies of the twenty-first century need to be integrated into the global community. After all, foreign investment is synonymous with trust and hope in the future. For a country to entice such investment it needs to be attractive, with an open and competitive economy. In our case, Catalonia has a strong and diversified industrial base and a growth model based on talent, training, ideas, an entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and internationalization. We are a country with a clear industrial drive and a corporate culture based on the values of the pursuit of excellence and a commitment to continuous improvement. The internationalization of Catalan companies currently stands at a record high and the number of SMEs which export is on the rise. This means that a growing number of businesses are interested in settling in Catalonia. The country is well-positioned and we have the infrastructure required to be leaders in attracting for88

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eign investment. The figures speak for themselves: according to a 2013 report by fDi Markets in the Financial Times, Catalonia was the number one region in mainland Europe in terms of attracting foreign investment and creating jobs through investment projects for the second year in a row. According to the government of Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, gross productive foreign investment in Catalonia exceeded 3,500 million euros in 2013, testimony to the confidence that companies from all over the world have in our territory. The leaders in terms of investment were Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the United States. In addition, the figures show that confidence is on the rise, since foreign investment grew by 31% with respect to 2012.

Visions from a newly-emerging state

Why Catalonia?

There are currently more than 5,700 foreign companies established in Catalonia. German, French, Dutch, Japanese and American companies top the list. But why would a multinational want to locate a production facility in Catalonia? Why would a company that operates in 50 strategic markets decide to locate a customer service center in Barcelona? Why would a foreign company be interested in carrying out R&D here? And why would it strengthen its manufacturing base in Catalonia of all places? Firstly, because we have a solid foundation: our industry is highly diversified and competitive. We have first class sectors on a global level. For example, the food industry, which is our countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important indus-

trial sector, has one of the largest business clusters in Europe. Barcelona is the home to the Food Fair, which brings together leading companies from around the world every two years, and Catalonia serves as a showcase for its cuisine and local products.

Barcelona Airportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new terminal 1.

Catalonia has a strong and diversified industrial base and a growth model based on talent, training, ideas, an entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and internationalization Another strategic sector is the automotive industry, which has an annual turnover of 14,000 million euros and is responsible for employing 100,000 people, through the creation of an exCatalan International View



tensive network of quality suppliers across the country. Companies like Nissan and SEAT manufacture here, and have at their disposal IDIADA Automotive Technology, an internationally renowned center. Catalonia has a long-standing connection with the automotive industry, as evidenced by the fact that the Catalonia Circuit hosts the world’s leading motor-racing competitions, such as Formula 1 and Moto GP. Catalonia is home to leading facilities and science parks. Synchrotron Alba, the first particle accelerator in southern Europe, is a prime example, as is the supercomputer MareNostrum. Catalonia’s commitment to science and technology is undeniable: we have over 4,400 innovative companies and are responsible for 1% of the world’s scientific publications. In fact, between 2008 and 2012, Catalonia published some 250 articles in the prestigious journals Nature and Science. And in the field of industrial research and technology transfer, the government of Catalonia hosts the TECNIO network, which brings together the best technology and research centers in the country. This commitment to knowledge has allowed us to count on leading companies from the chemical industry, such as BASF, and the pharmaceutical industry, including Novartis, Almirall and Grífols.

According to a 2013 report by fDi Markets in the Financial Times, Catalonia was the number one region in mainland Europe in terms of attracting foreign investment and creating jobs In addition, we must not forget that Barcelona is the world’s mobile capital. It hosts the Mobile World Congress, the largest industry event in the world, which was attended by more than 90

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80,000 professionals this year. The ICT sector is vital to the future of the Catalan economy, and currently consists of more than 12,000 companies.

Catalonia, well positioned worldwide

Ultimately, companies invest in Catalonia because we are well positioned in the world. We know how to attract talent: to manage and make the most of multiculturalism with our open and cosmopolitan character. We have the necessary infrastructure in order that companies from around the world can find professionals that enable them to develop their projects. Our business environment, with its research centers built on excellence, our universities and business schools, is first rate. Furthermore, we occupy a strategic location: Catalonia is one of the main gateways to Europe, one of the world’s major economic regions with a market of around 500 million consumers. Thanks to its geographical location, Catalonia is not only a bridge to other European regions but also towards the North African and Asian markets. The combination of strategic location together with Catalonia’s infrastructure means Catalonia is and will be the largest logistics hub in southern Europe. We are leaders in international trade. We have the Port of Barcelona, which is the leader in southern Europe and the most popular leisure cruise destination in the Mediterranean, and the Port of Tarragona, which is a leader in terms of the transport of chemical products. Barcelona Airport is home to 80 airlines serving 200 destinations worldwide. The Mediterranean corridor will include the most important economic areas in the European Union, promoting connections between European ports and airports. These are all decisive factors: they connect us to the world and integrate us into the flow of international trade.

Visions from a newly-emerging state

According to a study by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Barcelona receives more conference delegates than any other city in the world. In the period 2008-2012, the Catalan capital hosted nearly 520,000 people.

The task facing the government of Catalonia

The government of Catalonia’s objective is to promote and attract productive investment in Catalonia, consolidate foreign businesses with activities that have a greater added value, expand its supplier base, and provide support to reinvestment and expansion. To this end, in addition to the staff of Invest in Catalonia based in Barcelona, the Generalitat also has 36 offices worldwide. Aside from assisting Catalan companies in their internationalization processes, they are also responsible for attracting foreign investment. This is our top priority. Last year, the government of Catalonia’s office responsible for attracting foreign investments, Invest in Catalonia, attracted 52 investment projects, the highest figure in its history. These projects accounted for investments totaling 222 million euros and the creation of 2,630 jobs, 14.2% more than in 2012 (the highest number in the previous 13 years) and the preservation of 1,474. Of the projects attracted by Invest in Catalonia, most were from the automotive, chemical and pharmaceutical industries and ICT. This means that 7.2 jobs were created every day thanks to foreign investment attracted by Invest in Catalonia.

