My favourite day of the year in Catalonia is La Diada de Sant Jordi, our Saint Patron. Not only it is usually a beautiful sunny but cool day in Barcelona but walking around with all the little stands ornamented with senyeres (the Catalan flag) selling roses and books is a delight. Couples and families strolling down the streets, the girls holding their roses and books. If there’s a day worth experiencing in Catalonia that day is definitely Sant Jordi. I make a point of celebrating it every year no matter where I happen to be.
I’m gonna share with you this year’s favourite read of mine. A group of expert lawyers (interview in Catalan), at the request of Reagrupament’s Joan Carretero, have written the Constitution of Catalonia, in Catalan for us and in English, so that everyone can read it. Yesterday, newspapers Avui and El Punt distributed more than 70,000 printed copies of it.
Now that it’s clear that Spain’s project doesn’t (and has never tried to) include Catalonia and with tomorrow’s next round of popular Referendum of Independence I think the best way to move forward is to show what we want for our country. Currently the law that defines Catalonia’s self-government is the Statute of Autonomy. Statutes are laws that regulate companies and not nations and our current Statute is a Spanish law, therefore it is not the expression of the Catalan nation’s will. With this Constitution we want to make it clear that the sovereignty of Catalonia lies within the Catalans and not elsewhere.
The text is clear, brief and concise, as Constitutions should be. Our target now is for the Catalan Parliament to declare independence and pass it.
CONSTITUTION OF CATALONIA
We, the people of Catalonia,
Willing to re-establish our sovereign rights, conscious of our responsibility towards future generations and in order to build a united, prosperous, supportive, open community respectful with human dignity and with the fundamental rights, we provide ourselves with the present Constitution.
The Constitution we provide us with is inspired on the principles contained into the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen from 1789, on the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights of the United Nations proclaimed in 1948 and on the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950.
Public authorities are obliged to ensure and respect those principles and fundamentals rights as established in this Constitution.
- Title I.- General Principles. The sovereignty
- Art.- 1. The State
- Art. 2. Exercise of the sovereignty
- Art. 3. The territory
- Art. 4. The National Capital
- Art. 5. Language
- Art. 6. Nationality
- Art. 7. Symbols
Catalonia is an independent, democratic and social State under the Rule of Law
The national sovereignty belongs to the Catalan people, who exercise it directly or by its representatives.
The territory of Catalonia corresponds to the geographical boundaries of Catalonia.
The National Capital of Catalonia is the City of Barcelona.
Catalonia has its own, national and official language, the Catalan language. Aran has its own, national and official language in that territory, the Occitan language in its Aranese variety. Linguistic freedom is ensured.
A law will regulate the conditions to obtain, preserve and lose the national condition of Catalan. Citizens of the Valencian Country, the Balearic Islands, North Catalonia, Ponent Franja and Alguer are ensured to count on the Catalan national condition, upon requirement.
Catalan symbols are the national flag, the national day and the national hymn.
- Title II. Fundamental rights
- Article 8. Human dignity
- Article 9. Right to life
- Article 10. Equality before the law
- Article 11. Freedom
- Article 12. Legal protection
- Article13. Prohibition of censorship
- Article 14. Property
- Article 15. Marriage
- Article 16. Protection of the territory
- Article 17. Prohibition of arbitrariness
- Article 18 Political rights
- Article 19. Popular legislative initiative
Human dignity is inviolable.
All human being has the right to life.
Death penalty, torture and inhuman or degrading treatment are forbidden.
Women and men are equal before the law.
No one may be harmed or favoured because of its origin, its race, its birth, its beliefs, its opinions or its social or other personal condition.
Individual freedom is guaranteed.
It is especially guaranteed:
a) Personal freedom and physical and moral integrity
b) Respect for private and family life
c) The right to honour and own image reputation
d) The inviolability of the home, correspondence and telecommunications
e) The right of having and raising children
f) Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
g) The freedom to have opinions, express and disseminate them
h) Freedom of the press
i) Freedom of association, assembly and demonstration
j) The right to strike and the right to collective bargaining
k) The right to receive education and freedom of education
l) The freedom of artistic creation and research
m) The freedom to choose and practice a profession
n) The freedom of enterprise, trade and industry
o) The freedom to set an own home
p) Freedom of access to public office
Everyone has the right to obtain an effective judicial protection.
Everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence.
Any person arrested must be brought before the judge within the next twenty-four hours after his arrest.
Everyone has right to the natural judge default by law, to be defended by lawyer, to be informed of the nature of the accusation and to a public, fast and fair process.
Criminal laws and penalties are non-retroactive.
Special courts are prohibited.
Any person wrongfully detained is entitled to compensation for damage suffered.
Censorship is prohibited.
The right to property is guaranteed in its private and social function.
The right to marriage and to a family is guaranteed.
The freedom to constitute another form of common life than marriage is guaranteed.
Everyone has the right to live in a balanced natural environment.
The State bodies are obliged to ensure equitable and rational land use. They must fight the noise and air, soil and water pollution and preserve the flora, wildlife and natural beauty of the landscapes as well as the natural and architectural heritage.
Everyone is entitled to be treated by State organs without arbitrariness and with full respect to the principles of goodwill.
Citizens have the right to participate in public affairs.
Any person over sixteen years old has the right to take part in elections, popular consultations and referendums, to be elected to hold public office and to support any popular legislative initiative.
A law shall specify the exceptional cases in which a person may be deprived of political rights.
Fifty thousand voters or fifty municipalities may require the legislative power, by a popular legislative initiative, the promulgation, amendment or repeal of constitutional or legislation provisions.
- Title III. The duties of the citizens
- Article 20. The defence of Catalonia
- Article 21. Public expenditure
Catalans have the duty and the right to defend Catalonia.
All citizens must contribute to the maintenance of public expenditure.
(Note: since the Constitution is being published in installments at Reagrupament’s website there are still 3 sections left to be published. I’ll update this post as soon as they become available)