More than 100,000 people have signed the Manifesto of the National Pact for the Referendum a week on from its publication. This demonstrates the success of the civil society initiative that has signed up more than seven hundred organisations to the pact on the right to decide.
Through the explicit endorsement of its content, the Manifesto aims to facilitate the culmination of the process currently underway among the Catalan people, who are attempting to exercise their right to self-determination, the fundamental right of all peoples. As the Manifesto states, the time has come to take the final step, “to overcome the political obstacles and … preconceptions, and to finally reach an agreement that establishes the conditions and the fair and necessary guarantees for holding a referendum recognized by the international community, the result of which should be politically binding and effective”.
One of the Manifesto’s main features is its pursuit of the goal of “bringing as many perspectives together as possible”, both transversal and plural, around a just claim that not only excludes no one but seeks to benefit all. It aims to benefit the citizens of Catalonia directly and, more indirectly, all citizens for whom democracy is the fundamental template of human coexistence.
Hence, the Manifesto has been signed not only by the highest authorities in Catalonia, such as President Carles Puigdemont, and a long list of Catalans, but also by many other people who, though not Catalan, feel the message speaks to them. Spanish politicians have signed it, such as the leaders of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, and United Left (IU), Alberto Garzón, as have the heads of Basque, Galician and Corsican nationalist parties. Similarly, along with the signatures of other MEPS, those of Dimitrios Papadimoulis and Ulrike Lunacek, both vice-presidents of the European Parliament, are remarkable because of the posts they hold in the European Union. Also significant is the endorsement of Oscar Manutahi Temaru, the president of French Polynesia and now candidate in the upcoming French presidential elections.
Along with his signature, Dimitrios Papadimoulis added his desire to see high-level dialogue between the interested parties – the Spanish and Catalan governments. Such dialogue should allow “intelligent solutions” to be found to the dispute in order for Catalan people to be able to freely and peacefully express their desire to choose their own future without outside interference.
President emeritus of CIEMEN
President of Plataforma pel Dret de Decidir (PDD)