The following is Dr Mark McNaught’s unofficial translation of the Catalan Declaration of independence signed on 10th October in the Catalan Parliament. It has not yet been officially published, seeking to give time for mediation with the Spanish government.
DECLARATION OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF CATALONIA
To the people of Catalonia and all the peoples of the world.
The bases of the constitution of the Catalan Republic are justice and intrinsic individual and collective human rights, being irrenunciable foundations which give meaning to the historical legitimacy and the legal and institutional traditions of Catalonia.
The Catalan nation, its language and its culture have a thousand years of history. For centuries, Catalonia has been endowed with and enjoyed its own institutions that have fully exercised self-government, with the Generalitat as the greatest expression of the historic rights of Catalonia. During periods of freedom, Parliamentarism has been the pedestal upon which these institutions have been based, channeled through the Catalan Parliaments and crystalized in the Constitutions of Catalonia.
Having been lost and longed for, today Catalonia restores its full sovereignty after decades of honestly and loyally seeking institutional coexistence with the people of the Iberian Peninsula.
Since the adoption of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Catalan politics has played a key role with an exemplary, loyal and democratic attitude towards Spain, with a deep sentiment of being part of the State.
The Spanish State has responded to this loyalty with the denial of the recognition of Catalonia as a nation; and has granted limited autonomy, more administrative than political, and in the process of re-centralization; excercising a profoundly unjust economic treatment in addition to linguistic and cultural discrimination.
The Statute of Autonomy, approved by the Catalan Parliament, the Spanish Parliament, and the Catalan citizenry in a referendum, was to be the new stable and lasting framework for bilateral relations between Catalonia and Spain. But it was a political agreement broken by the ruling of the Constitutional Court, engendering new grievances among citizens.
Channeling the demands of a large majority of citizens of Catalonia; the Parliament, the Government and civil society have repeatedly called for the holding of a referendum on self-determination.
Upon finding that the institutions of the State have rejected any negotiation, they have violated the principles of democracy and autonomy, and have ignored the legal mechanisms available in the Constitution. The Generalitat of Catalunya has therefore called for a referendum to exercise the right to self-determination recognized under international law.
The organization and holding of the referendum led to the suspension of self-government in Catalonia and the de facto application of a state of emergency.
The brutal police operation of a military nature and style orchestrated by the Spanish state against Catalan citizens has repeatedly and severely violated their civil and political liberties and principles of Human Rights, and has contravened international agreements signed and ratified by the Spanish state.
Thousands of people have been investigated, detained, tried, questioned and threatened with harsh prison sentences, including hundreds of elected and institutional officials and professionals linked to the the sectors of communications, administration, and civil society.
Spanish institutions, which should remain neutral, protect fundamental rights and arbitrate political conflict, have become part and instrument of these attacks and have left the citizens of Catalonia unprotected.
In spite of the violence and the repression to try to prevent a democratic and peaceful process, the citizens of Catalonia have voted mostly in favor of the constitution of the Catalan Republic.
The constitution of the Catalan Republic is based on the need to protect the freedom, security, and coexistence of all citizens of Catalonia, and to move towards a state based on the rule of law and a democracy of greater quality, and respond to the Spanish State impeding the enforcement of the right to self-determination of peoples.
The people of Catalonia are lovers of law, and respect for the law is and will be a cornerstone of the Republic. The Catalan state will meet and legally comply with all the provisions that make up this declaration and ensure that the legal security and maintenance of the subscribed agreements will be part of the founding spirit of the Catalan Republic.
The constitution of the Republic is a hand extended to dialogue. In honor of the Catalan tradition of the pact, we maintain our commitment to agreements as a way of resolving political conflicts. At the same time, we reaffirm our fraternity and solidarity with the rest of the people of the world and, especially, those with whom we share the language and culture and the Euro-Mediterranean region in defense of individual and collective freedoms.
The Catalan Republic is an opportunity to correct the current democratic and social deficits and build a society which is more prosperous, fairer, more secure, more sustainable and with more solidarity.
By virtue of all that has just been presented, WE, the democratic representatives of the people of Catalonia, in the free exercise of the right of self-determination, and in accordance with the mandate received from the citizens of Catalonia:
CONSTITUTE the Catalan Republic, as an independent and sovereign State based on law, democracy, and social welfare.
ENTER into force the Llei de transitorietat jurídica i fundacional de la República.
INITIATE the constituent process which shall be democratic, citizen-based, transversal, participatory and binding.
AFFIRM the desire to open negotiations with Spain without any preconditions, aimed at establishing a collaborative system for the benefit of both parties. The negotiations shall necessarily be on an equal basis.
INFORM the international community and the authorities of the European Union of the constitution of the Catalan Republic and the proposal for negotiations with Spain.
URGE the international community and the European Union authorities to intervene to stop the continued violation of civil and political rights, and to monitor and oversee the negotiation process with the Spanish State.
EXPRESS the desire to build a European project that reinforces the social and democratic rights of citizens, as well as commiting to continue to apply without the solution of continuity and in a unilateral manner the norms of the legal orders of the European Union, the Spanish State, and the Catalan autonomy that transpose this norm.
AFFIRM that Catalonia has the unequivocal desire to integrate into the international community as quickly as possible. The new State agrees to respect the international obligations that are currently applied in its territory and continue to adhere to the international treaties to which the Kingdom of Spain is signator.
APPEAL to all States and international organizations to recognize the Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign State.
URGE the Government of the Generalitat to adopt the measures necessary to fully enact this Declaration of independence and the provisions of the Llei de transitorietat jurídica i fundacional de la República.
CALL on all and each of the citizens of the Catalan Republic to make us worthy of the freedom that we have granted ourselves and to build a State that translates collective aspirations into action and conduct.
The legitimate representatives of the people of Catalonia:
Barcelona, October 10, 2017