Independence Act Reaches Catalan Parliament


Catalan Parliament

On April 13th an Independence Act is to be debated in Catalan Parliament. It is most unlikely to pass, but it is a propaganda victory for the independence movement in general, and for Catalan Solidarity for Independence (SI) in particular. The Act is not an outright declaration of independence from Spain, but a roadmap to do so in what is today the regional parliament.

The Act states that Catalonia is a nation, to bound with the United Nations Charter and the principle of self-determination of peoples. The people of Catalonia is the only holder of a national sovereignty that is the foundation of the future sovereign and independent State of the Catalan nation. The decision to declare independence is attributed the people of Catalonia and the Parliament as its legitimate representative inside the regional Spanish framework. The Act defines a procedure: within three months from the adoption of the Act it is to be constituted the House of Representatives of the Catalan Nation, that will work so Independence is declared.

Independence will be effective when the current procedural Act is approved; whenever it will be negotiated by the Catalan government with the international community the manner and timing of the declaration of independence; when is declared by a majority of deputies in a session of the Catalan Parliament convened for that purpose.

The Act is very unlikely to pass because SI has 3 seats in a 135 chamber. Independentist MP and maverick Joan Laporta is also a sure Yes vote. Chances are of more Yes votes by some of the nationalist MPs of other groups, like the 62 of Convergence and Union (CiU) and the 10 of Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC). However, the Act may have unforeseeable consequences in Catalan and Spanish politics, By presenting the Act, the small SI group wins precious media coverage. The Act effectively dictates the whole political agenda. Nationalist groups like CiU, which have build a massive appeal in Catalonia on the defense of Catalan interests, with a notorious ambiguity and opportunism towards Spain, now are forced to define theirselves as Spanish unionists or Catalan independentists.

It all will deppend on how much support it gathers among the more nationalist MPs of the other groups. Above all, the Independence Act adds momentum to the Catalan independence movement, after the massive demonstration of last summer in Barcelona and almost 900 hundred thousand Yes votes to independence, in the unofficial referendums held in Catalonia during the last months.