Such a phenomenon also has a strong multiplier effect: according to internationally respected sources, every 10 jobs in multinational companies indirectly result in the creation of approximately 7 additional jobs in service industries related to the companies. Foreign investment is synonymous with wealth creation. Foreign investment is synonymous with the creation of quality jobs. But more importantly, foreign investment is synonymous with trust and confidence in the future of our country.

Closeup of Barcelona airport’s new terminal 1.

*Antoni Ma. Grau is Director General of Industry of the Government of Catalonia’s Department of Business and Employment. He is an industrial engineer specializing in mechanical devices, ETSEIB (1980-1985). Founder and director of the Observatory of Competitiveness of Catalan industry, which has published an annual survey since 2008. Creator of the ENGINOVA service, which promotes innovative entrepreneurship and of the venture capital fund Fons Enginyers, valued in 4 million euros, with the collaboration of the ICF and the Banc de Sabadell.

Catalan International View



Landscape and national identity in Catalonia by Joan Nogué*

Catalonia covers an area of 32,000 km² and is home to some seven and a half million people. The population density is therefore rather high, well above the European average. Nonetheless, the bulk of the population is concentrated directly on the coast or close to it, particularly the metropolitan region of Barcelona, one of Europe’s largest urban areas. Catalonia’s strategic location in the north-western Mediterranean corridor makes it an obligatory gateway for road, rail and energy infrastructure, besides all manner of goods, ideas and people. Indeed, Catalonia has always been a staging post, a meeting point of multiple cultures and a gateway to Europe and the Mediterranean. This was true in the time of Charlemagne in the Early Middle Ages and it is still true today: it is visited by millions of tourists each year and the immigrant population, with people from all round the world, exceeds 12% of the total population. Catalonia can easily be seen as a melting pot, open to other cultures. Catalonia has always maintained its own unique identity. Nevertheless, this identity has always been manyfold, shared, dynamic, varied and always inclusive rather than exclusive. This can be felt when one travels throughout the country observing the varied demographic and cultural makeup of Catalan cities, structured as they are into a well-organized, well-connected urban network. The great capital (Barcelona) and its metropolitan area are the summit, below it we find a series of medium-sized cities of around 92

Catalan International View

100,000 inhabitants spread across the country. Below them are a large number of small towns, with populations of between 15,000 and 50,000 people. These small regional capitals comprise the base of the pyramid, in the form of a network spread throughout the country, providing all manner of services to the towns and villages nearby. Such a well-structured and well-distributed urban network is unusual. It is surely one of the reasons why Catalan civil society has always been incredibly rich. Catalonia, of a similar size to Belgium, the Netherlands and Taiwan, is blessed with an extraordinary diversity of landscapes which are renowned throughout Europe. This is thanks to its unique topography, its climate, ecosystems, its historical legacy and cultural identity. If one looks at a map of Catalonia one immediately appreciates the striking contrasts in the country’s landscape. The Pyrenees, with its small river basins, forests

Visions from a newly-emerging state

and high mountain pastures, together with the extraordinary landscapes found in its valleys, are remarkable for their natural and ecological values. As one continues south towards the plain of Lleida, the landscape changes dramatically: the dry browns and yellows stretch towards the endless horizon, marked only by small hills where villages have been located since ancient times. Further to the south we found an entirely different landscape: the area bounded by the Ebre river delta, a landscape dominated by the river and everything that surrounds it, in contrast to the walls, the cottages and dry-stone wall structures typical of the area. The Ebre Delta is a truly iconic landscape not only for the locals but for all Catalans. This is not only due to its natural and ecological value, but also for the agricultural landscapes that have shaped it, the rice fields in particular. At the mouth of this great river, the variety of colours, the light, the feeling of space and tranquillity

all make a great impact. From the delta one can clearly make out the mountains that separate the region from southern Catalonia. Among them looms the massive bulk of Els Ports mountain range, both mysterious and invitingly suggestive. Heading back to the north-east, we enter Tarragona, where we can find a typical Mediterranean landscape, at the heart of which some of the country’s most appreciated and valued wines are grown, in the Priorat region to be exact. Buildings made using the characteristic dry-stone wall construction technique can be found virtually everywhere, but especially in the Conca de Poblet and the Vilobí and el Tallat mountain ranges, the Garrigues Altes and Montsant. It serves to add a special charm to the local heritage. Continuing on through the Penedès region and its vineyards, one approaches the conurbation of Barcelona, which deserves a chapter all to itself. And to the north and the north-east of the Barcelona Catalan International View

The Encantats peaks as seen from Sant Maurici lake, Pallars Sobirà county



metropolitan area, we find two other elements of the landscape of great interest: the mosaic of agroforestry in Catalonia’s interior, occupying thousands of hectares which have been well maintained, and the moist, green and heterogeneous landscape of Girona province. We could go a great deal further, especially if we were to change the level of analysis. Initially we would find 135 landscapes perfectly described and defined in the Landscape Catalogues of Catalonia (the huge document which identifies, inventories and classifies Catalonia’s landscapes), together with an extraordinary collection of local micro-landscapes.

