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European institutions debate Catalonia’s process at Swedish political fest

For the first time ever, Catalonia took part in Almedalsveckan, a political festival with more than 50 years of tradition held annually on the Swedish island of Gotland. The Europahuset, which gathers together representatives from the European Parliament and the European Commission in Sweden, invited the Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT), Albert Royo and the Catalan Government’s General Director of Foreign Affairs, Maria Badia to discuss the challenges that Catalonia’s political process represents for the EU. Royo emphasised how the Spanish Government failed to respond to Catalonia’s demands in relation to a vote on independence. For her part, Badia relied on the EU’s pragmatism and predicted that it “will find the way to embrace Catalonia when the moment arises”.

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11 July 2016 03:06 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- Interest in Catalonia’s political process continues to grow internationally. Proof of this is the debate “The Catalan Case within the European Union” which took place this weekend at the renowned political festival Almedalsveckan, which has taken place every year on the Swedish island of Gotland for the last half century. Albert Royo, the Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) emphasised how the Spanish Government failed to respond to Catalonia’s demands in relation to a vote on independence. For her part, the Catalan Government’s General Director of Foreign Affairs, Maria Badia relied on the EU’s pragmatism and predicted that it “will find the way to embrace Catalonia when the moment arises”.


Both representatives, together with other analysts, MEPs and journalists, were invited by the Europahuset, which gathers together representatives from the European Parliament and the European Commission in Sweden.

PhD Researcher at Oxford University, Núria González Campaña doubted that a referendum would be the best way to decide on Catalonia’s independence and stated that, outside the law, “democracy becomes the tyranny of the majority”. Swedish MEP Bodil Valero, who has repeatedly defended the right of self-determination, also attended the conference. Valero, from the Swedish party Miljöpartiet, stated that “if Catalans vote in favour of independence, the EU should accompany the process”.

The debate was introduced by Johan Häggman, expert on multilingualism, who emphasised the creative, innovative and multilingual nature of Catalan society. The renowned Swedish journalist, Heman Melzer,moderated the debate. 

Almedalsveckan, a solid political festival

Political parties, civil society, trade unions and citizens gather together each year on the Swedish island of Gotland. Throughout the week, different political, economic and social topic are discussed in a relaxed atmosphere in order to bring politics to citizens and strengthen democracy. This year, nearly 3,500 people attended the festival and 400 conferences and seminars were held, most of them, about ‘Brexit’ and the refugee crisis.

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  • Image of the debate “The Catalan Case within the European Union” held this weekend at Almedalsveckan political fest, in Sweden (by DIPLOCAT)

  • Image of the debate “The Catalan Case within the European Union” held this weekend at Almedalsveckan political fest, in Sweden (by DIPLOCAT)