Monday, April 28, 2014

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

1. Catalan Constitution: a Work in Progress

A voluntary group has started working on a “preliminary draft of a Constitution for a future Catalan republic”, the judge Santi Vidal told Catalunya Ràdio [listen in Catalan].

Although Catalonia currently has a Statute of Autonomy that defines the obligations and duties of the citizens of Catalonia, the country would need a new Constitution in the event of full independence. This is why several judges and constitutional law experts have taken up the task of drafting a new document:

Vilaweb | Ten experts are working on a Constitution for the Catalan Republic
Vidal explained that this draft is a private initiative of the group […]. “We are not working for any official in the Generalitat or in the Parliament; there are a few members of Parliament from parties like CiU, ERC, CUP and ICV, as well as groups like the ANC, Catalunya Sí, and Procés Constituent who are aware of the project and we hope that they will approve of it when we show it to them.”

2. Nation Building Under Debate 

The association Sobirania i Justícia (Sovereignty and Justice) was created in 2008 to raise awareness amongst the Catalan society about the need and feasibility of achieving independence through peaceful and democratic means. What differentiates it from other similar civic organisations is that its members mainly come from the legal sector. Jurists, lawyers and judges provide their know-how to the pro-independence mission.

In a conference coming up next May 15 in Barcelona, several experts will debate whether an eventual Catalan state could join the EU or not:

Help Catalonia | Debate “Building”: Catalonia and the European Union
Experience shows that, ever since the Treaty of Rome came into force in January 1958, establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), there has been no problem that the European impulse has been unable to solve. The Catalan case presents a supposition not expressly anticipated in either European or international law. As a result there is very great room for manoeuvre. But, in the opinion of the CATN (the Assessment Council for National Transition), it won’t be considerations of a legal character that determine the future of an independent Catalan state but rather political and economic ones.

3. Catalan History: from Defeat to Democracy

The website CatalanVotes.Eu, promoted by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat) has produced a series of very informative videos on Catalonia. The most recent one is a crash course on Catalan history from 1714 to our days:

4. Catalan Independence Movement Gathers Pace [Malay Mail]

Barcelona-based journalist Andy West wrote an op-ed for Malay Mail in which he looks at the Catalan tradition of Sant Jordi (Saint George) and goes on to analyse the pro-independence surge.

Malay Mail Online | Catalan independence movement gathers pace
Undeterred, Catalan officials are determined to push ahead with a vote later this year, which will now be called a “consultation” rather than a “referendum” to avoid provoking Madrid’s ire with an unconstitutional act.

Ultimately, though, the independence movement will probably prevail. For many Catalans, celebrating their own patron saint, speaking their own language and cheering on their own football team just isn’t enough: they want their own country.- Andy West