Puigdemont's offers final chance to negotiate referendum: May 22

May 12, 2017 06:14 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, together with Catalan VP and Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, will travel to Madrid on May 22nd to give the conference ‘A referendum for Catalonia. Invitation to a democratic agreement’. The conference is the same one that the three Catalan leaders gave in Brussels last January for nearly 500 people. Although the Catalan Government initially asked to hold the event in the Spanish Senate, that request was dismissed by the Spanish Government. So instead, the event will be held in the Caja de la Música auditorium, which has a capacity of about 250 people. The conference will be the Catalan Government’s last attempt to negotiate an agreed-upon referendum with the Spanish Government.

Puigdemont at Harvard: "Our struggle is a reflection of the fight for American civil rights"

March 28, 2017 12:13 AM | ACN

Catalonia’s aim for independence is related to the US civil rights movement. This is one of the main ideas which Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, set forth this Monday in a conference at Harvard University. Our struggle is a reflection of the fight for American civil rights,” he said during the conference “Catalonia, Today, Tomorrow”, but lamented that, in contrast with American institutions which “have respected democracy and the will of its people to adapt over time”,  Spain's refuses to open a dialogue over Catalonia's pro-independence aspirations and the will of its citizens to hold a referendum. “We are convinced that this is the best option,” he said but pointed out that “up to now it has been impossible, due to the Spanish Government’s constant, absolute refusal to discuss it”. However, he warned, “Catalonia will hold the referendum in any case.”

Puigdemont to explain Catalonia’s independence at Harvard University

March 27, 2017 01:52 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont will travel to Boston, Washington DC, and New York to explain Catalonia’s pro-independence movement. On Monday evening, he will address the Center for European Studies (CES) at the Harvard Kennedy School and give the conference ‘Catalonia, Today and Tomorrow’, his analysis of Catalonia’s current political situation and its place within the EU. Together with Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva and the Delegate of the Catalan Government to the United States, Andrew Davis, Puigdemont will also visit the Cambridge Innovation Centre (CIC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Tecnhnology (MIT) and will take part in a meeting with entrepreneurs. He is also expected to meet with several think tanks throughout the week, including the Wilson Center and the American Enterprise Institute, and will visit the new factory of Catalan company, Europastry.

Spanish Government sees referendum as 'democratic abnormality' and vows to fight it 'firmly'

January 16, 2017 02:39 PM | ACN

Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, considers Catalonia’s push for a referendum a “democratic abnormality” since it is not allowed by the Spanish Constitution. In this vein, she warned that the Spanish executive has “many mechanisms” to fight the eventual referendum on independence and that it will be done “with dialogue and proportionality” but “firmly”. In an interview with Spanish Public Television (TVE) this Monday, Saénz de Santamaría also referred to the Conference of Autonomic Presidents, which will take place on Tuesday and which Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, has refused to attend. In this vein, the Spanish Vice President assured that the executive’s goal is to “defend and respect the equality amongst all Spaniards” and assured that the conference will discuss those topics which really matter to the citizens.

Puigdemont laments in Paris that “being democratic in Spain is a risky sport”

October 18, 2016 04:23 PM | ACN

“It is unbelievable that being democratic in Spain is nowadays a risky sport”, stated Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont this Tuesday during an official trip to Paris. After meeting the leader of the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI), Jean Christophe Lagarde, Puigdemont lamented “Spain’s democratic weakness” but admitted that it “is not surprising”. In the same vein, Puigdemont gave an address on Monday at the centre of political studies of Sciences Po in Paris and denounced the “judicial persecution” that the Catalan politicians who defend the independence process must face. “The legal framework must be at the service of democracy and not the other way around”, he said and lamented the recent demands from the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) to file a complaint against Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, for allowing the pro-independence roadmap to be put to vote.  

Catalonia seeks to be the first territory to implement the New Urban Agenda

October 17, 2016 07:35 PM | ACN

Catalonia wants to be the first region to implement the New Urban Agenda, a document to be adopted this week at Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador. The aim of this meeting of local and regional leaders is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development, assess accomplishments to date and provide guidance to states, city and regional authorities, civil society, foundations, NGOs, academic researchers and U.?N. agencies in this field. The Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, Josep Rull, has offered to the United Nations that Catalonia be the first territory to implement the conclusions of the New Urban Agenda and stressed that the Catalan model "is inclusive, cohesive and committed to sustainable development".

Puigdemont explains Catalonia’s roadmap towards independence to the international audience at Chatham House

May 13, 2016 11:02 AM | Sara Prim

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, gave the talk ‘Mapping the path towards Catalan independence’ at Chatham House, one of the most important think tanks in the world. In front of nearly 200 international professionals from different fields, Puigdemont described Catalonia’s process for becoming a new state and said that he is convinced that “when the time comes” the European Union “will show its big ability to adapt” and will not let Catalonia, “whose economy represents 2% of the European GDP”, go. “We will adopt the 3,363 international treaties which Spain has signed in order to be perfectly integrated within the context of the free and democratic nations worldwide”, he added. The conference at Chatham House was one of the highlights of Puigdemont’s official trip to London, which will finish this Friday. 

Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs defends Catalonia’s potential contribution to the EU

January 25, 2016 07:01 PM | ACN

The new Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, former MEP Raül Romeva, defended Catalonia’s potential contribution to the EU, especially due to its diverse nature. According to Romeva plurality is a core value of the EU despite “the voices which try to impose certain ideologies which deny diversity and plurality”. During his first public event at the head of the new Ministry, Romeva assured that there is “no news” regarding the Spanish government’s decision to take the new Ministry before the court (they claim that it violates some of the Spanish executive’s competences). He went on to highlight the importance of legality in the EU “but also democracy”. “When it is against its people, the State has a problem” stated Romeva.

