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Memorandum on the referendum to take place in Nov14

Generalitat de Catalunya
Departament de la Presidencia
Secretaria d'Afers Exteriors i de la Unio Europea


Date & Question Announced for Catalonia Self-Determination Vote

Catalonia will hold a popular vote on self-determination on 9 November 2014.

Voters will be asked a two-part question:

    Do you want Catalonia to be a State?
    If so, do you want Catalonia to be an independent state?

This date and question have been agreed on 12 December 2013 by the Convergencia i Unio (CiU) ruling coalition, and opposition parties Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds-Esquerra Unida (ICV-EUiA), and Candidatura d'Unitat Popular (CUP), reflecting the will of the people to decide their own future, and making up almost 2/3 of Catalan Members of Parliament (87 out of 135 Members of the Catalan Parliament) supporting this specific vote. Let's recall that in Catalonia's regional elections on 25 November 2012, parties supporting Catalonia's right to self-determination won 107 of the 135 total seats (79% of all MPs). The Catalan people have given a clear mandate to their representatives to begin a process of national transition towards self-determination.

Public surveys and opinion polls consistently show that more than 82% of the population in Catalonia is in favour of a referendum. The strength of popular feeling was demonstrated, once again, on 11 September 2013, when a million and a half citizens joined hands in the Via Catalana (the "Catalan Way"), a massive and peaceful manifestation of popular will, to show their support for a referendum - like the three Baltic States did in 1990. The political leadership of Catalonia has responded to that wish and must implement the will of the people.

Contrary to some speculation, there are several possible legal procedures which will enable a referendum to take place. This is clearly a matter of politics rather than of legality. There is no reason that a referendum could not be authorised or tolerated under existing Spanish and Catalan law, or a new law passed to authorise it. All that is necessary is the political will.

The Government of Catalonia continues to push for an agreed process with the central government in Madrid. Regrettably, political leaders in Madrid have so far not engaged with the reality of the situation in Catalonia. At the same time there have been some ill-considered attempts by Spanish officials to undermine the political authority of the Catalan president. Despite this, the Catalan government is a strong advocate of dialogue and negotiation with the central government in Madrid to organise this referendum - this is its mandate from the Catalan population.

Statements by Spain and others that an independent Catalonia would be outside the EU are designed to scare Catalan voters away from supporting independence. The reality is that even Spain has a strong interest in Catalonia being part of the EU. The EU Treaties do not specifically deal with the question of what happens when part of a member state becomes independent, so it is simply untrue to declare that Catalonia would cease to be an EU member overnight.

Catalonia is a European country. 7.5 million Catalan citizens already have the rights of EU citizenship, and cannot be directly ejected from the Union. Right now there are more than 300,000 EU citizens residing and 5,100 foreign companies established in Catalonia. Our people wish to remain part of the EU, and to stay within the Euro zone. In any case, the continuity of Catalonia's EU membership would be a political decision in the hands of the governments of all Eu member states.

Catalonia also looks forward to playing its role in the common defence of Europe, to be a main actor in the Mediterranean, and to continuing discussions with our international partners about the way forward. There will be no Catalan security gap.

With its own state, Catalonia will be the seventh largest economy in the EU and an asset to the EU, with its dynamic and innovative export-led industries. Its Government will be able to offer more incentives and better regulations to foreign companies to invest there. It will continue to be a driver for growth, a net contributor, not a drain on the EU budget. Catalonia is committed to a peaceful, democratic and transparent process which will be rooted in the EU.

Secretariat of Foreign and European Union Affairs
Government of Catalonia
Barcelona, 13 December 2013

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