We can find 135 landscapes perfectly described and defined in the Landscape Catalogues of Catalonia, together with an extraordinary collection of local micro-landscapes How can one identify, characterize and convey to the population, in an orderly and systematic manner, this great diversity of landscapes and their inherent value? Moreover, once these landscapes have been identified and closely examined, how best can effective policies for their protection, management and planning be applied? It is not easy task, but it is possible. This is the work of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia. One of a kind in Spain, it is responsible for leading the development of the aforementioned landscape catalogue at the behest of the Catalan government. The Observatory has designed its own methodology for the study of the landscape, based on the European Landscape Convention (Florence, 2000), which was endorsed by the leading European research groups. The outcome is a map which lists the 135 distinct landscapes mentioned earlier. Not many countries can claim to be home to such 94

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diversity. Its existence is not only key to its educational potential at all levels, but also because these 135 landscapes are the fundamental territorial elements to which specific landscape policies will be applied. Each of the 135 landscapes has been exhaustively described in a comprehensive file that can be downloaded from the website www.catpaisatge. net (in Catalan, Spanish, French and English) which presents the most remarkable characteristics, historical development, dynamics, artistic expression which it has inspired, the potential threats facing the areas, and suggestions for their improvement. The existence of this vast undertaking (from both a descriptive and an action-oriented point of view), together with the existence of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia, and also the fact that we have one of the few laws in Europe which deals with landscapes (Act for the Protection, Management and Planning of the Landscape in Catalonia, 2005) all have a lot to do with the Catalans’ strong feeling of identity. It is no coincidence. Besides language and history, the territory in general and the landscape in particular are also part of the Catalans’ national identity. The land is the primary means by which we make sense of the world and through which we act in the world. Having lived for centuries in a given land, we create identities as the result of a long and complex process of historical territory and the territorialisation of history. To speak of land, therefore, is to speak of identity, collective identity because it is not only associated with language, but also a specific geographical area. The landscape is its ‘face’. The landscape has a cultural dimension, a unique heritage and identity. This is because it forms a society’s cultural impact on a particular geographical area, not only in regard to its physical dimension, but also its most intangible, immaterial and symbolic dimension.

Visions from a newly-emerging state

The place, the land, is increasingly present. Territory and its identity expressed through the landscape, have taken on increasing importance in the contemporary world, not only in Catalonia. In the current context of globalization, in which space and time have become compressed, distances are relativized and spatial barriers have been ironed out, not only has territory failed to lose its importance, it has increased its influence and its weight in the areas of economic, political, social and cultural development. We are witnessing an accelerated process of the revaluation of territories which, in turn, creates hitherto unseen competition between them. Hence the need to distinguish themselves, to exhibit and highlight all the important elements that differentiate one place in respect to another. It is in this context that the landscape took on an unimaginable importance some time ago, since the quality of the landscape and the environment has become a decisive competitive factor in attracting innovative companies and a qualified workforce. The landscape has clearly become a crucial resource that cannot be relocated and which deserves to be given a high priority when improving and maintaining a region’s individuality. There is a clear link, therefore, between the quality of a region, expressed through a harmonious and well-ordered landscape, and its competitiveness on a global scale. Moreover, producing in a quality environment, which is what this is about, is a symbol of a country’s maturity and cultural level. Quality local production is linked to quality landscapes. Such quality landscapes (which are often productive landscapes) contribute greatly to a coun-

try’s image around the world. Winemaking regions are one example, something which key sectors of the Penedès and Priorat areas well-understand. Initiatives such as the Bulli Foundation, to name just one, base themselves on the fact that quality production and excellence are not possible in a mediocre, mundane, disorganized and unkempt country. In addition, it is a fact that the most successful tourism policies, and those with the best chance of future success, involve strategies for the promotion and preservation of the landscape, whether natural, rural or urban. The landscape is a major tourist resource and clearly for this reason it is the main attraction of many tourist destinations, including Catalonia. To conclude, it is worth remembering that land and landscape share a common root and, in terms of the survival and construction of a national identity, go hand in hand. Now more than ever, Catalonia seriously believes that an attractive, peaceful and harmonious environment generates a feeling of wellbeing, which significantly increases one’s quality of life. Such a view is supported by the European Landscape Convention, which states that ‘the landscape is an important part of the quality of life for people everywhere: in urban areas and in the countryside, in degraded areas as well as in areas of high quality, in areas recognized as being of outstanding beauty as well as in everyday areas’. The landscape is doubtless an excellent means to assess the level of culture, civility and urban development of a territory, on whatever level. Furthermore, it is a perfect means of capturing a society’s respect for its territory and the extent to which it identifies with it. *Joan Nogué

is director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia (www.catpaisatge.net) and Professor of Human Geography at the Universitat de Girona.

Catalan International View



Barcelona, a safe investment Barcelona, a city with over 2,000 years of history, is Catalonia’s major Mediterranean metropolis, its economic, cultural and administrative capital and one of the EU’s leading economic engines. Barcelona has rapidly become one of the most attractive cities in Europe, thanks to its prime location and its ability to adapt to the dynamics and needs of the global economy. It is not only an ideal holiday destination, thanks to its cultural heritage and pleasant climate, it is also a place to do business.

Ernst and Young’s 2013 European Attractiveness Survey places the Barcelona/Catalonia urban region in third place in terms of foreign investment projects attracted to Europe in 2012. The keys to this success and attractiveness are found in many factors and circumstances that combine to make Barcelona such a great business-friendly city in southern Europe.

