|Posted by Casal Català Minnesota on March 8, 2014 at 9:00 AM|
La Pedrera Declaration: “Catalans have always considered Europe as the most natural setting for their free development”.
Prominent members of the Catalan civil society signed La Pedrera Declaration in order to stress towards the EU and the international community the will of the large majority of the Catalans (80%) to “decide freely and democratically” on their future.
On February 23rd, the Commissioner for Justice, Human Rights and Citizenship and Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms. Viviane Reding, visited Barcelona to personally present some of the main concerns and priorities of the European Union, at a particularly sensitive time in its history.
La Pedrera declaration was written as a response to Ms. Reding as European Union representative. She was asked several times during the discussion about the Catalan case and the position of the Commission regarding the Catalan referendum and independence, despite the complaint of the Secretary of State for the European Union in the Spanish government, Mr. Iñigo Méndez De Vigo, who called the ones within the audience that insisted on those questions “stupid”. There is a high interest in Catalan society about the role the EU and the international community will play in this political process.
The text is signed by seventeen public personalities of the civil organizations that are the driving forces behind the Catalan process. Amongst the signatories are Ricard Gené, the International Coordinator of the biggest grassroot organization, the Catalan National Assembly – Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC), Muriel Casals from Omnium Cultural , Isabel Helena Martin from Sobirania i Justícia, the linguist and former vice-president of Plataforma per la Normalització Lingüística, Miquel Strubell, and writer Simona Skrabec.
A short summary of the La Pedrera Declaration:
- “Few places can boast a pro-European tradition as great as that of Catalonia”.
- “Catalans have always looked to Europe(…as the most natural setting for our free development”.
- “Catalans know full well that only in times of democratic freedom are our people respected, even if only partially. We therefore fully share the values that underpin the European Union, and we celebrate as much as anyone the long period of peace that has allowed us – except for woeful local conflicts – to share a project of progress based on mutual respect and cooperation”.
- “Many Catalans are scandalized by the instrumental use being made as a threat of membership of the European Union, if our people vote and decide, peacefully and democratically, to join the international community with a state of our own”.
- “In a globalized context, many Catalans firmly believe that only by having the proper tools of a State can we continue to generate wealth, create jobs for our young people, and further the welfare and happiness of our people”.
- “The definition of Catalans as ‘whoever lives and works in Catalonia and wants to be Catalan’ has been a social and political slogan for many years, as a reaction and an affirmation of the Catalan people’s will to exist”.
- “Some people (…demand for our problems to be solved through dialogue and negotiation. It is logical and normal”.
- “We call on the European Union and the international community as a whole to ensure the effective realization of what the 7.5 million Europeans that live and coexist in Catalonia have asked their political representatives: to be able to decide on their own future freely and democratically”.