diumenge, 23 de febrer de 2014

Debate in Lisbon on the current political process in Catalonia

On the 24th February, the University of Lisbon will host a debate with Portuguese and Catalan experts, politicians and journalists organized by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia. Participants include Francesc Homs, Minister for the Presidency Office of the Catalan government, and Francesc Vendrell who has held high-ranking posts in the EU and the United Nations.
On 13th March 2013, 104 of the 135 MPs who form the Catalan Parliament voted in favour of a resolution requesting the Catalan government to start up talks with the Spanish government on the possibility of holding a referendum – a referendum in which Catalans will decide their own future. Consequently, the Catalan President formally requested the Spanish government to allow a referendum on Catalonia becoming an independent state. The political parties which have supported this process make up about 2/3 of the Catalan Parliament. They have now agreed on the date the referendum should take place – 9th November 2014 – and the wording of the questions to be asked: Do you want Catalonia to become a State? If so, do you want this State to be independent? The idea of holding this referendum has been driven by civil society and formalised through Parliament. The possibility of it being held this year has led to a debate both within and outside Catalonia, raising questions such as: does Catalonia have the right to hold this referendum? How does it fit in with international law? What reactions might the Catalan referendum cause in Portugal?
Catalonia’s current political process is more and more present in the international press with Portugal being one of the countries showing most interest. The Portuguese newspaper Público, for example, has recently held an online poll for its readers to express whether they would support the independence of Catalonia - with results showing 67% in favour and 33% against. Readers’ comments also showed a general feeling in favour of Catalonia’s self-determination process.
For this reason, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia and the Law Faculty of the University of Lisbon have organised the conference O processo político na Catalunha on February 24th. Francesc Homs, Minister for the Presidency Office of the Catalan government; Francesc Vendrell, professor of International Relations at the Johns Hopkins University in Bologna, former Representative of the European Union and former Head of the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan; Luís Vaz das Neves, judge and president of the Lisbon Court of Appeal; Eduardo Vera-Cruz Pinto and Nuno Cunha Rodrigues, professors at the Law Faculty of Lisbon; Adriano Moreira, president of the Institute of Higher Studies at the Science Academy of Lisbon; Mercè Barceló, chair of Constitutional Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and spokesperson for the group Col·lectiu Praga, and the journalist Ruben Carvalho will all be taking part alongside other participants.
Programme of the conference (in Portuguese): http://www.diplocat.cat/files/docs/140224_ProgramaLisboa_po.pdf
O processo político na Catalunha
Monday 24th February 2014
4pm to 6.45pm.
Auditório da Faculdade de Direito de Lisboa /Faculty of Law
Universidade de Lisboa / Lisbon University
Cidade Universitária,
Alameda da Universidade,
1649-014 Lisbon
To confirm attendance or for more information, please contact Elisabet Moragas, Senior Project Manager of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia.

The University of Lisbon has almost 47,000 students and is located within the largest university campus in Portugal. The old University of Lisbon and the Technical University of Lisbon merged to form the new university in 2013, thus continuing over seven hundred years of history.
The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia is a public-private partnership whose objective is to put Catalonia on the world stage, explaining its situation and informing international public opinion so as to strengthen Catalonia’s image and prestige abroad, whilst building links and relationships between Catalonia’s citizens and institutions and those of other countries.

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