Accessible and well-connected

Barcelona has an airport equipped to handle up to 55 million passengers a year. Over 900 flights operate daily to over 190 international and domestic destinations. Its port is one of the world’s busiest in terms of cruise ship traffic, second only to those located in the Caribbean, and has one of the most modern, highly automated container terminals in the world. Barcelona is a leader in Europe in terms of the shipping of vehicles and cargo containers. The fact that goods from Asian ports 96

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can reduce transport times by three days if they choose Barcelona, rather than a port in northwest Europe, is a decisive factor. Barcelona has direct access to a market of over 25 million people who live in the Euro-region consisting of southeast France and the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. The Barcelona-Lyon corridor has a GDP of almost one billion euros, which means the region holds positions 16 and 11 in a world-ranking in terms of population and wealth respectively. Thanks to its location, Barcelona is the gateway to southern Europe, the capital of the Mediterranean, a bridge to North Africa and a link with Latin America.

A diversified economy, open to the world and open to knowledge The Catalan region is home to more than 5,000 foreign companies, 90% of which are located in the Barcelona area. Of the total number of foreign

Visions from a newly-emerging state

companies located in Spain, Catalonia accounts for over half of the Japanese, Italian, American, French, Austrian and Swiss companies, among others. According to the consultancy firm Ernst & Youngâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2012 European Attractiveness Survey, Catalonia is one of the most attractive areas in Europe in which to invest, and in the year concerned, 116 projects were implemented in Barcelona, 42% of the total for the state as a whole. Among these international activities, it is worth noting the fact that Barcelona has been selected as the site of the GSMA Mobile World Congress which brings together over 70,000 professionals each year in the Catalan capital. Barcelona is the centre of a large economic area, with a long industrial tradition and a well-established business fabric. The city is committed to its economy and knowledge-intensive activities, especially cutting-edge services and innovative economic activities.

The industrial sector still plays a relatively important role with competitive, export-oriented companies. Leaders in this field include the automotive, consumer electronics, pharmaceutical chemical and food industries.

The World Mobile Congress, Barcelona.

Thanks to its location, Barcelona is the gateway to southern Europe, the capital of the Mediterranean, a bridge to North Africa and a link with Latin America In spite of the speed of change, Barcelona is making an orderly transition to the knowledge economy, with knowledge-intensive services being the fastest growing areas, with positions filled by highly skilled workers: business services, cultural industries, audio-visual production information and communication technologies (ICT), biotech and cleanenergy and sustainable mobility industries are all growth areas in Barcelona. Catalan International View


12 hour drive / 2 hour flight from Barcelona



8 hour drive / 1 hour flight from Barcelona LYON MILAN


The potential market on Barcelona’s doorstep.

The highest standard of living in Europe

Barcelona is considered the European city with the highest standard of living for workers according to the European Cities Monitor. It has taken first place continuously for the past fourteen years. This is probably down to its exceptional climate (2,400 hours of sunshine per year), the four kilometres of beaches that flank the city and its reputation for international cuisine, making it the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. Other key factors include its first-class education system, the presence of leading international business schools, a modern, efficient transportation network and a broad, exciting cultural appeal, in addition to the city’s undeniable sporting attractions, headed by FC Barcelona, the most famous football team in the world. 98

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The added value of a city on the move

Barcelona’s position as a city brand that offers an added value is demonstrated by its proven track-record which is recognized internationally. Its status is confirmed by numerous independent studies and surveys. The internationalization of Barcelona’s economy has currently become its main engine of economic activity, while the Barcelona brand maintains its strength and reinforces the city’s ability to attract businesses, jobs, talent and foreign investment in an international context which is extremely complex for the economies of southern Europe. Barcelona is, therefore, a city on the move, with countless ambitious projects currently underway. It is a city which aims to create a business-friendly environment to facilitate the development of economic and business activities thanks to the Barcelona Growth project, backed by the City of Barcelona, together with partners from the private sector.

A Poem Curated by Enric Bou Chair in Hispanic Studies, Brown University (Providence)

To Majorca During The Civil War

A Mallorca durant la guerra civil

The fields are still green And those trees last And against the same azure My mountains are cut. There the stones always evoke Barely rain, blue rain Coming from you, clear chain, Mountain range, pleasure, my clarity! I’m greedy of light still in my eyes And it makes me cringe when I remember you! Now the gardens are like sounds of music And they disturb me, they drain me as in a slow tedium. The heart of autumn is already wearing out, Arranged with delicate fumes. And the grass burns on hunting Hills, between dreams of September And inked fog at dusk.

Verdegen encara aquells camps i duren aquelles arbredes i damunt del mateix atzur es retallen les meves muntanyes. Allí les pedres invoquen sempre la pluja difícil, la pluja blava que ve de tu, cadena clara, serra, plaer, claror meva! Sóc avar de la llum que em resta dins els ulls i que em fa tremolar quan et recordo! Ara els jardins hi són com músiques i em torben, em fatiguen com en un tedi lent. El cor de la tardor ja s’hi marceix, concertat amb fumeres delicades. I les herbes es cremen a turons de cacera, entre somnis de setembre i boires entintades de capvespre.

My whole life is tied to you, As at night the flames to darkness.

Tota la meva vida es lliga a tu, com en la nit les flames a la fosca.

