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11 d’agost de 2013

3rd International Conference Building a New State 2013


“Although there is no right, under the Constitution or at international law, to unilateral secession, that is, secession without negotiation on the basis just discussed, this does not rule out the possibility of an unconstitutional declaration of secession leading to a de facto secession. The ultimate success of such a secession would be dependent on recognition by the international community”. Paragraph 155, Supreme Court of Canada, with reference to the Secession of Quebec (1998)

In reply to the federal government’s question as to whether the Canadian constitution supported unilateral secession, the Supreme Court of Canada resolved in 1998 that, although not stipulated as constitutionally legal, it would be legitimate, if it resulted from an unequivocal democratic expression of a majority, and it would also be viable, if recognized by the international community. In fact, a preponderant number of countries which have become independent in the last hundred years in Europe and in the rest of the world have done so by means of unilateral declarations of independence. The manifest lack of political will on the part of the Spanish government and institutions of state to enter into dialogue and make it possible to call a referendum to decide the political future of Catalonia means that Catalans need to become aware of how to deal with such a situation and what consequences a unilateral declaration would entail.

On Friday 4 October, the third edition of the international conference of Sobirania i Justícia (Sovereignty and Justice) “Building a New State 2013” will consider International Recognition of New States in a round table chaired by Professor of Communications and former Rector of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Imma Tubella. Stefan Talmon, Co-director of the Institute for Public International Law at the University of Bonn and a Supernumerary Fellow of St. Anne's College Oxford, and Bardo Fassbender, Professor of the same subject at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and frequent contributor to the German media will both help us examine the international precedents which could be important for Catalonia. They will offer possible scenarios as to how Catalonia could have to manage its insertion into the international community and, more specifically, its adhesion to the European Union and the principal supranational organizations. The round table will take place at 16.00h in the auditorium of La Pedrera and also in the morning, in the format of a workshop, in the auditorium Volart of the Vila Casas Foundation, with an invited audience. The lawyer, Ricard Gené, Coordinator of the International Commission of the National Catalan Assembly (ANC), will preside at this morning session.


“Undoubtedly, the division of Czechoslovakia was painful for many of us. Despite that, it was not accompanied on the Czech side by a feeling of injury, by self-pity, by reproachfulness, or even by disgust for Slovakia and the Slovaks. We came to realize that the Slovaks had the right to independence. This fact, too, is immensely important: had our parting of ways been accompanied by bitterness, it would have burdened our relations for a long time. Eventually, this burden of bitterness would have turned against us”. Václav Havel (Irreconcilable Differences? Explaining Czechoslovakia's Dissolution, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2000, p. ix)

On 1 January 1993, twenty years ago now, the Czech Republic and Slovakia staged the formal dissolution of their political ties. Vladimir Meciar, leader of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) and Václav Klaus, of the Czech Civic Democratic Party, respective winners of the Czechoslovakian Federal Assembly elections held on the 5 and 6 of June 1992, agreed the separation after three weeks of fruitless efforts to reformulate the political accord between both nations. Nevertheless the negotiations for each of the two entities to build its own independent state were swift and implemented with diligence. Two decades later both countries are fully integrated into the international community and are members of the European Union. Furthermore, Slovakia has been part of the Eurozone since 1 January 2009. The resolve with which liberalizing reforms have been applied to the Slovak economy has made possible an impressive growth in the PIB during recent years. Between 2002 and 2006, for example, it grew at an annual rate of 6%. The following year, 2007, it was 10.4%, higher than any other country in the European Union.

The Christian Democrat Euro MP, Eduard Kukan, was the Permanent Representative for Czechoslovakia when the Velvet Divorce took place. Two years later, from March to December of 1994, he was Foreign Minister for an independent Slovakia and returned to the post from 1998 to 2006. In 2004 he was a presidential candidate. In the round table chaired by the journalist M. Dolors Genovès, Eduard Kukan will give a lecture entitled Twenty Years of Slovakian Independence. Before that the former President of the Government of Catalonia, Jordi Pujol, will give some background information to help us understand the Slovakian experience from the Catalan point of view.


“We face a relentless struggle in every corner of the globe”. John F. Kennedy (President Kennedy's Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 20 April 1961, Public Papers of the Presidents, p. 306)

The third and last round table is entitled Catalonia with its Own Voice in the Global Economic and Geopolitical Arena and will be chaired by the consultant and lobbyist Erika Casajoana. Carme Colomina, Head of the international section of the newspaper ARA, Albert Pont, President of the Catalan Business Circle (CCN), Jaume Ventura, researcher at the Research Centre for International Economy (CREI-UPF), and Max Vives-Fierro, Director of the Foundation Catalonia-Europe will explain key strategic factors and outline a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the international role that our country could play once it has its own structures of state, in the shifting context of dispersed global forces, geopolitical blocks permanently competing with each other and volatile economic fluxes of a transnational nature.

The 3rd international conference of Sobirania i Justícia (SiJ) has two distinctive partners: the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and the Catalan Business Circle (CCN), both of which are collaborating in financing the event and also in its conception and execution. The enrollment process will start at the beginning of September. The whole of the afternoon session can also be watched live on computer given that “Building a New State 2013” will be broadcast via live streaming.

 MORNING SESSION - 9.30h to 12.00h – Auditorium Volart of the Vila Casas Foundation 

Workshop - 9.30h to 12.00h

                    International Recognition of New States
                    Panellists: Stefan Talmon and Bardo Fassbender
                    Chair: Ricard Gené

 AFTERNOON SESSION - 16.00h to 20.30h – Auditorium of La Pedrera 

Round Table - 16.00h to 17.30h

                    International Recognition of New States
                    Panellists: Stefan Talmon and Bardo Fassbender
                    Chair: Imma Tubella

Lecture - 17.30h to 18.30h

                    Twenty Years of Slovakian Independence
                    Panellists: Jordi Pujol and Eduard Kukan
                    Chair: M. Dolors Genovès

Round Table - 19.00h to 20.30h

                    Catalonia with its Own Voice in the Global Economic and Geopolitical Arena
                    Panellists: Carme Colomina, Albert Pont, Jaume Ventura and Max Vives-Fierro
                    Chair: Erika Casajoana

El debat sobre la creació d'un Estat independent - The debate on building an independent State

El debat sobre la creació d'un Estat independent - The debate on building an independent State
Prem sobre la imatge per veure totes les entrades de les quatre edicions - Click on the image to see all the entries of the four editions

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