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The Parti Québécois recommends that Catalan government seek support for the state to accept a referendum.

Editorial, 24 April 2023

Pere Aragonès speaking with the president of the Consell Acadèmic, Marc Sanjaume, for the clarity agreement (ACN)

The Parti Québécois recommends that Catalan government seek support for the state to accept a referendum.

Experts from Quebec warn, in declarations to the ACN, that the clarity agreement presented by the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Pere Aragonès, entails “risks” and recommend “prudence”. With the clarity agreement, President Aragonès aims to create a new pro-independence roadmap for a consultation with the goal of Catalan independence. In fact, Aragonès has recently presented an Academic Council that is to pilot this clarity agreement.

In this context, the pro-independence MP of the Parti Québécois, Jöel Arseneau, urges the Catalan government to reach an understanding with the central government and seek support so that the state accepts a referendum. Daniel Turp, professor emeritus at the Faculty of Law at the University of Montreal (Canada) and a specialist in constitutional and international law, says that “if the (Catalan) government wants to be inspired by the Law of Clarity, it is better to be prudent”. Turp, who was an observer on 9-N in 2014 and 27-S in 2015, recalls that Canada’s legislation was intended to “dissuade” Quebec independence supporters from organising more referendums – after the 1980 and 1995 consultations, never agreed with Canada – and recommends that Catalan sovereignism “continue to insist” on exercising the right to decide in the event that the clarity agreement does not succeed.

On the other hand, Professor Alain G. Gagnon, a specialist in federalism and plurinationalism projects, also from the University of Quebec in Montreal, argues that the clarity agreement promoted by Aragonès “would at least be a starting point for exercising self-determination”, a fact that he considers “minimal”. On the other hand, Patrick Taillon, professor of constitutional law at Quebec’s Laval University, is more optimistic and affirms that the Generalitat has “all the advantages” to work on its claims on the basis of international law.

In general, the experts consulted by ACN advise Catalan pro-independence supporters to seek international support to exert “democratic pressure” on the Spanish government to accept a referendum in Catalonia, but they also warn that negotiating with Madrid carries risks and could lead to another failure.


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