(Translated by Enric Bou)

Bartomeu Rosselló-Pòrcel (1913-1938) was born in Palma (Majorca) and died in 1938 in El Brull sanatorium. As a student in Palma he was a favorite disciple of Gabriel Alomar. In Barcelona he studied a BA in Romance Languages and later pursued a PhD on Gracián’s prose at the University of Madrid. His limited work includes only three books: Nou poemes (Nine Poems) 1933, Quadern de sonets (Notebook of Sonnets) 1934, Imitació del foc (Imitation of Fire) 1938, published posthumously. Rosselló-Pòrcel’s poetry is an excellent example of extreme pure poetry, with attention to Baroque, particularly Góngora, and with echoes of Surrealism. His poems are written with extraordinary metric artifice, leaning towards deep symbolic tension and filled with a contained enthusiasm. ‘Flame’ is the most repeated word in this lyrical poet. Because of his disappearance at such young age and the extraordinary quality of his poetry he became a symbol for younger poets in the years after the Civil War. Palau i Fabre entitled his 1945 poetry book Imitació de Rosselló-Pòrcel. Catalan International View


A Short Story from History Curated by Manuel Manonelles

The Dalmases Embassy and The Case of the Catalans (III) In March 1713, Pau Ignasi de Dalmases i Ros left Barcelona for London. He did so in his capacity as ambassador of the Catalan authorities to the Court of Saint James. His mission was to call for the honouring of the agreements signed between the representatives of Catalonia and those of Queen Anne of England in 1705 in the city of Genoa. According to the agreements, Catalonia entered into the War of the Spanish Succession on the side of the Habsburg candidate under the warranty of the Crown of England that, regardless of the outcome of the war, Catalonia would retain its traditional constitutional and parliamentary system and their associated liberties. We are currently celebrating the tercentennial of these events, and this temporary section is aimed at not only following the tortuous journey of this Catalan ambassador, but to know more about what the different chancelleries of Europe, as well as in the published opinion of that time, became to be known as ‘The Case of the Catalans’. In this third instalment the focus is on the important impact that this case had on the British society of that time, particularly with the debates related to the Catalans that took place in the House of Lords in April 1714; but also its substantive presence in the correspondence of Louis XIV, as well as its interference in the negotiations previous to the peaces of Rastatt and Baden.

The journey III (from December 1713 to April 1714):


30 December 1713

The Case of the Catalans interferes in the peace negotiations in Rastatt between France and the Empire. Following the insistence of the Imperial representative –Prince Eugene of Savoy– in favour of the Catalans, the French representative -Marshall Villars- decides to consult Versailles on the matter.

4 January 1714

General war in the whole of Catalonia. A revolt due to the occupation and the new taxes raised by the occupying troops starts in Caldes de Montbui and expands to the whole country. In retaliation, the Bourbon army burns down the village of Sant Quintí de Mediona, massacring about eight hundred people, including many civilians.

9 January 1714

Louis XIV answers his plenipotentiary in the peace negotiations in Rastatt, Marshall Villars, reiterating his negative to accept the interposition of the Emperor in favour of the Catalans.

12 January 1714

In The Hague, the Catalan ambassadors (Dalmases and Ferran) receive positive news from the representative of the Emperor (Prince Eugene of Savoy) regarding his instructions to defend the Catalan cause in the peace negotiations in Rastatt.

16 January 1714

Rumours spread regarding the death of Queen Anne of England. The ports of the United Kingdom are closed in a pre-emptive move. Some days later, once the news of the recovery of the Queen is confirmed, the ports are reopened.

28 January 1714

Intense coverage by the British press of the Catalan resolution to defend their liberties to the latest extremities.

30 January 1714

A Franco-Spanish fleet of more than 30 vessels arrive in Barcelona in order to reinforce the naval blockade of the city.

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4 February 1714

The Bourbon troops massacre more than one hundred people –most of them civilians– after having agreed to surrender, in the small town of La Gleva (Osona).

6 February 1714

Negotiations in Rastatt are suspended due to the impossibility of reaching an agreement in relation to the Case of the Catalans.

15 February 1714

Political unrest in the United Kingdom worsens, Richard Steele publishes his pamphlet ‘The Crisis’. Among other subjects Steele strongly criticises the British government for their behaviour regarding the Catalans.

26 February 1714

In Barcelona the Generalitat (Catalan government) temporarily transfers its powers to the Council of the Hundred (City Council) in favour of a unified military and political command.

28 February 1714

Peace negotiations in Rastatt are reopened due to French military pressure on the Rhine front.

6 March 1714

The Peace of Rastatt, between France and the Empire, is signed. The Case of the Catalans forms a part of the negotiations until the very last minute, before being finally left aside.

17 March 1714

Call for a debate on the Case of the Catalans in the House of Lords. The House asks the government to deliver to the House all documentation related to the matter.

18 March 1714

Political tension increases in London in the midst of new rumours about the Queen’s health. Following heated debates, Richard Steele is expulsed from the House of Commons, for accusing the government of secretly favouring a non-protestant succession.

19 March 1714

In London the government, led by Lord Bolingbroke, manoeuvres in order to delay the debate in Parliament of the Case of the Catalans.

Mid March 1714

A pamphlet entitled ‘The Case of the Catalans Considered’ is printed in London by J. Baker.

31 March 1714

The sessions in the British Parliament are resumed after the Easter recess.

2 April 1714

The Case of the Catalans is the subject of a heated debate in the House of Lords. The government presents a detailed report which supposedly demonstrates the proper treatment of the question; however the Whig Lords –led by Lords Cowper, Halifax, Wharton and Sunderland– vehemently challenge the government, with the support of some Tory peers.

3 April 1714

An ad hoc committee of Lords prepares an address to the Queen to request the further involvement of the Crown and her government in the defence of the Catalan cause. The draft is subject to a heated and prolonged discussion in plennary, and agreed of ‘paragraph by paragraph’. The discussions are echoed in the House of Commons.

