#CitizenRoute e-Tribune – Looking at the Catalonian crisis from a European and political angle

On November 6th 2017, CitizenRoute held its first e-Tribune, which gathered close to twenty participants around a set of 5 speakers on the topic: “Looking at the Catalonian crisis from a European and political angle”.

The speakers came from a variety of national and political backgrounds:

Max Vives, a Catalan heading Fundació Catalunya Europa; Giorgio Clarotti, an Italo-Belgo European federalist from the Union of European Federalists; Adrian Taylor, a British living in Hamburg who launched the Change Agent Network early 2017; Yves Gernigon, a French federalist who founded the European Federalist Party; and Pier Camillo Falasca, an Italian involved in the launching of a trans-European party Forza Europa alongside Emma Bonino.

The aim of this tribune was to listen to different solution-oriented angles, with the characteristic of being both European and political, on the Catalonian crisis.

The principle was to avoid judging who’s wrong or right between Catalans and Spanish but rather focus on the systemic dimension of this crisis, one deeply rooted in the European crisis altogether, and identify European solution leads : “The debate about who is wrong and who is right, who is the kind and who is villain in this Spanish-Catalan crisis, is inept. Looking at this crisis from a European angle enables to finally tackle the major issue of the articulation between the different levels of the European political and institutional architecture. This debate must start from the European citizens, within whom these different identities (local, regional, national and European…) cross each other, and who are in danger if these different identities start conflicting with one another.”

Out of the variety of glances on this issue, the organizers of this e-tribune wish to highlight on a common denominator. All interventions somehow signalled the lack of political power at every level in today’s European political and institutional edifice: the European level is politically illegitimate, the national level is technically weakened, the regional level is illegal (in the case of Catalonia in particular but not only).

Citizens of the continent are at bay in a context of global crisis hitting hard on their societies, with no relevant power level capable of addressing those crises. The European level’s failure in enforcing the strong policies required to face the global crisis has triggered a process of dislocation.

The time has come for a panic-stricken power competition among levels and factions. Britain tries the euro-exit solution, Visegrad group tries a sub-supranational union solution, Catalonia and other regions try nation-exit solutions… Unfortunately all these attempts contribute to weaken the players directly involved and the whole continent.

Clearly the CitizenRoute solution which advocates for a democratisation of the EU via the creation and promotion of trans-European political parties with a view to democratically anchor and therefore legitimize and strengthen the European level of decision-making in the framework of the next 2019 European election, makes particular sense in the context of this Catalonian crisis and the dysfunctiong it reveals.

It was therefore extremely interesting to listen at the solutions proposed by different European political orientations. All of which highlighted the need to go back to the citizens as ultimate owners and beneficiaries of the multilevel European political and institutional architecture and start from there the rebuilding of this edifice.

We invite you to read the details and differences of these various positions here: citizensroute-e-tribunes

Marie-Hélène Caillol, coordinator for the COMPIL (comite dé pilotage), CitizensRoute

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