Sense, our flag
On the 27th of September next, the eleventh elections to the Catalan Parliament after the reestablishment of democracy in Spain are being held.
All the elections are important; however these are probably the most important in the recent history of this old European nation that is Catalonia. There is a candidacy that has set them up to be a ‘de facto’ plebiscite through which a result in favour of his own list implies following a roadmap that leads to a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.
It is worth knowing that Catalonia is a European nation that has contributed the most to the consolidation of democracy in Spain and to the integration of it into the European Union and the Economic and Monetary Union. Nobody can say without being untruthful that Barcelona’s contributions have not been key at many stages of the Spanish integration process, from the entry itself, to the great collective efforts to recover from the recent economic crisis, all the way up the entry to the Economic and Monetary Union.
Nevertheless, all these efforts haven’t been compensated enough in what political Catalanism and Catalan society has always aspired: to be respected in all that makes us a nation; our language, our culture, our rights and having a fair funding system according to the wealth it generates, in order to provide citizens with the appropriate services.
All this has been insistently and persistently abused by the last two Spanish governments, ruled by José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero and Mariano Rajoy respectively. Each with his own style has been a huge obstacle to answering to the majoritarian petitions of Catalan society.
Unió, the party of which I am General Secretary and candidate for the Catalan Presidency has exerted itself by asking both sides to build bridges of dialogue, because we have always been convinced that by talking, people understand each other. In fact, since the creation of the State of the Autonomous Communities, and with dialogue and willingness to agree, we have reached milestones which, looked at with today’s eyes, would be impossible. The last 40 years haven’t been sterile at all, even though some would like to pretend that they have been. Every time the Catalans have carried the Senyera [Catalan flag] of sense, dialogue, will to agree and, definitely, the political Senyera, we have come through it pretty well and we could keep on building, step by step, our corner – still insufficient – of sovereignty.
Unió believes that the sense which has always defined Catalonia must continue to run Catalan politics. The sense, along with the deep Europeanist feeling of our party, is in the conception of the nation as a whole. A party which has collaborated with Christian Democracy in Europe since 1948, even before the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which was the embryo of the EU. That’s why, exactly why, Unió defends the view that whatever Catalonia’s next government might do, Unió won’t support anything which would imply being outside of the EU, even if it is for just a second. An EU that we helped to build, and that besides all its imperfections, which make us uncomfortable and committed to changing it, it remains an instrument for peace, economic stability and consolidation of welfare state’s structures that could only exist through it.
From this Catalonia nation in Europe which aims to be, which doesn’t renounce to be, but which has sense as its standard; without betraying the homeland but without allowing this patriotism to be reckless. The 27th of September next has to be a message to Spain, to Europe and to the world; the inheritors of those who invented the leitmotiv “peace and truce”, the inheritors of one of the first pre-democratic parliaments in history, the inheritors of a political way which wants to integrate the other, but respecting everything, are still resisting and ready for whatever may come. Resistant, persistent and, at the same time, builders of a better future for its citizens and for their neighbours, all of them, in the EU and with a universal vocation.
Ramon Espadaler, Unió’s candidate for Catalan President.