One of the pamphlets published in London regarding the Case of the Catalans

5 April 1714

Queen Anne sends her answer to the Lords, without clarifying eventual future actions in favour of the Catalans, and diverting responsibility to the Emperor. As a result of parliamentary pressure, Queen’s Anne government sends new instructions –contrary to the original ones– to Admiral Wishart, who is leading a British fleet to the Mediterranean, ordering him not to support or assist the Franco-Spanish army in their attempts to reduce Barcelona, Majorca and Eivissa. (To be continued) For more information: www.thecaseofthecatalans.org

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The Artist

The Last Light by Martí Peran

‘Darkness visible’ is the celebrated oxymoron with which John Milton characterised the deepest hell into which the living were cast after losing Paradise forever. Since then the suspicion has grown that our time is nothing more than the prolongation of the Hour of the Devil. Anyone who starts to speak will have to acknowledge, even if only for a moment, this unsettling suspicion (Silencio [Silence], 1999; Cenizas [Ashes], 2006).

For protecting the instant of sense there is only one methodology; the gaze that accepts that it will return to the darkness (discover through sight that it has been born blind) Milton’s inferno has also been described from even more rhetorical perspectives – what would you say if the devil offered [you] the possibility of living the life you 102

are already living eternally? Or conversely, in a literally impeccable way; the dark light reveals, above all, our poverty of experience. Poverty of experience, our inferno, is the apotheosis of banality. We have never had as many tools as we do today for amassing situations and events while, at the same time, these episodes have never been so vacuous. Countless experiences, but all of them unsubstantial and forgettable. A deficient surplus. Two extreme stances have arisen to counter this filled vacuum; the histrionic one consists of forgetting about the poverty by multiplying the experience, while at the opposite extreme lies impossible resignation via a perpetual silence and inaction. Either accumulate more situations or try to avoid them all. The first makes the hell worse, and the second, in spite of itself, only manages to be a mute lament. In either case, it seems that an agreement has been arrived at to forget the real task at hand; to persevere in the capture of the instant of sense, although to do so the usual direction should be reversed and its radical instability

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The Artist

be accepted (I chase after that precise moment in which the light is about to go out, just before complete darkness). The complete instant that may not occur as an opening but as a simple glimmer that goes out. However, this inversion itself is its only opportunity. The instant of sense is not the decisive instant. While this performs a narrative function that accumulates different moments (it is the crucial moment capable of containing the before and after that completes the story of an event) this is the pure, qualitative moment (Kairos), the absolute instant without duration, faced by which, when nothing more embarrasses us, its impossible suspension is sought, Stop instant, you are so beautiful! This full instant, irredeemably elusive due to its completeness (without any possibility of being dissected into different parts or sequences) is that which, in any of its clumsy formulations, has to recognise that there can be no language. It is an instant that is contentedly mute, since it is identified with pure experience or sublime experience. Pure experience (Erlebnis) says nothing since

it is prior to language and is part of man’s infancy, in which, precisely, the urge to speak and to name has not yet awakened Corredores de luz [Corridors of light], 2001; En la nada [In Nothingness], 2007). Sublime experience, on the other hand, is that which takes place in the face of boundless and mighty nature (the mathematical sublime and the dynamic sublime) provoking the cancellation of language as too frivolous before the magnitude of the vision Frágil [Fragile], 2007; Al otro lado [On the Other Side], 2007). In either case, both experiences, pure or sublime, equally aim to define and protect the instant of sense in its function as the absolute moment. For protecting the instant of sense there is only one methodology; the gaze that accepts that it will return to the darkness (discover through sight that it has been born blind). The instant of sense, dispossessed of all duration, is as fleeting as a simple real act. A pure image that occurs simply, as an unrepeatable concretion, close to the precise tone of a haiku. In opposition to durée, pure time that opens the space of difference and dispersion, the instant of sense is a simple intimation, mute and, once again, dark. The Bodies of Light are not part of the darkness visible mentioned by Milton, so continual and diverse in the interior of our poverty of experience. Instead, these glowing bodies are from a radically different sphere, of l’intuition de l’instant that Gaston Bachelard so precisely described, the moment of a vertical time. The instant of sense is, in effect, a sort of cut from deep within that allows the appearance of a beam of light that results in a vision. The last light which originates from and fades into what will never occur again.

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Mayte Vieta at Espai VolART2 from 8 May to 20 July . 22, Ausiàs Marc St. 08010 Barcelona 103

Editorial Board Martí Anglada Former foreign news editor at TV3 (Catalonia Television). He has been foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Italy and Great Britain (1977-1984) for the Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia and TV3’s foreign correspondent in the United States (1987-1990), Brussels and Berlin (2009-2011). He has also been an international political commentator. His books include Afers no tan estrangers [Not So Foreign Affairs] (Editorial Mina, 2008), Quatre vies per a la independència: Estònia, Letònia, Eslovàquia, Eslovènia [Four Ways To Independence: Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia] (Editorial Pòrtic, 2013) and La via alemanya [The German Way] (Brau Edicions, 2014).

Enric Canela (Barcelona, 1949). Holds a degree in Chemistry from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and a PhD in Chemistry, specialising in Biochemistry. He has taught at the UB since 1974, where he is currently Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and collaborates on research into intracellular communication. He also conducts research on theoretical Biochemistry and regularly publishes in scientific journals of international repute. He is a member of numerous scientific societies. Between 1991 and 1995 he was vice-president of the Catalan Society of Biology. Between 2007 and 2009 he was president of the Circle for Knowledge. Between 2007 and 2011 he was a patron of the National Agency for Evaluation, Certification and Accreditation (ANECA) in Spain. He is currently vice-rector of Science Policy at the UB.