Catalonia's push for independence should be regarded as a "peaceful and democratic" example

December 10, 2015 07:24 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

International experts from different fields debated on independence processes in the EU at the conference "Self-determination Processes: Challenge or Opportunity for the EU?" organised by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) and the Centre for European Studies of Jagiellonian University in Krakow. According to DIPLOCAT's Secretary General, Albert Royo, the Catalan process is a "unique opportunity for the EU" to show that a "territorial conflict could be solved in a peaceful and democratic way". Professor of History at Pompeu Fabra University Fernando Guirao added that it would be “absurd” to talk about an automatic expulsion from the EU and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe Michal Natorski noted that "all secession processes are negotiated and finally accepted if they come to terms in a democratic way". Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to Austria, Adam Casals, also attended the conference.

Mas: Reforming the Spanish Constitution will lead Catalonia to a dead end

December 7, 2015 07:59 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Catalonia "won't get anything" from a reform of the Spanish Constitution, on the contrary, "it will lead to frustration" assured current Catalan President, Artur Mas. "It is nonsense to suggest that Catalonia burns itself to flames by promoting a reform of the Spanish Constitution" as it will lead "to a dead end once again", assured Mas. He made these statements in response to the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) President, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, who urged the Parliament to propose concrete modifications of the Spanish Constitution in order to launch their demands rather than doing so by breaking the law. "We know that the Parliament has the right to propose constitutional reforms" stated Mas "but now it is not about rights, it is about politics, real politics" he assured. Mas made these declarations in Paris, where he was attending the Paris Climate Change Conference.

Banning Catalonia from the EU would be "nonsense", European experts say

November 27, 2015 03:12 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised a debate in Edinburgh with outstanding European figures from the academic, legal and economic fields to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Catalonia's independence. "It is nonsense to imagine that part of a Member State could be directly expelled from the EU if it becomes independent" stated University of Edinburgh professor and former judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities Sir David Edward. "Scotland had the chance to freely and legally pronounce on their political future and this is still the shared wish of the majority of Catalans" stated Secretary-General of Diplocat, Albert Royo. The director of the Centre on Constitutional Change, Michael Keating, and the Catalan Government’s delegateto the United Kingdom and Ireland, Josep Suàrez, also attended the event.

FC Barcelona arrive in the USA

July 20, 2015 02:45 PM

At around 2.00pm local time on Sunday afternoon (11.00pm CET) Barça landed at Los Angeles airport following a twelve hour direct flight from Barcelona. The blaugranes had left at 11.00am CET for the United States after a week of training prior to their pre-season tour across the Atlantic. California welcomed FC Barcelona with cloudy skies but warm temperatures with Los Angeles being the first of three US cities that Barça will visit during their stay. In the City of Angels, the team checked into the plush Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. Luis Enrique and Andrés Iniesta gave the team's first press conference of the tour at the hotel, followed by Barça's first training session at the StubHub Center in Carson.

Mobile World Congress to stay in Barcelona until at least 2023

July 14, 2015 03:55 PM | ACN

Barcelona will continue to host each year the world's main event of the mobile phone-related industries until at least 2023, it has been confirmed by the company organising the Mobile World Congress, GSMA, on Tuesday through a press release. “We are very pleased to confirm that Barcelona will continue to serve as the Mobile World Capital and home of the Mobile World Congress for the next eight years”, stated the CEO of GSMA, John Hoffman. The Catalan capital has been uninterruptedly hosting this annual event since 2006 and has been declared the Mobile World Capital, as the project goes beyond the congress and involves the development of a business environment focused on this type of industry at international level. The current contract was due to end in 2018 and a few months ago Barcelona officially told GSMA it was willing to continue hosting the event until 2023.

International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition kicks off in Barcelona with 550 firms

June 9, 2015 10:13 PM | ACN

The 17th edition of the annual International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition (SIL) kicked off on Tuesday in Barcelona and will be on until Thursday 11th June. Held at Fira de Barcelona's Montjuic venue, the show will host more than 550 companies (45% international) presenting about a hundred innovations for the first time. The event is the only one of its kind taking place in Spain and the second-biggest in Europe. During the opening ceremony, SIL's President, Enrique Lacalle, pointed out that the logistics sector had not been severely hit by the crisis and now "is giving good news" with a4% rise in corporate turnover expected for 2015. In addition, the nature of the exhibition reflects the character of the hosting city: the Catalan capital's port has the largest logistics concentration of southern Europe and the Mediterranean within a radius of 5 Km and also has a geostrategic location. Finally, the main roads and railway connecting the Iberian Peninsula with the rest of Europe pass through Greater Barcelona.

Barcelona signs proposal to continue hosting the Mobile World Congress until 2023 with all-party support

June 2, 2015 10:18 PM | ACN

Every party with representation in the 41-seat Barcelona City Council, except for one small party holding 3 seats, were present at the signing of the official proposal that will be sent to the Mobile World Congress' organisers in order to continue hosting the event until 2023. The MWC is the world's main event of the mobile phone-related industries and since 2006 has taken place each year in Barcelona. The current contract expires in 2018 and there are other cities that want to host the event besides the Catalan capital. The 2015 edition attracted 93,000 visitors in Barcelona, 9% more than in 2014. Most of those who attended were executives from international companies staying for 4 or 5 days in town. It was estimated that the 2015 edition had a €436 million impact on the local economy and generated more than 12,600 temporary jobs. Furthermore, Barcelona has been named the Mobile World Capital, a long-term project to make the Catalan city a hub for this industry, hosting standardisation organisations, multinationals and international research centres focused on related technologies.