catalans abroad

Catalans abroad get access to health services in Catalonia

March 20, 2017 08:11 PM | ACN

Catalans living abroad will have access to medical care through a new medical card whenever they travel home. Such was the agreement reached this Monday between Catalonia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, the Health Department, the Department for Labour and Social Affairs, and the Department for Culture. This new medical card will be valid for two months and could be extended with proper justification. Those eligible for the card must apply for it and then activate it while in Catalonia, either by calling 061 or going to their corresponding health clinic. The agreement will also allow Catalans living abroad to access services related to the culture and youth services. Catalonia’s Minister for Health, Toni Comín, explained that this agreement covers what the law for universal access to health care will guarantee once it is passed by the Parliament.

Law on the Catalan Community Abroad begins its parliamentary process

November 10, 2016 06:41 PM | ACN

The Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, presented this Wednesday the draft of the Law on the Catalan Community Abroad, which is set to be passed in 2017. The Parliament rejected the two amendments of the whole bill submitted by Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ (C's) and the Catalan Conservative People’s Party (PPC) and therefore the law has now started its parliamentary process. The arrival of this bill in the Parliament is a step forward for the recognition of the Catalan community abroad, a historical demand. Romeva explained that its aim is “to recognise the Catalans abroad as subjects with rights and duties and addressees of the work of the Government”. One of the central aspects of the new law is the Register of Catalans living abroad, which Romeva described as “key”. “It should be the tool by which the Government can identify the citizens who live abroad”, he stressed. 

Electronic voting for Catalans abroad to be available “for the next elections”, Catalan Minister says

October 3, 2016 03:41 PM | ACN

The Catalan Minister for Public Administrations Meritxell Borràs, stated that “in a matter of weeks” the Catalan Parliament will have a bill to “discuss and pass” electronic voting for Catalans abroad. “We just need the political will in order to make electronic voting become a reality for the next Catalan elections”, she stated during the 8th European Meeting of Catalan Communities, held between the 30th of September and the 2nd of October in London. During the last elections, only 7.5% of the nearly 200,000 Catalans living abroad and registered to vote were able to do so and 7,000 ballots that were sent on time weren’t able to reach their destination. “The vote abroad is an authentic odyssey”, said Borràs.  

Electronic vote for Catalans abroad to be available next June

July 21, 2016 05:58 PM | ACN

Catalans living abroad will be able to cast their vote by electronic means by next June. The system, pioneer in Spain, will have to be in accordance with the LOREG, the Spanish Organic Law of General Electoral Regime. According to Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, the electronic vote is within Spain’s legality and, therefore, “it will be nonsense” for the Spanish Government to impede its implementation. The initative will help Catalans living abroad “to exercise a fundamental right”. The LOREG and the ‘requested vote’ system, introduced in 2010, dragged out the whole process and meant more agents being involved, which  resulted in lower participation. Indeed, only 14,000 of the 200,000 people registered to vote were able to cast their ballot on the last Catalan Elections.

Government to tally number of young Catalans living abroad and encourage their return

April 6, 2016 06:27 PM | ACN

The number of young Catalans living abroad will be tallied and efforts will be continued to encourage their return. The Department of Youth estimates that more than 3,000 young people left Catalonia to move abroad in 2014 and there were 242,070 Catalans living abroad by May 2015, according to data released by the Catalan Institute of Statistics (Idescat). Projects are being set forth to aid in providing access for entrepreneurs to profiles that are outside Catalonia, job opportunities in the field of research, and promote entrepreneurship within the region. Móncat, the web platform focused on employment opportunities, will also be geared towards connecting Catalans living abroad to opportunities in Catalonia. 

Catalan government denounces the obstacles to the vote abroad before Supreme Court

October 29, 2015 06:47 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

More than 7,000 catalans living abroad couldn’t exercise their democratic right to vote in the past 27-S elections. Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Mertixell Borràs accused Electoral Roll Office of “violating fundamental rights” by denying the government’s petition to extend the postal vote for those Catalans living abroad but contradictorily accepting to do so for soldiers and Catalans living in other parts of Spain.. “We warned that we won’t stand on the side lines and we haven’t” stated Borràs and announced that the Catalan Government presented an appeal to the Supreme Court to “assume responsabilities”. “It is clear that irregularities did happen in the months and weeks before the 27-S” and “someone must be held accountable, whether it is someone in the Postal Service, the Foreign Ministry, or the Electoral Roll office” she stated. “We have to make sure that this won’t happen again and that such an absurd situation won’t  go unpunished”. 

Many Catalans abroad won’t be able to vote

September 25, 2015 06:50 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Only 7% of the 200,000 Catalans living abroad voted in the 2012 Catalan elections and the figure isn’t likely to increase much in the upcoming 27-S elections. Spain’s Electoral Roll Office ignored the Catalan Government’s request to extend the postal vote for those living outside of Catalonia, with the Spanish body only extending it for those who lived in other parts of Spain, not overseas. With just a few days left before Election Day and amidst complaints of ballots arriving too late, confusing processes and the new ‘requested vote’ system seem to have deprived many voters abroad of their right to decide. 

Catalonia to launch a volunteer register of citizens living abroad for the self-determination vote

March 21, 2014 08:54 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government is preparing a decree to launch a volunteer and personal register of citizens living abroad that might be used for the self-determination consultation vote, scheduled for the next 9th of November. The decree does not explicitly mention the self-determination vote. It develops a law from 1996 regarding Catalan communities abroad. The news was disclosed by two newspapers and confirmed to the CNA by sources in the Catalan Government. These sources underlined that other Autonomous Communities have similar registers, such as Andalusia and Galicia. However, such a register would be quite useful to organise a self-determination vote without the Spanish Government's assistance.