Under the title “Spain in union: past and future in common”, the city of Valladolid hosts on April 25 and 26 the I Congress of the Forum of Professors, a network of more than 200 intellectuals who have in common their commitment to the unity of Spain, respect for the rule of law and rejection of the secessionist story.
In the Congress, which will be held at the Faculty of Law of the University of Valladolid, more than thirty speakers will discuss how to respond and combat secessionist “propaganda”. The ten sessions that are proposed are:
1. Historical revisionism: Spain, the Empire and its nationalities.
2. Identity, bilingualism and social intelligence.
3. Is it surprising that the left bets for nationalism?
4. Building stories: the idea of Spain in communication and education.
5. The challenges of democracy, today.
6. Spain in a globalized world: legal-international and European issues.
7. The uprising in Catalonia in constitutional perspective.
8. Economic secessionism.
9. Nationalism and invention of enemies.
10. Nationalism and populism.
Among the speakers are the writer Pedro Insua, the ex-politician Gorka Maneiro, the professor and journalist David Jiménez Torres, the professor and signer of the founding manifesto of the Ciudadanos party, Felix Ovejero, the historian and international relations expert Florentino Portero, Miguel Ángel Quintana Paz, professor of Ethics and Social Philosophy at the European University Miguel de Cervantes and co-director of the event with Alfonso Valero, former university professor of arbitration in Nottingham and founder of the Forum of Professors, who is also a speaker at the congress. The person in charge of closing the meeting will be Irene Lozano, Secretary of State for Global Spain.
The Forum of Professors, where there are not only professors, was born as a result of the illegal referendum held on October 1, 2017. Its task is to fight abroad the lies of the Catalan independence movement in the face of “the carelessness and passivity of the Government”. Attentive to the public and published opinion outside Spain over these months they have formally protested against the University of Cambridge when it invited to a conference the Catalan President Quim Torra; against Trinity College in Dublin, the University of Geneva, the University of St Andrews, or recently against the Department of International Studies of the Universidad Iberoamericana that scheduled a videoconference with Carles Puigdemont. This Forum publishes open letters and articles in foreign media; one of them, entitled “The trial of twelve Catalan separatist leaders” began: “Gentlemen, Franco is dead”.
In its web it informs that the members “of the Forum of Professors are based in Germany, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the USA, France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and, of course, Spain”. This is the cover letter:
Welcome to the Forum of Professors
This group is born out of the need to create a platform for discussion, mutual support and dissemination of ideas of all those who have in common a commitment to the unity of Spain (understood as the guarantor of the rights of Spaniards) and respect for the rule of law (i.e., division of powers, elections with universal suffrage and respect for the rule of law). The commitment to the unity of Spain implies that national sovereignty resides in the Spanish people, from whom the powers of the State emanate (Article 1.2 of the Spanish Constitution), from which it follows that all Spaniards decide on the future of their territory; likewise, it is understood that the Spanish Nation is the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards (Article 2 of the Spanish Constitution).
For a long time it has been allowed that the version diffused from certain separatist sectors to the international media (including national ones) transmitted the false image that Spain lived in a semi-dictatorship that justified the armed struggle (in past moments) or civil disobedience and imposition of an alternative legality. That is not the reality: Spain is a democracy, imperfect as all, but modern and perfectly integrated into the international community as a fully democratic member.
The defenders of the unity of Spain and the rule of law have seen their communicative efforts very limited by the isolation and the propaganda apparatus of the nationalists. On the other hand, those who insist on attacking the rule of law are very organized and orchestrate their actions to obtain the greatest possible impact. Therefore, this Forum tries to take a step forward to resolve this lack of organization.
Although the group is called Forum of Professors, its membership are not only professors: it also includes other professionals from different fields who, from an intellectual perspective, want to contribute to enrich the debate and exchange of ideas.
Founder of the Forum of Professors