It’s been 3 years since I arrived to Brussels. Capital city of Belgium, Brussels is located in the middle of the country, in the crossroads between Latin Wallonia and Germanic Flanders. Brussels is the main location of the institutions belonging to the European Union. Does it mean that Brussels is the capital not only of Belgium but also of Europe?
That is still a long way from real, I think. Modern Brussels is still halfway from being a true Capital for Europe, it reclaims its place as such, but is unable to curb the power of EU Member States. We have seen it with the crisis, Europe is in dire straits today for its own mistakes in creating the euro and the growing euro skepticism has stronger roots that many expected. Unfortunately, not all their claims are misplaced.
As a Catalan, this is not the Europe that I would like. In a process that began 3 years ago, Catalonia asks today for the recognition of its national right to self-determination. Two consecutive demonstrations in 2012 and 2013 with more than 1.5 million people in the streets have sent a peaceful and democratic message to the world: national frontiers should never again be decided through the force of arms, or the absurdity of government decrees, but through the democratic will of the people, as represented in the polls.
From some European officials and political representatives, I have heard menaces of exclusion from the EU for Catalonia and its citizens in case they decide to vote for independence. This statement makes sense from the technocratic point of view, but doesn’t pass the test of democracy and rationality.
Europe, that sells itself as a bulwark of democracy in the world, cannot (and should not) deny European citizens their right to decide democratically their own future. Doing so will undermine the political leverage of its foreign policy based only on soft power. Besides that, if a Catalan State, excluded from the EU but part of a European Free Trade Zone, was an economic success, the consequences for the EU political project may be catastrophic. No one desires that outcome.
As you see I am very much into Europe’s and Catalonia’s political affairs. Since 3 years ago I work in the European Parliament, as advisor and assistant for MEP Ramon Tremosa, from CiU. As such I try to follow everything related to the Economic and Monetary affairs committee and help him with many issues related to Catalonia;
My job is based on drafting short speeches, written questions to the commission, amendments to legislation and driving negotiations with other MEP and political groups. I will try to express this day to day life to you and make a bit more understandable European politics.
With a degree on Biotechnology and a Master on International Relations, my main hobby is reading and writing, which I do now and then. I hope that I’ll be able to produce a couple of pieces during the week explaining my view on the Catalan question in the European context.
I hope that we’ll have a very interesting week together :)