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The International Liberal Congress backs Catalans' right to self-determination and to stay within the EU

The alliance of Liberal parties from throughout the world included a motion supporting Catalans' right to self-determination and to stay within the European Union in its main resolution approved at their international congress that took place in Rotterdam last weekend. "Liberal International will support any decision taken by the Catalan people on their future" reads the text, which also "expresses concern over the lack of real dialogue" between Spanish and Catalan authorities "to discuss a negotiated roadmap over the future of Catalonia". Among the parties backing this statement are the UK's Lib-Dems, the Dutch VVD and Germany's FDP. The resolution also states that "the European Union has to be flexible and strong to offer a viable alternative for those people that want to democratically express themselves within it".

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28 April 2014 08:23 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The alliance grouping Liberal parties from throughout the world included a motion supporting Catalans' right to self-determination and to stay within the European Union in its main resolution approved at their international congress, which took place in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) between the 24th and 27th of April. "Liberal International will support any decision taken by the Catalan people on their future" reads the resolution, which also "expresses concern over the lack of real dialogue between the Government of Catalonia and the Government of Spain to discuss a negotiated roadmap over the future of Catalonia". In this vein, they praise the agreement reached between the British and Scottish authorities, as "a positive example". Among the parties backing this statement are the UK's Liberal Democrats (Lib-Dem), the Dutch People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Democracy 66 (D66), Germany' Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC). The resolution also states that "the European Union has to be flexible and strong to offer a viable alternative for those people that want to democratically express themselves within it". The motion was proposed by the CDC, which is the Liberal force within the two-party Centre-Right pro-Catalan State Coalition (CiU), which runs the Catalan Government. The leader of CDC, who is also the President of Catalonia, Artur Mas, attended the Rotterdam congress on Friday, where he spoke to several leading Liberal figures.


In a 14-page document divided into world areas and countries, Liberal International devoted an entire point in their main resolution to Catalonia's self-determination process. The main international association of parties supporting Liberalism, which is the EU's third-largest political affiliation, is backing the Catalan people's right to self-determination. In addition, they go one step further and highlight that they "will support any decision taken by the Catalan people on their future" in the main resolution of their 59th international conference, which this year took place in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The congress was organised under the patronage of The Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is the leader of the Liberal party VVD.

A "flexible" EU to accept Catalonia's right to self-determination

In a document called 'World Today Resolution', which has been compiled by the European Commissioner for Trade and member of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD) Karel de Gucht, Liberal International also supports a "flexible" EU, which should allow Catalans to express their democratic will and stay within the Union if they decide to become independent from Spain. "The European Union has to be flexible and strong to offer a viable alternative for those people that want to democratically express themselves within it", reads the document.

London-Edinburgh agreement as a model

The Liberal family "expresses concern over the lack of real dialogue between the Government of Catalonia and the Government of Spain to discuss a negotiated roadmap over the future of Catalonia". In this vein, they consider that "the democratic model set by the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Scotland, where an agreement was reached between the two governments to hold a referendum to decide the political future of the Scottish people, should be used as a positive example in the discussions between the Government of Spain and the Government of Catalonia". However, "any potential or future discussions between the two governments should never imply the renunciation of the right of the Catalan people to decide their own future, granting that this is always set up through democratic means", they highlighted.

Further international support from the Liberals and the Greens

It is not the first time that Liberal Parties have supported Catalonia's right to self-determination. In January 2014, Liberal International Youth explicitly supported the demands shared by a majority of the Catalan population, which are to be able to vote on their own future. Furthermore, the Chairman of the European Liberals, Graham Watson, also backed Catalonia's right to self-determination and expressed surprise at the reaction of the Spanish Government, rejecting any negotiation at all. However, Liberals are not the only ones to have expressed their explicit support for Catalonia's self-determination process: the Greens' candidate to chair the European Commission in next May’s elections, German politician Ska Keller, committed herself to working for Catalonia's right to self-determination in a press conference held in March in Barcelona.

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  • The website of the International Liberal 59th Congress (by International Liberal)

  • The website of the International Liberal 59th Congress (by International Liberal)