Europe may legislate on the EU access procedure, Independence though hangs on Catalans”, Dr. Joan Carretero

An European Citizens’ Initiative seeking  that Catalans do not lose their European citizenship once Catalonia may become independent 

14th May 2012
Author: Reagrupament Girona

On May the 10th, Thursday, the main room at the College of Journalists in Girona was crowded with people to listen how Dr Joan Carretero, president of Reagrupament, was presenting to a local audience the ECI that seven citizens from seven different European countries have sent on their own behalf to EU, with RCat’s support, aiming that Catalans do not lose their European citizenship when independence day for the Catalan nation may arrive.

RCat’s president explained that  this ECI –which around May the 31st  will have to be accepted or not-  has been presented  aiming to solve the actual legal gap on this matter. According to all treaties and conventions that have already been approved by the EU it is quite unthinkable that any citizen or national groups who already have the European citizenship were to lose it if their own nation might succeed in a democratic process of political secession from a current EU  member state; it is important, however, that EU itself  clearly explains in juridical terms how such a process would have to be developed just because there are several cases of old stateless European nations –  Catalonia being among them- that could certainly take and follow their path towards independence  in the near future and become eventually separated from  an actual EU member state.

As a response to several questions from the audience Dr Joan Carretero  insisted that “even if this ECI  was accepted and went forward and we were to succeed in collecting the mandatory one million signatures from European citizens in seven different EU countries which is a necessary condition for  the European Parliament to discuss and approve it…  and after being all this quite a long and difficult struggle which may take two or three years to be completed” the most important and essential part  still remains as always: the declaration of independence keeps hanging on Catalans only”.  In other words, Dr Carretero said:  “The EU may legislate on this new incorporation process, but it’s WE, the Catalan people, who must decide if we want to be independent or not. As far as so many citizens keep voting for autonomist political parties we won’t work it out. If a majority of Catalans do agree with those parties that willingly accept Catalonia as being part of Spain we won’t find any solution and we’ll keep going from bad to worse  because  our European mates will not come here to solve our own problems.”

Next, RCat’s representative in Girona’s City Council, Carles Bonaventura, remarked ECI’s opportunity as to argue and reject what PP’s top rulers have lately adopted as their new speech. “As you have already observed –said Bonaventura- Spanish nationalism is not saying any more that Catalan independentism is just a minority thing nor are they trying to scorn it as a vindication of just a few foolish idealistic people whose feet are not on the floor and not having anybody else paying attention to them. Now they prefer to spread fear and assert shamelessly that if ever Catalonia became independent Spain would set a veto on it being a new EU member and therefore a Catalan State would eventually be among the poorest in Europe. That’s why it is so important for independentists to clarify this will not ever happen and that it will be our right to freely decide, when the moment comes, if we prefer to keep being EU citizens or not and that no other EU state member, such as Spain, will interfere on this.  The positive thing of this new Spanish nationalist speech, said Bonaventura, is “this increasingly clear foresight from Spanish rulers of an independent Catalan nation”.

He finally explained, being also RCat’s coordinator in Girona’s region, that several municipalities are already working hard in promoting this ECI and recalled that a few days ago the City Council of Vic, leaded by major Vila d’Abadal,  agreeded on giving it their unanimous support. RCat has prepared, in this way, a political motion to be sent to all their own local representatives so they can present it for approval to their respective town or city councils. This motion will be sent to as many local councils as possible, too.

As far as Girona’s City Council is concerned, Bonaventura also mentioned the agreement that has already been reached between CiUCUP+RCat and ICV-EUiA groups so they will  present the motion together to the next plenary session to ensure Girona’s City Council’s support as well. A demand has been included for the motion to be sent  to the Association of Municipalities for Independence and so they all will discuss the ECI and give it their support.

Translation: JJTN