Spain's Commission of Transparency and Good Government (CTBG) has given the Pedro Sánchez government 10 days to hand over the minutes of meetings of the Spain-Catalonia dialogue table. This is what the transparency organ has ruled after a Spanish citizen who requested them was denied by the Moncloa government palace. Specifically, the CTBG has asked that the reports and political or legal manifestos that have been shared with the Generalitat of Catalonia during the meetings of the dialogue table between the Catalan and Spanish executives be made known. From the Moncloa, however, they assure that the dialogue table is not a body of inter-administrative cooperation, but "an informal forum for dialogue between the two governments", an argument with which they have so far successfully resisted efforts to make these documents public.
In its resolution, the Transparency Commission requires the Sánchez executive to provide the names of the current members of this bilateral dialogue table, the list of meetings convened and held, or pending, the agreements adopted in the forum and also "the political or legal reports, manifestos or pronouncements adopted at this table or under its auspices". In addition, it asks the Prime Minister's Department to send a copy of the documentation to the CTBG within ten days to ensure compliance. If it refuses, the Spanish government has the option of lodging an appeal against the demand in the courts through administrative litigation.
The open government organ argues that the request for this documentation must be granted "to the extent that it can be clearly shown that this is information in the possession of the entity which receives the order and that it has been provided only partially without the corresponding update".
Results of the dialogue table
There have been just three meetings of the dialogue table since it was created to address the political conflict over the future of Catalonia, as part of the deal that allowed Pedro Sánchez to form a Spanish government in January 2020. At the most recent of these, held on July 27th, 2022, two documents, one relating to the "dejudicialization" of the political conflict and other on the use of Catalan in schools were released. The first document advocated for "gradual and specific progress" that were "to be made tangible in legislative, regulatory or other kinds of reforms to overcome the judicialization and its effects, taking, in addition, as a reference, the best European and international standards and recommendations". That commitment is precisely the justification for the subsequent legal reform to abolish the crime of sedition and to modify that of misuse of funds, passed at the end of the year. The other document, of three pages, included numerous commitments by the Spanish government to promote the use of Catalan in different forums, in addition to pledging to support the new regulatory framework approved by the Catalan Parliament in order not to give effect to the court ruling that demanded the application of a 25% Spanish language quota in Catalan classrooms.