The Catalan and Spanish governments will meet in Barcelona on August 1 in the first meeting of their bilateral commission in seven years. Catalan foreign minister Ernest Maragall and Spain’s Minister of Territorial Policy Meritxell Batet will be the highest-ranking officials taking part in the summit.
Among the topics to be debated, the Catalan government has included “rights and freedoms” and “ways for Catalan citizens to democratically participate in the decisions concerning their future” – a reference to the imprisonment of pro-independence leaders, as well as demands for a self-determination referendum.
Catalan president Quim Torra told the consular corps on Tuesday that “Catalans will never give up on the right to self-determination” thus doubling down pro-independence parties’ main demand for years.
Spain has always rejected recognizing Catalonia’s right to self-determination. Last October, thousands of police officers were mobilized to stop a referendum on independence that was carried out despite Spain’s opposition. A subsequent declaration of independence in the Catalan parliament was deemed illegal, and pro-independence leaders were sent to pre-trial prison under rebellion charges.