The European Free Alliance would welcome PDC “to the nationalist family” in the European Parliament

October 11, 2016 08:55 PM | ACN

European Free Alliance (EFA) director, Günther Dauwen, would approve if the Catalan Democratic Party (PDC), the new name for former liberal ‘Convergència’, were to leave the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and join the EFA in the European Parliament instead. “The family of regionalist nationalists would be more homogeneous and consistent and that could help to reinforce our message”, Dauwen told the CNA. Although he admitted that there hasn’t yet been any official request, if joining the EFA “could help to promote and make progress” for the Catalan cause “a positive decision could be expected”. Dauwen also noted that left wing pro-independence ERC, which together with other 44 groups belongs to the EFA, wouldn’t oppose welcoming the PDC to the family. PDC MEP, Ramon Tremosa has repeatedly said he was “not comfortable” within the ALDE because they voted “following instructions from Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’, a private brand of the Conservative People’s Party”.

ALDE’s leaders visit President Puigdemont and the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs

February 29, 2016 03:29 PM | ACN

The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, received a representation from the Association of Liberal and Democrats of Europe (ALDE) group amid the controversy surrounding the recent suspension of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). ALDE President and MEP Hans Van Baalen, who has repeatedly defended Catalonia’s right to decide its political future, was joined by ALDE’s general secretary, Jacob Moroza-Rasmussen and political adviser, Laura Laussade. They met President Puigdemont and the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, former MEP Raül Romeva. Liberal party CDC’s spokeswoman and ALDE vice president, Marta Pascal, also attended the meeting, together with Spanish Parliament MP and the President of the Catalan foundation ‘Llibertat i Democràcia’, Jordi Xuclà.


European Lib-Dems contradict themselves and accept 2 Spanish parties opposed to Catalan self-determination

June 17, 2014 09:16 PM | ACN

Despite the fact that the International Liberal-Democrats explicitly recognised Catalonia's right to self-determination in their last congress in April, their group within the European Parliament (ALDE) has finally accepted 6 MEPs from the Spanish nationalist and populist parties Unión Progreso y Democracia (UPyD) and Ciutadans (C's), who totally oppose this principle. Desperately looking for seats in order to continue being the 3rd largest political group within the Euro-Chamber, the ALDE leadership proposed to accept the membership request from UPyD and C's, who would bring 4 and 2 MEPs respectively, despite the strong protests from the Catalan Liberal party CDC (which is part of the governing Convergencia i Unió coalition, CiU) and the Basque National Party (PNV). The members of the ALDE finally voted to accept UPyD and C's MEPs, but they also approved the creation of a sub-group defending Catalonia's self-determination.

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

April 28, 2014 08:23 PM | ACN

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".

European Liberals’ leader: “I would not have any problem with a self-governing Catalonia within the EU”

October 22, 2013 02:44 PM | ACN

Graham Watson, one of the leaders of Liberal Group at the European Parliament emphasised that “the EU has to be a sufficiently strong but sufficiently flexible entity to allow people to express themselves within it”. This “may mean some changes to boundaries; but we are democrats and if that is what the majority wants then that is what must happen” added the leader of the third largest group at the Strasbourg Parliament. According to Watson, the debate about Catalonia or Scotland’s possible independence “is a very important issue for the European Union”. The British politician sent a clear message to Spain: “This is not a period of kings and nation-states, it’s a period of people working together through their democratically-expressed will and that should be as clear to a Castilian as to anyone else”.

European Parliament VP’s words asking for a military intervention in Catalonia “scandalise” the Greens and Liberals

October 5, 2012 01:28 AM | CNA

The ALDE and the Greens/EFA consider the statements made by Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament and member of the People’s Party (PP), to be “a scandal”. Last week, three Catalan MEPs asked the EP President, Martin Schulz, either to push Vidal-Quadras to apologise or to adopt disciplinary measures against him. Schulz appealed to freedom of expression and said that Catalan voters should judge Vidal-Quadras, elected from a closed party list in a single Spanish constituency. Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE) and Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Greens/EFA) reject Schulz’s cold answer and ask for “a formal debate” on the issue. Now, Vidal-Quadras says he was being “ironical”.

European Liberals in Barcelona seek a “real Marshall Plan” for North African countries

March 30, 2012 10:34 PM | CNA

The European Liberals in the European Parliament have organised an international summit in Barcelona to discuss the Arab Spring within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean, which has its headquarters in the Catalan capital. At the meeting, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, who is also the leader of the Catalan Liberal Party (CDC), asked the EU “not to turn its back on emerging democracies in the southern Mediterranean”. Furthermore, Mas emphasised the need to create jobs in the region. The European Liberals also urged the international community to take immediate action in Syria.

Mas explains Catalonia’s austerity measures to Liberal leaders in London

January 9, 2012 11:55 PM | CNA / Laura Pous / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan President, Artur Mas, has met with the UK Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg at a summit of European Liberal leaders. He stressed that Catalonia is doing “its homework” despite the excessive and “continuous fiscal drainage” from the Spanish State, which “is unprecedented in Europe”. “European leaders must understand” Catalonia’s situation, Mas said. “We need to explain ourselves” […] “because otherwise the only image that is received abroad is distorted”. He also explained that Catalonia’s GDP is the size of Portugal’s and Finland’s, and has an export level similar to Denmark. Mas also criticised Rajoy’s recent tax increase.