Catalonia, an EU state

by Dr. Joan Carretero,

First posted 08.05.2012

On Thursday 10 May at the College of Journalists of Girona, at 07.00 pm, in a press conference, we will present the European Citizens’ Initiative on EU Internal Enlargement, submitted by seven EU citizens coming from seven differerent EU states. Its aim is that the European Union guarantees the maintenance of European citizenship to the citizens from a new state born following a process of secession of a territory from a current EU member state. The event is also open to anyone.

With this action we want to ensure a clear sovereignty of citizens in the process of secession that may exist within the territory of EU states, while they respect the principles, values ​​and objectives that the EU has established in the treaties themselves.

If the registration is accepted (the European Commission will decide before June 1), the initiative will be promoted not only by the seven people who have already subscribed it, but we must collect a million EU citizens signatures. Then we will submit them to the European Commission as an invitation to initiate a piece of legislation to recognize as an EU state member, a new state emerged from a democratic secession of another Member State. In no case may request a modification of the EU treaties, but generate new legislation. This collection of signatures may be made by electronic means, ie, the Internet, without any obligation to appoint the notary, as the EU has committed itself to such means to deepen democracy. However, the challenge is very important and will require a large mobilization to enable the EU to rule on this subject, that, if we take into account statements by (Spanish) prominent People´s Party leaders, is a current topic  In this regard, we have seen the change in the discourse of Spanish nationalism in this matter. From saying that Independence was a “minority option rejected by a plurality of Catalan citizens“, to state categorically that if Catalonia proclaimed its independence, the country would become “miserable” because of Spain will veto its EU admission, which means, no doubt, that the independence and a Catalan state are closer, more available. The Spaniards know this and have already begun to threaten and use the discourse of fear.

As for the million signatures, these must be collected in one year, and must come from seven EU member states, with a minimum number for each of these states, according to its population. The seven citizens that compose the organizer committee come from the Spanish state, Luxembourg, French state, United Kingdom, Finland, Germany and Netherlands.  Reagrupament National Executive members are also members of this Committee. Once admitted, a million signatures collected and validated, the Comission will study the Initiative, and will allow the promoters to present it in an European Parliament public hearing.  Finally, within three months, the Commission should consider and decide whether to give the organizers a public hearing to present the initiative and, if the Commission decides to continue forward, the legislative procedure would be initiated.

As you can see, this is a long, complicated, difficult and raises the bar very high. But, as demonstrated throughout history, Catalans, and still more the Independentists, face fearless challenges In any case, even in the worst case scenario: that the ECI wouldn’t be admitted or that once the signatures collected, no legislation would be passed, we would success in avoiding (spanish) People Party´s will to legislate in the opposite direction

Finally, let me add that in case you want further information on ECI, join us this Thursday at the College of Journalists of Girona.