Salvador Cardús (Terrassa, 1954). PhD in Economics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge, Cornell University (USA) and Queen Mary College of the University of London. Currently he is professor of Sociology at the UAB and the former Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology. He has conducted research into the sociology of religion and culture, media, nationalism and identity. His published works include, Plegar de viure [Giving Up on Life] with Joan Estruch, Saber el temps [Understanding Time], El desconcert de l’educació [The Education Puzzle], Ben educats [Well Educated] and El camí de la independència [The Road To Independence]. In the field of journalism he was the editor of the Crònica d’Ensenyament magazine (1987-1988) and was deputy editor of the Avui newspaper (1989-1991). He contributes to ARA, La Vanguardia, Diari de Terrassa and Deia newspapers. He is a member of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans.

August Gil-Matamala Has been a practising lawyer since 1960, specialising in the fields of criminal and labour law. He has taken part in numerous cases in defence of those on trial for their demands in favour of people’s rights, as well as hearings before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Gil-Matamala fought the first successful case against the Spanish state for the violation of basic rights. He is a founder member of the Commission for the Defence of Individual Rights of the Col·legi d’Advocats de Barcelona (the Barcelona Bar Association) and the Catalan Association for the Defence of Human Rights, which he presided over from its foundation in 1985 to 2001. Gil-Matamala has also been president of both the Fundació Catalunya and the European Democratic Lawyers organization. In 2007, coinciding with his retirement, he received the Creu de Sant Jordi (St. George’s Cross, the highest honour awarded by the Catalan government).

Montserrat Guibernau Professor of Politics at Queen Mary College, University of London. Holds a PhD and an MA in Social and Political Theory from the University of Cambridge and a degree in Philosophy from the Universitat de Barcelona. She has taught at the universities of Warwick, Cambridge, Barcelona, the London School of Economics and the Open University. Guibernau has held visiting professorships at the universities of Edinburgh, Tampere, Pompeu Fabra, the UQAM (Quebec) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Currently she holds a visiting fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics. Montserrat Guibernau is the author of numerous books and articles on nationalism, the nation-state, national identity, and national and ethnic minorities in the West from the perspective of global governance.


Catalan International View

Guillem López-Casasnovas (Minorca, 1955). Holds a degree in Economics (distinction, 1978) and Law (1979) from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and a PhD in Public Economics from the University of York (1984). He has been a lecturer at the UB, visiting scholar at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Sussex and at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Stanford. Since 1992 he is full professor of economics at Barcelona’s Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), where he has been vice-rector of Economics and International Relations and dean of the School of Economics and Business Science. In 1998 he created the Economics and Health Research Centre (CRES-UPF), which he directed until 2005. In 2000 he received the Catalan Economics Society Award, in 2001 the Joan Sardà Dexeus Award and in 2008 the Ramon Llull Distinction from the Balearic government. He is a member of the Catalan Royal Academy of Medicine and distinguished member of the Economists’ Society of Catalonia. Former President of the International Health Economics Association and since 2005 a member of the Governing Board of the Spanish Central Bank. He serves on the advisory councils for Health, Economic Recovery and Catalan Research of the Government of Catalonia.

Manuel Manonelles Political commentator specialising in international relations, human rights and democratization processes. Currently director of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace, Barcelona. He has been special advisor to the Co-chair of the UN High Level Group for the Alliance of Civilizations, as well as advisor to the coordinator of the Secretariat of the World Forum of Civil Society Networks (Ubuntu Forum), which is a member of the International Council of the World Social Forum. He has been an international electoral observer and supervisor for the OSCE and the EU on many occasions, and has participated in several international intergovernmental and non-governmental processes.

Fèlix Martí Former president of the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (Pax Romana), from 1975 to 1984; director of the Catalonia magazine (1987-2002), aimed at disseminating the Catalan culture around the world; director of the UNESCO centre of Catalonia (1984 to 2002) and subsequently its honorary president. From 1994 to 2002 he was editor of the Catalan editions of the yearly reports of the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute, L’Estat del món [The State of the World] and Signes vitals [Vital Signs]. He promoted the Declaration on Contributions by Religions to a Culture of Peace, signed by leaders of the great religious traditions in 1994. President of the Linguapax International Institute from 2001 to 2004 and its honorary president thereafter. He published his memoirs Diplomàtic sense estat [Diplomat Without a State], in 2006. His latest book is Déus desconeguts. Viatge iniciàtic a les religions de l’Orient [Unknown Gods. Journey of Initiation Through the Religions of the East], published in 2013. He was awarded the UNESCO Human Rights Medal in 1995 and the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Creu de Sant Jordi in 2002.

Eva Piquer (Barcelona, 1969).Writer and cultural journalist. Works for several newspapers and magazines. Has been a lecturer at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a New York news correspondent. Won the 2002 Josep Pla prize for her novel Una victòria diferent (A Different Victory). Also author of several books, including La noia del temps (The Weather Girl), Alícia al país de la televisió (Alice in Television Land) and No sóc obsessiva, no sóc obsessiva, no sóc obsessiva (I’m Not Obsessive, I’m Not Obsessive, I’m Not Obsessive). Her latest book is called La feina o la vida (Life or work).

Ricard Planas (Girona, 1976). Journalist, art critic and cultural promoter. Studied Philology and the History of Art at the Universitat de Girona. In 1999 he founded the magazine Bonart, dedicated to the contemporary art scene in the Catalan Countries. More recently he created and directed the Catalan art fair INART in 2005 and 2006. Has worked as the curator for exhibitions by important artists such as Arranz-Bravo, Lamazares, Formiguera, Cuixart, Ansesa and Grau-Garriga. Ricard has collaborated with Ona Catalana, Catalunya Ràdio, iCatfm and Onda Rambla radio stations. Has also worked for the Diari de Girona, El Punt and El Mundo newspapers, among others.

