Declaration on Catalonia
Meeting of the SI Council in Barcelona, 24-25 November 2017
The Socialist International Council has always supported the struggle of the Spanish socialists for freedom, democracy and the rule of law. The transition to democracy, since the end of the Franco dictatorship, was an exemplary process, which has inspired many member parties of our organisation in their own struggles to gain freedoms. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 created momentum for the welfare state, the expansion of social and civil rights as well as the development of a largely decentralised state, which allows a high level of self-governance by the different autonomous communities.
Within the framework of democracy and freedoms which Spain enjoys, and which, unfortunately, member parties of our organisation still lack in some regions of the world, the Socialist International shows its deep concern and shares the rejection of the unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia on 27 October, imposed by one part of the Catalan Parliament against the majority will of Catalans and Spaniards. This contravenes the constitution, the Autonomous Status of Catalonia, coexistence and the territorial integrity of the country.
In Catalonia there is no social majority in favour of independence, and much less supportive of actions that lead away from democratic legality. The strategy carried out by the pro-independence government of Catalonia has had serious political, economic and social consequences: in a few weeks more than 2,000 businesses have left, there has been an enormous split within the society complemented by growing international isolation and weakening of Catalan institutions.
On the other hand, the Socialist International notes that the intransigent position of the right-wing government in Spain for years, its rejection of dialogue and its lack of responses to the deterioration of the political situation has been highly irresponsible and has only contributed to aggravate the problem. As socialists we believe that the current government of Spain must once and for all offer a political response to the problem of Catalonia, as the response cannot be simply juridical.
In this context, the Socialist International supports the PSOE and the PSC in their proposal to promote a solution based on dialogue and negotiation, within the framework of the state of law and the Spanish democratic institutions, which culminates with a reform of the Spanish Constitution in a federal sense and a new Autonomous Statute to find a better fit for Catalonia within Spain.
Finally, our organisation considers that Catalonia needs a government that makes possible agreements of a broad majority, a change of course and a policy of reconciliation. Bridges must be rebuilt. For this reason, the Socialist International supports the candidacy of the First Secretary of the Catalan Socialists, Miquel Iceta, for the Presidency of the Catalan government in the elections which will take place in the autonomous region on 21 December.