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Danish Parliament requests Spain and Catalonia to hold "peaceful and democratic dialogue"

7 of the 8 groups sitting in the Parliament of Denmark have supported on Tuesday evening "a peaceful and democratic dialogue between Catalonia and the Spanish Government in Madrid" to solve the current political conflict. For 45 minutes, the Danish Chamber debated Catalonia's right to self-determination, after Nikolaj Villumsen, an MP from the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) registered a question about this issue addressed to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Martin Lidegaard (from the Danish Social Liberal Party). Villumsen linked Catalonia's case to the peaceful resolution of conflicts within the European Union today through democratic referendums. All the parties sitting in the Parliament, except the extreme-right Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti), supported the Minister's answer, which put Catalonia and Spain at an equal level. The debate was held this Tuesday, but the vote on the motion will take place next week.

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13 May 2015 08:59 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- 7 of the 8 groups sitting in the Parliament of Denmark have supported on Tuesday evening "a peaceful and democratic dialogue between Catalonia and the Spanish Government in Madrid" to solve the current political conflict. For 45 minutes, the Danish Chamber debated Catalonia's right to self-determination, after Nikolaj Villumsen, an MP from the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) registered a question about this issue addressed to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Martin Lidegaard (from the Danish Social Liberal Party). Villumsen linked Catalonia's case to the peaceful resolution of conflicts within the European Union today through democratic referendums, after the Catalan institutions repeatedly requested to hold a free self-determination vote. All the parties sitting in the Danish Parliament, except the extreme-right Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti), supported the Minister's answer, which put Catalonia and Spain at an equal level and asked them to talk in order to find an agreed solution. In addition, Lidegaard added that the Spanish Constitution does not fully recognise Catalonia's nationhood, which is a pending issue in Spain. The debate was held this Tuesday, but the vote on the motion will take place on Tuesday next week.


Every group in Denmark's National Parliament except the extreme-right Danish People's Party – which announced its abstention – agreed that Spain and Catalonia should sit and talk about the self-determination claims shared by a large part of the Catalan population and clearly and repeatedly expressed in a democratic way by the Catalan Parliament. "It is important to find a democratic solution" in "cases like Catalonia's", stated Villumsen when presenting his question and opening the debate.

Furthermore, he requested the European Union take part in the debate about Catalonia's right to self-determination. In this vein, he said he hoped that further parliaments will follow Denmark's example and hold debates on the issue.

In November, the same Danish MP participated in a conference organised by the Danish branch of the civil society association Catalan National Assembly (ANC), which is one of the groups that organised the massive peaceful and cheerful demonstrations which took place in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Between 1.5 and 1.8 million Catalans participated in each of them, according to official figures. Villumsen was convinced by the arguments presented at the conference and committed to bring the issue to the Danish Parliament, filing a question for the Government.

Catalan representatives are "very satisfied" with the Danish debate's outcome

Carlos Vilaró, the Spokesperson of the ANC's Danish group, stated they were "very happy at having received the support from the majority of the Parliament" of Denmark, called Folketing. Vilaró emphasised that the agreement represents Catalonia's recognition as an actor which can have its say and a place at a negotiation table. It also puts Catalonia and Spain at the same level.

Albert Royo, the Secretary of Catalonia's Council for Public Diplomacy (DIPLOCAT), which is a private-public soft diplomacy body promoting Catalan interests abroad, highlighted "the success" of having obtained the support of the Danish Parliament to hold a round of talks on self-determination with the Spanish institutions. "The approved text requests a solution based on dialogue and democracy", stated Royo, who was present at the debate as an observer.

"It also puts Catalonia and Spain at the same level", he highlighted. The motion "shows that the way of doing politics is through talks, dialogue and using democratic ways", he added. "Catalonia has been asking to hold a talk for the last three years", but the Spanish Government only provides answers based on legal interpretations and hides behind the Constitution in order to deny Catalans their right to vote on their collective future as a nation.

Villumsen stated he was "honestly worried" about the Spanish Government's attitude so far,  rejecting any dialogue about Catalonia's self-determination. "It would be irresponsible [on our side] not to take seriously the decision adopted in Catalonia", which requests the organisation of a self-determination vote. Villumsen was referring to the Catalan Parliament motions requesting such a vote, which have been approved by broad majorities.

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  • The Danish Parliament on Tuesday evening (by Diplocat / R. Ramirez / ACN)

  • The Danish Parliament on Tuesday evening (by Diplocat / R. Ramirez / ACN)