Clara Ponsatí Holds a degree in Economics from the Universitat de Barcelona, a Masters in Economics from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. She is a research professor and director at Institut d’Anàlisi EconòmicaC.S.I.C., affiliated faculty and research fellow at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. She has been senior researcher at C.S.I.C., associate professor and assistant professor at UAB and Postdoctoral research associate at Bell Communications Research, Morristown, NJ. She is a member of the editorial boards of The International Journal of Game Theory and The Review of Economic Design.

Arnau Queralt Holds a degree in Environmental Sciences from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and a Masters in Public Management from ESADE, the UAB and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Since October 2011, he has been the director of the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS), an advisory body of the Government of Catalonia attached to its Presidential Department. Since October 2012, he has been a member of the Steering Committee of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC). From May 2010 to October 2011 he was secretary general of the Cercle Tecnològic de Catalunya Foundation. He has been on the board of the Catalan Association of Environmental Professionals since 2004 and was its president from 2010 to 2012.

Catalan International View


Vicent Sanchis (Valencia, 1961). Holds a degree in Information Sciences from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In his career as a journalist it is worth highlighting that he has worked and collaborated on many publications and with numerous publishers; he has been editor and director of El Temps magazine, director of Setze magazine, the Catalan supplement of Cambio 16, and director of the newspapers El Observador and Avui. He has also excelled as a scriptwriter and director on different TV programmes. At present he is president of the editorial board of Avui, and vice-president of Òmnium Cultural. Vicent is also a lecturer in the Faculty of Communication Sciences at Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona.

Mònica Terribas (Barcelona, 1968). Holds a BA in Journalism from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Stirling (Scotland). She is a lecturer at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. From 2002 to 2008 she presented and subsequently directed the current affairs programme La nit al dia for TV3 (the Catalan public television). From 2008 to 2012 she was Director of TV3 and the following year, the CEO and editor of the newspaper Ara. Since September 2013 she has presented El matí de Catalunya Ràdio, Catalonia’s public service broadcasting flagship current affairs programme.

Montserrat Vendrell (Barcelona, 1964). Has been BIOCAT’s CEO since April 2007. As a cluster organization, BIOCAT’s goals include promoting the development of biotechnology companies and research institutions. Vendrell has been the Chairwoman of CEBR (the Council of European Bioregions) since 2012. She holds a PhD in Biology (Universitat de Barcelona), a Masters in Science Communication (UPF, 1997) and a degree in Business Administration (IESE, PDG-2007). Before BIOCAT she was linked to the Barcelona Science Park, where she held several posts such as Scientific Director (1997-2005) and Deputy Director General (2005-2007). Among other tasks, Dr. Vendrell led the design and implementation of the Park’s Strategic Plan, as well as the organization and management of scientific activities and technological platforms. She was a member of the Steering Committee of the Park’s Biotech Incubator, and in charge of international relations.

Carles Vilarrubí (Barcelona, 1954). Businessman. He is currently Executive Vice-President of Rothschild Spain Investment Bank, specialising in key mergers and takeovers in the financial sector on an international scale. President of CVC Grupo Consejero, an equity and investment advisory firm, with a portfolio of shares in consulting and service companies from the world of communications, the media, marketing, technology and telecommunications. President of Doxa Consulting Group, independent consultants on technology, media and telecommunications, leaders in the sector and with a presence in Spain and Portugal. He is a member of the advisory board of the Catalan confederation Foment del Treball Nacional [National Employment Promotion] and patron of the Fundació Orfeó Català - Palau de la Música. He has also been a member of the governing council of ADENA WWF (World Wild Fund for Nature), and sat on the boards of the Fundación Arte y Tecnología, Fundesco and Fundación Entorno. He is vice-president of F.C Barcelona.

Vicenç Villatoro (Terrassa, 1957). Writer and journalist. Holds a degree in Information Sciences. Former president of the Ramon Trias Fargas Foundation. As a journalist he has worked for numerous organizations. He was the editor of the Avui newspaper from 1993 to 1996 and head of the culture section of TV3. Between 2002 and 2004 was director general of the Catalan Radio and Television Corporation. He has contributed to a range of media companies, such as Avui, El Periódico, El País, El Temps, Catalunya Ràdio and COM ràdio. As a writer he has written a dozen novels. He is the former director of the Institut Ramon Llull.

Francesc de Dalmases (Director) (Barcelona, 1970). Journalist and consultant in humanitarian aid and cooperation and development. Has been president (1999-2006) of the Association of Periodicals in Catalan (APPEC); coordinator for the delegation to the Spanish state of European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages (1995-1999); coordinator for the third conference of the CONSEU (Conference of European Stateless Nations) (1999); and coordinator for the publication Europa de les Nacions (1993-1999). Has acted as a foreign expert in aid projects in such diverse locations as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mongolia, Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mexico, Guatemala and Morocco. He is a member of the Cooperation Council of the Catalan government. He recently (2011) joined Barcelona’s Council’s Aid Commitee and is a board member of the Federation of Internationally Recognized Catalan Organisations.

Víctor Terradellas (Editor) (Reus, 1962). Entrepreneur and political and cultural activist. President and founder of Fundació CATmón. Editor of Catalan International View and ONGC, a magazine dedicated to political thought, solidarity, aid and international relations. Víctor has always been involved in political and social activism, both nationally and internationally. The driving force behind the Plataforma per la Sobirania (The Platform for Self-Determination) as well as being responsible for significant Catalan aid operations and international relations in such diverse locations as Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Pakistan and Kurdistan. Currently he is General Secretary of International Relations for the Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya party.


Catalan International View

Profile for Quim Milla

Catalan International View 17  

Special Issue • 17 • Spring 2014

Catalan International View 17  

Special Issue • 17 • Spring 2014