Catalonia is going through a critical period. The situation of dependence on a State which is against us, the lack of our own State, is leading the nation to an economic, social and moral decay, to the impossibility of developing competitive and national social welfare policies, and to the weakening of the features of cultural and linguistic identity which are essential for our social cohesion. The conditions are awful for us to take up the opportunities of globalization and competitiveness in European and worldwide markets, for scientific and technological progress, to preserve our cultural uniqueness, our society of knowledge, the new immigration and environmental sustainability. On the other hand, the attempts to reform the political statute that could avoid this decline have been unsuccessful, due to the fact that the statutory reform of 2006 has been held up by the chronic failure of the Spanish institutions while waiting for the declarations of a Constitutional Court without any guaranties of impartiality; a Constitutional Court that serves the Spanish nation and will cut down the Statute of Catalonia (“L’Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya”).
We understand that the autonomous option is depleted, that the essential problem of deficits that the nation is suffering is based on the policy of economic, cultural, and social discrimination against Catalonia that the Spanish State automatically applies; a policy supported by the constitutional design emerged from the transition into democracy, which prevents the Catalan people and its parliament from deciding the future of the nation, reducing its self-government to a mere administrative decentralization and choking the Catalan society by subtracting year after year over 10% of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product), more than 19.000 million Euros that go to Spain and never return to Catalonia.
We do not resign ourselves to decay and disappearance; we do not want to lose the dignity and pride of being Catalans. It is time for the rising up of men and women who are free with the aim to establish the conditions to decide upon the constitution of Catalonia as an independent State integrated in the European Union, exercising its right to self-determination recognised by the United Nations for all people in application of the democratic principle and in the content of the Vienna Agreements on international treaties and succession of States.
It is necessary for the political, social and civic groups to respond with the required ambition to make Catalonia a nation which assumes its own responsibilities and decisions, which gives a shape and a sense to the beat of a society that does not resign itself, and who wave the flag of disorientation, the absence of daring, the tenacity of subservience to the predominant Spanish powers, the lack of honesty, incompetence that has lead a large part of our representatives to a dead end which prevents them from facing the crisis and offering a solution of believable and viable sovereignty. Freedom will not fall from the sky to the people; they must stand up for liberty themselves: it is a blessing that has to be gained before it can be enjoyed.
A social majority for the constitution of an independent State demands that sovereignty takes the central position on the political, social and civic agenda of the nation with a serious, guide lined plan, based on a sincere and complete debate between parties, social organizations and institutions that use up spaces and actions of sovereignty and culminates in a referendum for independence. We are convinced that it is necessary to stimulate and fire up the political, social and civic leaders, so that through the institutions, the difficulties and deficits that the nation suffers are being linked with the situation of dependence on the Spanish State. At the same time, it is necessary to let society know about all those economic, social, academic, cultural and technological opportunities that Catalonia is losing due to the sole factor of not being a State and not being able to decide freely what is most suitable.
So, in this way we understand that the social majority necessary to give support to an independentist process through an entirely domestic path cannot be built through vague horizons nor with an apology for the satisfaction of social politics that no government is capable to go through, due to the political dominance and fiscal ruin that Catalonia is submitted to.
We are convinced that it is the same procedure with clear goals and definite terms, as well as the existence of an institutional debate with the society that can be extensive and rigorous, that generates a social majority necessary to win a referendum of sovereignty. In fact, the opinion polls already point out that there is a majority of citizens who consider that the current autonomous framework is insufficient and understand that the advance in self government is only possible by means of our own State, that the State where we are now, which is rigid and immobilised by the strong central and conformist elements is not in a condition to take on the future of a dual national State, where the nations of Catalonia and Spain are on equal terms.
We base ourselves on the experience of other European nations without a State which have recently acquired independence through democratic paths or those which are in the process of achieving independence, in those which sovereignty was also a minority at the beginning of the process and where the mere initiation of a political independentist orientation has succeeded in spontaneously growing social support in a short period of time. We also take into account the existence and experience of European political realities around us which have proven the viability of not only economic independence, but also social, cultural, academical and technological independence of States of similar dimensions or close in some way to Catalonia such as Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland or Switzerland, all of which generate useful and thoughtful studies and practices which would feed the Catalan society and its representatives with ambition and confidence in their own strengths.
Therefore, it is time to contribute to the creation and consolidation of real factors of Catalan powers (related to business, ideology, media, energy, welfare and security) who provide tangible advances for the execution of the sovereignty objective. Within this context the members of Cercle d’Estudis Sobiranistes Foundation, integrated by intellectuals, professionals, competent men and women, dedicated to the nourishment of ideas for a project of national fullness, representatives of diverse sensitivity of Catalanism, we are building ourselves up as a group of reflection and debate, with the purposeful will to serve as catalysers to drive the process that can carry us to the foundation of a State of the independent nation of Catalonia to the European Union as a mark of welfare, wealth, pluralism, equal opportunities, freedom and civic virtuosity.
Catalonia, September 2007.