By Pau Miserachs, President of Barcelona Political Studies Group association
Catalunya is a Country worn in 988 after separating of Franc Kingdom thanks to a Treaty, but annexed in 1714 to the Corona hispànica of Duke of Anjou after a war among Castilla and France Kingdoms allied against Catalonia. After war, Felipe V incorporated Catalonia to his crown under an absolute and total control of Castilla political System.
Catalunya was previously divided in XVII century by Castilla King in two territories, delivering the north of Catalonia to French Kingdom to pay war debts as established in the Pyrenees Treaty of 1659. Catalonia was then the first European country with the territory separated under a decision of other foreign powers.
Catalonia was occupied by a military force from Kingdom of Castilla helped by France Kingdom in 1714, losing Catalonia the independence and annexed to Spanish Kingdom, which repealed its Public Law, Language and judiciary system. Catalonia public institutions were abolished in a Royal Decree of 1716 issued by the King Felipe V, never abolished.
Under the 1939/1975 dictatorship general Franco, allied with Hitler and Mussolini, Catalonia suffered another black time, with language and rights suppressed until 1978. But today the territory integrated with Spanish State is a country depending on Spain using only a low administrative autonomous.
The Constitutional Court decided in 2010 no recognize Catalonia as a nation. The argument was that Catalonia is a region of Spain and not expressly declared as a nation in the Constitution that only recognize an only Spanish nation.
Habitually some State policies tried to castellanizar Catalonia and to displace Catalan language of the administration and of the education in Catalonia. But the official purposes could not obtain that the Catalan Language disappear.
The non-respect of Spanish State to the European Convention of 1995 concerning Catalonia and Catalan Language take more evidence in the Court and administrative administrations.
It is interesting to remember that the United Nations Resolution 47/135 of 12/18/92 established a difference existing between national minorities and linguistic minorities, with the general tendency to the assimilation of minority languages.
Also, the European Convention of 1995 for the protection of national minorities following the Recommendation 1201 of 1993 of European Council, declare a modern concept of nation as the Observation number 21 approved in 2009 by the Economical, Social and Cultural Rights of United Nations.
“La Charte de Paris” of 1990 declared that the protection by the law of linguistic and cultural identities of national minorities must be protected and considered as natural rights to be free developed. Also that the human rights are a guarantee against the excessive power of the State. This is the case in Spain.
Catalan language is used by more than 11 million people, including Spanish Balearic Islands and Valencia Region, the French Roussillon and Italian Sardinia. A Language transmitted generation to generation in the all Catalan territories.
For Catalans the Language is an instrument for social cohesion and for the extension of the national sense and the knowledge of the history.
As a national minority, Catalonia try to celebrate from 2014 a self-determination referendum to obtain the independence of Spain, to recover old rights and freedom lost in 1714 war of succession, to assure cultural, linguistic and national rights in a democratic and peaceful form.
For this reason, it will be convenient to clarify in the Conventions about the national minority rights of countries annexed forced against the people wishes, to avoid that in the future, the absorbing State and Constitutional Courts consider to be legitimated to deny the national character to the absorbed country.
Also it becomes necessary to include some paragraphs in the International Conventions and Treaties, to grant in the International right operating over Constitutions, the right of national minorities to the self-determination right although its State decides to impede its free exercise.