The current political tension in Catalonia is far from the most intense moments of the process, but that does not mean that the territorial conflict with the State is resolved. Despite their numerous differences, the independence movement as a whole agrees on this aspect, although not on the possible ways to resolve it. the bet of Government -in the hands only of ERC- is clear: achieve a proposal for Clarity Agreement along the lines of the one that exists in Canada to establish the conditions in which it would be possible to hold a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia.
After a few months with the issue parked, the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, has put it back on the table this Tuesday, in an appearance in which he has detailed the phases to achieve, at least, a Catalan proposal for Clarity Pact, to negotiate later with the state government. Among other steps, the president intends to convene a party table in Catalonia after the municipal elections to discuss this way of resolving the conflict. The goal of regional executive It would be that the initiative, which has again generated rejection and criticism from the opposition, could be closed in Catalonia at the beginning of next year, although the first steps will already be taken this April.
According to Aragonès, who has detailed the news around the issue after the weekly meeting of the Governmentthe will is that the proposal be “based on consensus”, which involves “responding to the solid, broad and transversal majority” of the citizenry who “he wants to freely decide the future of the country”. It will be the executive who begins and ends the process to prepare the proposal, although collecting the opinion of the public in the coming months. Specifically, the starting point will be a series of questions – “around half a dozen”, according to the president himself – that the Executive will announce shortly about the “different democratic mechanisms that can contribute to resolving the political conflict with the State”.
Creation of an academic council
At the same time, the Government will promote the creation of an academic council made up of various experts that this month will start working to prepare a first report in which it will offer different options for answers to the questions raised by the generalitat. So far it is known that this council will be coordinated by the political scientist Marc Sanjaume, an expert in cases of Québec and Scotland. This first report must serve to guide the “political, social and civic debate that we will start before the summer”.
One of the legs of this debate will be the table of Catalan parties that he wants to convene after the municipal ones and in which “we will be willing to listen to other proposals that they want to put on the table”, in the words of Aragonese. Another leg will be the promotion of a debate “with organized civil society”, which wants to “listen and collect the opinion of the social, economic, cultural, civic and sports entities and associations of Catalonia” on this first report of the Council. And, finally, encourage citizen participation through the organization of eight debates that bring together 100 people in each casepreviously chosen by lottery “and following scientific criteria”.
With all the information collected in these debates, the academic council will prepare a second report in the last quarter of the year, which will be the basis through which the Government prepares the Catalan proposal for the Clarity Agreement. The next step would be to take it “to the negotiation spaces that we have open with the State Goverment to resolve the political conflict”. The reality is that this space, fundamentally the dialogue table, has been paralyzed for months and whether it remains alive during 2024 will absolutely depend on what happens in the general elections, scheduled for the end of this year.
No enthusiasm from the rest of the parties
Leaving aside the government’s rejection of a hypothetical Clarity Pact to detail the framework of a hypothetical self-determination referendum for Catalonia, the proposal generates zero enthusiasm among the Catalan formations. In fact, it only has a certain support from In Comú Podemwhich had already defended it years ago, while ERC endorsed it in the Catalan general policy debate that the parliament celebrated half a year ago.
This Tuesday, the PSC has criticized Aragonès for reactivating the Clarity Agreement instead of “dedicating energy” to doing “useful policy”. The spokesperson for the Socialists in Parliament, Alicia Romero, recalled that the president’s initiative “was born without support.” Junts has shown its intention to attend the party summit that the president wants to convene, but has asked that there be a meeting between the pro-independence forces beforehand. In addition, his spokesperson, Joseph Riushas insisted that the party does not believe in negotiating a referendum with the Government, but that what it is about is “following the mandate of the [referéndum del] October 1” and, therefore, “what only remains to be done is to make the catalan republic“. The CUP He has limited himself to commenting that he will attend the table if he seeks to “agree on how to move forward” towards independence, while the Comuns criticize that he wants to convene without any prior agreement.