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The Council for the Catalan Republic, the Belgium-based body set up by the exiled Catalan pro-independence leaders, has approved a  Framework Document for the promotion of Local Councils, which will regulate and unify their functions and the criteria for their creation. The Local Councils are to have the objective of building "bottom-up" spaces of Catalan sovereignty, operating at neighbourhood or grassroots level, to create a structure of free political representation, which would not be limited by the Spanish state.

These new institutions - five of which are already in existence - will now sign a "Letter of commitment" which will determine, among other issues, the objectives and political aims of the Local Councils and their operational principles, and will formalize their relationship with the Council for the Republic.

"The relationship of the Local Councils with the Council for the Republic becomes a key to strengthening the whole network of Councils strategically and to ensure the shared and coordinated targeting of actions and projects," says the Brussels body in a press statement.

This agreement has been reached on the same day as the town of Arenys de Munt was constituted as a Local Council for the Republic, the fifth such council along with those of Cornellà de Terri, Sant Cebrià de Vallalta, Vilobí d'Onyar and Amer. And it is expected that new Councils will be announced in the coming weeks throughout the country.

Objectives of the Local Councils

The Local Councils, formed by councillors of the municipality who belong to parties favourable to the Catalan Republic, pro-independence groups and private citizens, will have a series of common objectives to "implement the mandate of the 1st October referendum."

Some of the key elements include the stimulus and promotion of the strategic action unit for the full establishment of the Catalan Republic, recognition of the Council for the Republic as the only legitimate institution for regulating the Local Council's operation and acting as a space of free and sovereign political representation in the municipality, but one that would not be limited by the Spanish state.

As well, the Local Councils will have to collaborate with the Council for the Republic, in the task of promoting enrolment and dynamizing the participation of those enrolled through consultations and participatory processes, as well as training ordinary people in the use of digital tools (a key to coordinated mobilization).

The Local Councils will also have the function of supporting the "Strategic Consumption" campaign initiated by the ANC and similar campaigns led by other groups, in order to increase their strength and impact; to provide support in the creation of resistance funds; and promote participation in the Constituent Debate, a process aimed at the creation of a Catalan constitution.

All of this, explains the press statement from Waterloo, has the main objective of building "bottom-up" spaces of Catalan sovereignty from the neighbourhoods, towns, cities and counties, "in order to make progress in a structure of republican power rooted in the territory and in the power of the people".