Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

1. International Liberals back Catalan self-determination  

The Liberal International explicitly endorsed Catalan self-determination.

In a context in which open support to the independence cause tends to be rather scarce –at least publicly–, the Liberal International unapologetically endorsed the Catalans’ right to self-determination and to EU membership on a motion during their 59th Congress:

Liberal International | World Today Resolution Adopted
Liberal International expresses concern over the lack of real dialogue between the Government of Catalonia and the Government of Spain to discuss a negotiated roadmap over the future of Catalonia. Liberal International will support any decision taken by the Catalan people on their future. The democratic model set by the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Scotland, where an agreement was reached between the two governments to hold a referendum to decide the political future of the Scottish people, should be used as a positive example in the discussions between the Government of Spain and the Government of Catalonia. Nevertheless, any potential or future discussions between the two governments should never imply the renunciation of the right of the Catalan people to decide their own future, granting that this is always set up through democratic means. The European Union has to be flexible and strong to offer a viable alternative for those people that want to democratically express themselves within it.

2. Declarations of Independence 

Jacob Neis covers the Catalan and Scottish cases for independence with a lengthy analysis that combines historic background information with interviews to experts about these two European nations set to vote on independence later this year.

The Politic | Declarations of Independence
“Separatism continues to be interpreted as a nationalist movement,” [Professor Edgar] Illas said of the movement in Catalonia, while in reality “the novelty of this movement and the new situation that globalization has brought on [means that] these categories are no longer applicable.” Political scientists will have to develop new ways of talking about these movements — not quite nationalist, but not traditionally separatist either.

3. Books & Roses in NYC 

Last Sant Jordi was not only celebrated in Catalonia, but also well beyond its borders. Kristin Moakley wrote a great account about how the tradition was celebrated in New York city with a literary crawl organized by the Catalan Institute of America.

The Brooklyn Quarterly | Books & Roses
Brimming with Catalan pride and a love of books and roses, people filled the room at Melville House Books for the first reading by Polish translator, Ross Ufberg. In introducing the event, Jordi Graupera, a CIofA board member told the crowd that the goal of the day was to show Americans that Catalans are both “exceptional and normal” – normal for celebrating holidays like any other, but exceptional for doing so with the combination of books and roses.