Read in Catalan

Pere Aragonès has come to Brussels with his demand for the people of Catalonia to be able to hold an agreed referendum to resolve the political conflict over their relationship with Spain, calling for what he defined as a "framework of shared and common rules to resolve sovereignty conflicts in a democracy". The Catalan president took part in a conference of European Parliament's Self-Determination Caucus, a group of MEPs from different parties, together with Basque lehendakari (president) Íñigo Urkullu and Corsican Executive Council president Gilles Simeoni. Catalan MEPs Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín - whom he hugged at the end of the event - listened to Aragonès's speech from the audience, although president Carles Puigdemont, who signed the founding manifesto of the caucus, was not present. Also attending were Republican Left (ERC) representatives in Europe, Diana Riba and Jordi Solé, as well as two members of the Parliament of Catalonia, Raquel Sans and Najat Driouech.

To set out when and how self-determination can be exercised in Europe

Aragonès asserted that this "shared framework" must not only serve to resolve sovereignty conflicts, such as the one in which Catalonia confronts the Spanish state, but also to strengthen the European project and to "address all of the peoples and nations that make up Europe, including those without a state, like ours." The president of the Generalitat of Catalonia thus insisted that the only way to resolve a conflict is through democracy. Sharing a table with Urkullu and Simeoni, the ERC politician pointed out that, given the different nations without states and conflicts across Europe, a "common and clear framework is needed to define under what circumstances and what rules the exercise of self-determination is possible" and that, in addition, full incorporation as member states must be guaranteed.

 "The future will only be resolved with democracy", reiterated Aragonès, who under his presidency of Catalonia has promoted a referendum agreed with the Spanish state as his proposal to resolve the political conflict that exists between Catalonia and Spain. Marc Sanjaume, president of the advisory council for the Clarity Agreement - another part of Aragonès's proposal for the mechanism - was also among those attending the colloquium. Reiterating his commitment to such a consultation of citizens, carried out under agreement with the state - which, in the last few months, has also refused to take such a step, while accepting an amnesty law that also took a backward step in Congress on Tuesday - Aragonès showed his optimism: "The Spanish government tells us that a referendum is impossible. It was also impossible for 350 million Europeans to share a Parliament or a currency. I am sure that with perseverance it will become a reality", he affirmed, convinced.