The Catalan Foreign Affairs ministry has sent a letter to governments around the world enclosing a report entitled "Catalonia's legitimate right to decide" written by a group of experts in international law from Geneva (Switzerland), Minho (Portugal), Sciences Po (France) and American (USA) universities. The report supports the holding of the independence referendum.
This communication is framed in the department's commitment to guaranteeing that political agents around the world have access to “appropriate and trustworthy” information about the political scene in which the referendum is to be held.
The report vouches for the legitimacy of the referendum after analysing the historical, political and sociological precedent of the last 30 years. It also considers the right to decide from the point of view of constitutional theory, the legality of the vote and the legitimacy of the Catalan government calling people to the polling stations.
The document concludes that the EU recognises the right to decide, rejects unconstitutionality being wielded as an argument, argues that the application of the Constitution and the interpretation of its principles has to be based on dialogue and that, facing a political conflict, the authorities have the duty to negotiate.
“In a genuine liberal democracy, rule of law may not trump democratic legitimacy, nor the other way around”, it warns. The study admits that if the Spanish state denies Catalonia its right to negotiate its right to decide, the only path left for Catalonia’s Authorities is the call for a self-determination referendum.